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1876 Major League Baseball season

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Title: 1876 Major League Baseball season  
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Subject: List of Major League Baseball seasons
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1876 Major League Baseball season

After a tumultuous six-year existence, the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (NA), folded following the 1875 season. The National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs (NL) was formed in Chicago, Illinois by businessman, and owner of the Chicago White Stockings, William Hulbert, for the purpose of replacing the NA, which he believed to have been corrupt, mismanaged, full of rowdy, drunken ballplayers, and under the influence of the gambling community.[1][2] One of the new rules put into place by the new league was that all teams had to be located in cities that had a population of 75,000 or more. The initial NL season began with eight teams, and they were asked to play seventy games between April 22 and October 21.[3] The NL is considered to be the first "major league", although it has been argued that the NA can make that claim.[4]


Four premier semi-professional teams were in play in 1876. They were the Binghamton Crickets, the Columbus Buckeyes, the Pittsburgh Alleghenys and the Syracuse Stars. In competition against NL clubs these 4 semi-pro teams played 32 games – winning 16, losing 14 and tying 2 contests. Of the 60 players on these 4 semi-pro teams no less than 50 of them wound up playing in the National League over the next 5 seasons.

Major league baseball final standings

National League W L GB Pct.
Chicago White Stockings 52 14 -- .788
St. Louis Brown Stockings 45 19 6 .703
Hartford Dark Blues 47 21 6 .691
Boston Red Caps 39 31 15 .557
Louisville Grays 30 36 22 .455
New York Mutuals 21 35 26 .375
Philadelphia Athletics 14 45 34.5 .237
Cincinnati Reds 9 56 42.5 .138

Statistical leaders

National League[6]
Type Name Stat
AVG Ross Barnes CHC .429
HR George Hall ATH 5
RBI Deacon White CHC 60
Wins Albert Spalding CHC 47
ERA George Bradley STL 1.23
Strikeouts Jim Devlin LOU 122


Date Place Ballpark Event Ref
February 2 Chicago William Hulbert organized the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, replacing the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, which had folded at the conclusion of the 1875 season. Morgan Bulkeley, the owner of the Hartford Dark Blues, is selected as the league's first President. [1]
February 12 Chicago After he joined the Chicago White Stockings as a player, Albert Spalding announced his plan to open a sporting goods retail store in Chicago; known today as Spalding. [7][8]
April 22 Philadelphia Athletic Park The Boston Red Caps defeat the Philadelphia Athletics by the score of 6–5, in the first NL game. Joe Borden, pitching under the pseudonym Joe Josephs, is the winning pitcher, and Jim O'Rourke collected the league's first base hit. [7][9]
April 25 Louisville Louisville Baseball Park In the Chicago White Stockings' first game, Albert Spalding threw the NL's first shutout as Chicago defeated the Louisville Grays by the score of 4–0. Spalding threw another shutout in the White Stockings' second game, on April 25, also against Louisville. [7][10]
May 2 Cincinnati Avenue Grounds Ross Barnes of the Chicago White Stockings hit the first NL home run, an inside-the-park home run off pitcher Cherokee Fisher of the Cincinnati Red Stockings. [7][11]
May 13 Hartford Hartford Ball Club Grounds The New York Mutuals achieved a triple play in a loss to the Hartford Dark Blues. [7][12][13]
May 25 Philadelphia Jefferson Street Grounds The game between the Philadelphia Athletics and Louisville Grays ended in a 2–2 tie, the first game to end in a tie in the NL and in major league history. [7][14][15]
May 30 New York Union Grounds In a game between the Louisville Grays and the New York Mutuals, Louisville right fielder, George Bechtel, committed three of the nine errors that led to his team's defeat. Louisville's ownership suspected that he intentionally "fixed" the game by intentionally committing errors to ensure a winning bet for himself and other gamblers. Management intercepted a wire dated June 10, in which Bechtel conspired to lose the game that day. Bechtel refused to resign when confronted with the evidence, so Louisville banished him from the team. [16]
June 14 Philadelphia Jefferson Street Grounds George Hall and Ezra Sutton of the Philadelphia Athletics each hit three triples in a 20–5 victory against the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the only time teammates have accomplished this feat. [7][17]
June 17 Philadelphia Jefferson Street Grounds In a 23–15 victory over the Cincinnati Red Stockings, George Hall of the Philadelphia Athletics becomes the first major league player to hit two home runs in a single game. [17][18]
June 27 Chicago 23rd Street Grounds Davy Force of the Philadelphia Athletics collects six hits in six at bats in a 14–13 victory against the Chicago White Stockings and Albert Spalding. He is the first major leaguer to collect six hits in a nine-inning game. [7][10][19]
July 15 St. Louis Grand Avenue Park George Bradley of the St. Louis Brown Stockings pitches the first no-hitter in MLB history, a 2–0 victory against the Hartford Dark Blues. It is the second no-hitter recorded in professional play, after Joe Borden's on July 28, 1875. [20][21]
July 25 Chicago 23rd Street Grounds Cal McVey of the Chicago White Stockings collects six hits for the second consecutive nine-inning game. He has totaled 15 hits in the last three games, and 18 hits in the last four, both records. After collecting two more hits on July 27, and four more on July 29, McVey will have tied his own record with 18 hits in a four-game stretch. [7][10]
August 4 Louisville Louisville Baseball Park Trailing the Chicago White Stockings with rain looming, the Louisville Grays stall the game by committing error after error until the umpire rules the game a forfeit. The game result would later be removed from the official league standings. [7]
August 21 St. Louis Grand Avenue Park In the ninth inning, and the score tied 6–6, of game between the Chicago White Stockings and the St. Louis Brown Stockings, a St. Louis batter hit the base-runner coming from third base with batted ball. The umpire ruled that the runner was allowed to score, so Chicago left the field in protest. The umpire then awarded the game to St. Louis. [22]
September 5 New York Union Grounds George Bradley of the St. Louis Brown Stockings records his 16th shutout of the season in a 9–0 win over the New York Mutuals. This season total of 16 shutouts has since been tied, by Grover Cleveland Alexander, of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1916. [20][23]
September 11 Philadelphia The Philadelphia Athletics inform the league office that they will be unable to make their last western road trip due to financial trouble. The owner of the Athletics suggested that the Chicago White Stockings and the St. Louis Brown Stockings play additional games in Philadelphia, take a larger than normal portion of the gate receipts, so they raise enough money to finish their schedule, which was denied. [7]
September 16 New York The New York Mutuals announce the league office that they will not make their final western road trip of the season due to lack of funds. [7]
September 26 Chicago 23rd Street Grounds The Chicago White Stockings clinch the first National League pennant with a 7–6 win over the Hartford Dark Blues. [7][10]
October 23 Chicago The Chicago Tribune published the year-end player statistics, one of which would be the newly created, batting average; the first known instance of this statistic being published. [7]
December 10 Cleveland During the NL's Winter Meetings, it was announced that William Hulbert was elected President of the league, and that the Philadelphia Athletics and the New York Mutuals were expelled for failure to complete their required schedule in the 1876 season. [24]


Free agents



Date Name Ref
January 1 Joe Kostal [26]
January 1 Joe Martin [27]
January 11 Elmer Flick [28]
January 12 George Browne [29]
January 14 Bill Wolff [30]
January 22 Warren McLaughlin [31]
January 25 Fred Glade [32]
January 27 Otis Clymer [33]
February Ike Van Zandt [34]
February 4 Germany Schaefer [35]
February 6 Andy Sommerville [36]
February 7 Pat Moran [37]
February 10 Doc Sechrist [38]
February 13 Fred Buckingham [39]
February 13 Fritz Buelow [40]
February 15 Carlton Molesworth [41]
February 19 Joe Marshall [42]
February 21 John Titus [43]
February 27 Art Goodwin [44]
March 15 Bill Hallman [45]
March 17 Daff Gammons [46]
March 29 Harry Lochhead [47]
March 29 Frank Oberlin [48]
April Art Ball [49]
April 1 Bill Friel [50]
April 5 Bill Dinneen [51]
April 6 Charlie Luskey [52]
April 6 Frank Murphy [53]
Date Name Ref
April 11 Win Kellum [54]
April 12 Vic Willis [55]
April 20 Charlie Hemphill [56]
April 29 Pat Deisel [57]
May 1 Larry Battam [58]
May 2 Jack Morrissey [59]
May 4 Charlie Hickman [60]
May 4 Dave Murphy [61]
May 5 Frank Morrissey [62]
May 7 Casey Patten [63]
May 16 George Barclay [64]
May 24 Fred Jacklitsch [65]
June 2 Charlie Jones [66]
June 5 Offa Neal [67]
June 7 Barney Wolfe [68]
June 10 George Prentiss [69]
June 13 Gene McCann [70]
June 15 Charlie Dexter [71]
June 19 John Hinton [72]
June 21 Billy Gilbert [73]
June 24 Bill Hanlon [74]
June 29 Patsy Flaherty [75]
July 1 Jim Buchanan [76]
July 3 Ralph Frary [77]
July 7 Happy Iott [78]
July 10 John Puhl [79]
July 23 Ginger Beaumont [80]
July 23 Harry Mathews [81]
Date Name Ref
July 26 Sam Breadon [82]
July 27 Moose Baxter [83]
July 29 Emmet Heidrick [84]
August 2 Kid Nance [85]
August 7 Pat Carney [86]
August 7 Lou Nordyke [87]
August 11 Danny Murphy [88]
August 18 Gus Dorner [89]
August 24 John Brown [90]
August 24 Frank Quinn [91]
August 28 Doc Hazleton [92]
August 29 Elmer Stricklett [93]
September 1 Jimmy Wiggs [94]
September 3 Jerry Donovan [95]
September 3 Dusty Miller [96]
September 3 George Stone [97]
September 5 Pete LePine [98]
September 9 Frank Chance [99]
September 15 Nick Altrock [100]
September 17 Otto Krueger [101]
September 27 Stephen Cusack [102]
September 28 Frank Bates [103]
September 28 Red Long [104]
October 13 Wild Bill Donovan [105]
October 13 Rube Waddell [106]
October 15 Percy Coleman [107]
October 19 Mordecai Brown [108]
October 27 Patsy Dougherty [109]
Date Name Ref
October 31 Ed Fisher [110]
November 3 Phil Geier [111]
November 3 Ike Rockenfield [112]
November 6 Dave Altizer [113]
November 6 Danny Green [114]
November 8 Danny Shay [115]
November 9 Judge McCredie [116]
November 12 Ed Killian [117]
November 12 Solly Salisbury [118]
November 14 Harry Howell [119]
November 17 Claude Elliott [120]
November 24 Harvey Bailey [121]
November 25 Lou Castro [122]
November 28 Lee Fohl [123]
December 2 Roscoe Miller [124]
December 4 John Farrell [125]
December 4 Henry Krug [126]
December 12 Joe Rickert [127]
December 13 Rube Kisinger [128]
December 16 Fred Crolius [129]
December 16 Sammy Strang [130]
December 17 Roy Patterson [131]
December 20 Jimmy Williams [132]
December 25 Jim Jones [133]
December 27 Charlie Carr [134]
December 27 Sam Woodruff [135]


Date Individual's death date
Name Individual's name
Age Age at death
Cause Cause of death
Cemetery Place individual is interred
City/State City and state of burial
Seasons Seasons in which individual appeared
Teams Teams the individual played for or managed
Date Name Age Cause Cemetery City/State Seasons Teams Ref
May 29 Tom Miller 26? Malaria Evergreen Memorial Park Bensalem, Pennsylvania 1874–1875 Philadelphia Athletics, St. Louis Brown Stockings [136][137]
October 18 Bub McAtee 31 Consumption St. John Cemetery Troy, New York 1871–1872 Chicago White Stockings, Troy Haymakers [138][139]


  • Ginsburg, Daniel E. (2004). The Fix Is in: A History of Baseball Gambling and Game Fixing Scandals. McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-1920-2.
  • Reiss, Steven A. (2006. Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball Clubs, Volume 1. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-313-32991-5.

External links

  • 1876 season at
  • Charlton's Baseball Chronology at
  • Year by Year History at
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