1871 Season News

Generally regarded as the first professional major league, the National Association was formed back in 1871 and lasted until the end of 1875 when it disbanded and under a new charter was called - the National League (1876). Admission for teams to join the newly formed National Association was advance payment of a 'ten-dollar bill.' Certainly a sharp contrast to the mega-millions price tag of today.

May 4 - In the very first major league game ever played, the National Association begins play at Hamilton Field in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with Forest City of Cleveland visiting the Kekiongas of Fort Wayne. Fort Wayne wins 2–0 behind the pitching of Bobby Mathews, the lowest scoring game of the season. Deacon White gets the first hit, while Joe McDermott, who will only have 11 hits and four RBI in his career, drives in the first run in professional baseball history with a single in the second inning, scoring Bill Lennon. In the seventh inning, Lennon also became the first catcher in major league history to throw a runner out trying to steal second. Ironically, neither McDermott, Lennon, nor even the Kekiongas would finish the season.

May 8 - Ezra Sutton of the Cleveland Forest Grays hits the first home run in professional baseball history in the fourth inning against the Chicago White Stockings. For good measure, Sutton adds a second home run in the seventh inning, but Cleveland falls to the White Stockings, 14-12.

May 20 - In Boston, Mort Rogers introduces a scorecard with a picture of Harry Wright on the front. Each Red Stockings home game would feature a different player so that spectators could collect them and have a full set of Red Stockings players by season's end. This marketing strategy would be used throughout the 19th century and would ultimately evolve into Tobacco cards and, eventually, Baseball cards.
1871 National Association
Team Record PCT
Philadelphia Athletics 21-7 .750
Chicago White Stockings 19-9 .679
Boston Red Stockings 20-10 .667
Washington Olympics 15-15 .500
New York Mutuals 16-17 .485
Troy Haymakers 13-15 .464
Fort Wayne Kekiongas 7-12 .368
Cleveland Forest Citys 10-19 .345
Rockford Forest Citys 4-21 .160
National Association Team Stats
Team W L PCT RS RS/G RA RA/G HR HRA AVG OBP SLG ERA BBA SOA FPCT E DP
Philadelphia Athletics 21 7 0.750 376 13.43 266 9.50 9 3 0.320 0.344 0.435 4.95 53 16 0.845 194 n/a
Chicago White Stockings 19 9 0.679 302 10.79 241 8.61 10 6 0.270 0.305 0.374 2.76 28 22 0.829 218 n/a
Boston Red Stockings 20 10 0.667 401 13.37 303 10.10 3 2 0.310 0.339 0.422 3.55 42 23 0.838 225 n/a
Washington Olympics 15 15 0.500 310 10.33 303 10.10 6 4 0.277 0.302 0.369 4.37 45 13 0.850 217 n/a
New York Mutuals 16 17 0.485 302 9.15 313 9.48 1 7 0.287 0.303 0.350 3.72 42 22 0.839 227 n/a
Troy Haymakers 13 15 0.464 351 12.54 362 12.93 6 4 0.308 0.334 0.417 5.51 75 12 0.845 198 n/a
Fort Wayne Kekiongas 7 12 0.368 137 7.21 243 12.79 2 5 0.239 0.271 0.294 5.17 21 17 0.803 163 n/a
Cleveland Forest Citys 10 19 0.345 249 8.59 341 11.76 7 13 0.277 0.292 0.391 4.11 53 34 0.814 223 n/a
Rockford Forest Citys 4 21 0.160 231 9.24 287 11.48 3 3 0.264 0.291 0.364 4.30 34 16 0.821 220 n/a