|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.
|National Association Team Stats|
|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|
|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|
|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|