Season Recap: 1891
League Champion: Boston Beaneaters
1891 – American Association owners dismiss league President Allen W. Thurman and replace him with Louis Kramer of Cincinnati. The owners also denounce the National Agreement, launching a new war with the rival National League. The owners are unhappy with Thurman’s decision in the Lou Bierbauer case. In his capacity as Chairman of the National Board of Control which decides disputes under the National Agreement, he ruled that the AA’s Philadelphia Athletics no longer had reserve rights over Bierbauer, who jumped from the Athletics to the Players League in 1890, and then refused to return to his old team after the Players League folded.
Exposition Park, which opened last year as the home of the Pittsburgh Burghers of the short-lived Players’ League, hosts its first Pirates game, a National League contest that the Bucs lose to Chicago, 7-6. The ballpark located on the north side of the Allegheny River, across from Pittsburgh’s downtown area, will be the team’s home until they move to Forbes Field in 1909.
In front of 10,000 fans, Spider right-hander Cy Young beats the visiting Reds, 12-3, in the first game ever played in Cleveland’s League Park. The National League club will call the Hough neighborhood ballpark home until 1899, when the club goes out of business, losing their best players due to the actions of their unscrupulous owner which results in a disastrous 20-134 season.
5/7/1891 – The Brooklyn Bridegrooms lineup in its home game against Philadelphia had the pitcher William “Adonis” Terry batting eighth followed by the catcher Tom Kinslow. However, Kinslow made the last out of the first inning batting ahead of Terry. Terry started the second inning with a double and was called out when Philadelphia pointed out the correct batting order.
6/17/1891 – The Colts (now Cubs) played in Cleveland. Through the seventh inning, the Colts’ Bill Hutchinson batted in Malachi Kittridge’s place in the batting order but the Spiders let it go. In the seventh, Fred Pfeffer walked and Hutchinson, batting out of turn, singled, moving Pfeffer to third. As Kittridge stepped to the plate, the Spiders told umpire Tim Lynch that Hutchinson batted out of turn. This out ended the inning, killing the Colts’ rally.
In a North Dakota Red River Valley League contest, the Fargo Red Stockings and Grand Forks Black Stockings each use one pitcher when they play to a 25-inning, 0-0 tie at the State Militia Training Grounds in Devils Lake, a neutral site selected to attract more fans. The umpire abruptly ends the longest scoreless game in history, a four-hour and ten-minute nightcap of a twin bill, after the bottom of the 25th to allow the players to catch a train.
9/2/1891 – The Phillies were visiting Pittsburgh when they had two players called out for batting out of turn. Manager Harry Wright listed Billy Shindle sixth in the batting order and Ed Mayer eighth. In the second inning, Mayer batted in Shindle’s place because that was how the order had been the day before. After Mayer struck out, Pirates manager Bill McGunnigle talked with umpire Jack McQuaid about the Phillies batting out of order. McQuaid declared Shindle and William Brown (in the seventh spot) out for allowing Mayer to bat ahead of them.
1891 – The National League meets and dismisses the charges of collusion and game throwing against the eastern clubs brought by the Chicago Colts, thereby formally giving the Boston Beaneaters the pennant. The league also plans its strategy for conquering the American Association by consolidating the four strongest Association clubs into a 12-team league for next year.
1891 – A series for the championship of the Pacific Coast begins between the champions of the California League (the San Jose Dukes) and the Pacific Northwest League pennant winners (the Portland Webfeet). San Jose wins the opener, 8 – 6. The series will last until January 10, 1892, with San Jose winning, 10 games to 9. All the games are in played in San Jose, CA.
1891 – The American Association passes out of existence after ten years as a settlement is finally reached with the National League. Four AA clubs (St. Louis, Louisville, Washington, and Baltimore) join the National League’s existing eight clubs to form a twelve-club league formally styled “The National League and American Association of Professional Base Ball Clubs.” The other four AA clubs are bought out for about $130,000. The NL will allow Sunday games for the first time but will retain its 50-cent minimum admission price.