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Old 11-01-2014, 04:58 PM   #1
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1890 Proposed 10-Team NL Schedule

In rummaging through some old issues of Sporting Life (available at Sports Library & Digital Collection - LA84 Foundation), I came across a proposed 10-team National League schedule for the 1890 season.

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A little background: In the aftermath of the 1889 campaign, the NL, preparing for war with the Players' Brotherhood, enticed Brooklyn and Cincinnati, two of the American Association's strongest franchises, to defect from the AA and join the League. The problem, though, was that there weren't two empty spots for those clubs to fill. The NL leadership wanted to drop Indianapolis and Washington, a couple of tail-enders that were dragging down the rest of the League. Washington, last-place finishers in three of the previous four seasons, apparently was amenable to a buyout, but Indianapolis owner John T. Brush was causing difficulties. Frustrated, the League office drafted a schedule for the 1890 season with 10 teams. The March 19, 1890 edition of Sporting Life lambasted the schedule, stating:
So bad is this schedule and so certain is heavy loss under it that nobody can be found to believe that the League seriously contemplates playing the season out under it, and the belief is general that the League will yet find means of inducing Washington and Indianapolis to withdraw....
A big complaint was that the schedule called for a 126-game season, fourteen games shorter than the 1889 season. It's not clear why the schedule-makers didn't go for a 144-game schedule, although Sporting Life suggests that the schedule was intended to be as objectionable as possible in order to force the issue with the recalcitrant franchises. Indianapolis, in particular, was spanked by the schedule-makers. Brush complained:
We only asked for two things, and in both instances we were given just the reverse. We asked that the club be sent away from home during the spring races and be played at home during the State Fair. Instead ... the club is scheduled to play here during the races and is to remain idle during the State Fair.
Brush was eventually bought off with a financial package that included a share of the Giants' franchise. In 1890 he bought the Cincinnati club and later took over ownership of the Giants.

In adapting the schedule for OOTP, I made the following changes:
  • Cincinnati is shown to be playing at Pittsburgh on May 4. That's a Sunday, and the NL didn't schedule Sunday games at that time. I moved the game to May 5;
  • Washington is scheduled for 8 away games at Pittsburgh. There should only be 7. I deleted one of the two games scheduled for Sept. 1.
Originally, I thought the scheduled June 17 double-header between New York and Boston was a misprint, but those teams played a double-header on that date in 1890, leading me to believe that it was intended.

Games are all scheduled to begin at 3:00. I'm not sure if that's when they started, but that was a common start time in those years. First games of double-headers are scheduled to start at noon.

This is an interesting schedule, although far from ideal. There was no 10-team major league until 1961, so this is a rare example of a train-era 10-team schedule.

[see post #3, below for downloadable file]

Last edited by joefromchicago; 11-02-2014 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 11-02-2014, 01:47 AM   #2
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I have been stuck at 1890 for months in my ABF league because of the 10 team Southern Association not having a suitable schedule. This will get me past that. Thanx.
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Old 11-02-2014, 04:54 PM   #3
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I caught a couple of errors in the previously posted file, so I'm deleting that one and posting the revised file here.

Also, since this is a fairly unique schedule, I went ahead and modified it for a 144-game schedule. For the most part, that meant filling in a lot of the empty Sunday slots. I tried to keep the series lengths at two or three games, but, in a few instances, I had to make some four-game series. All Sunday games start at 1:00.

1890 NL proposed ILN_BGY_G126_SL1_T10_C_a0.lsdl

1890 NL proposed-modified ILN_BGY_G144_SL1_T10_C_a0.lsdl
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