National Association of Professional Base Ball Players in 1872


NA ‘Logo’

The National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (NA) was established in 1871 (153 years ago) when a number of its teams broke away from the NABBP. The NA was significant as it established the first-ever Elite level of play in North America with its players being publicly treated as professionals.

1872 was Season 2 of play for the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (NA) and took place 152 years ago.


Elite League

Season Length

April 18, 1872 to October 22, 1872

Season Champion

Boston Red Stockings

# of Teams




There were no championship playoffs as the top team with the most wins at end of season was declared league champion for the season.

Events (thanks to Wikipedia)

Notable Player Accomplishments
  • Boston Red Stockings pitcher Al Spalding has a record of 38–8 in 404.2 innings pitched and leads the NA in wins. He has a 1.85 earned run average and a 196 ERA+. At the plate, Spalding has a batting average of .354 and an OPS+ of 144.
  • Boston Red Stockings second baseman Ross Barnes, in 45 games played, leads the NA with 99 hits, a .430 batting average, a 1.034 OPS, and a 211 OPS+. He has 81 runs scored and 44 runs batted in.
  • March 4 – At its annual convention being held in Cleveland, the NA adopts a rule change to allow the use of the wrist in the pitching delivery.
  • July 6 – Sporting a 22–1 record, Harry Wright takes the Boston club on vacation to an island in Boston Harbor.
  • July 9 – Eckford of Brooklyn commit 13 errors in their 15–3 loss to Union of Troy. It is the fewest errors committed by the 0–11 Eckfords in a game thus far this season.
  • July 23 – Despite a winning record, the Union Club of Troy disbands due to financial problems. Half of the “Haymakers'” roster will move to Eckford of Brooklyn, which saves them from dropping out of the NA.
  • July 26 – In an emergency meeting, the NA revises their scheduling requirements from 5 to 9 games versus each opponent competing for the championship. This is in response to the number of teams that have disbanded and comes 3 days after the first-division Union of Troy had called it quits.
  • August 13 – The Mansfield Club of Middletown, CT announce that they have disbanded and drop out of the NA.
  • August 19 – Forest City of Cleveland disband the club after a loss to Boston. This drops the number of teams still playing in the NA to 6.
  • September 1 – Al Thake, left-fielder batting .295 for Atlantic, drowns in New York harbor after falling from a fishing boat. Thake is the first active major league ballplayer to die. (But Elmer White, active in 1871, had died in winter.)

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