National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs in 1885


The National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs (NL) was established in 1876 (148 years ago) when a number of its teams broke away from the NA. The National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs (NL) was formed in Chicago, Illinois, by businessman and owner of the Chicago Base Ball Club (now known as the Chicago Cubs), William Hulbert, for the purpose of replacing the NA, which he believed to have been corrupt, mismanaged, full of rowdy, drunken ballplayers, and under the influence of the gambling community. One of the new rules put into place by the new league was that all teams had to be located in cities that had a population of 75,000 or more.

1885 was Season 10 of play for the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs (NL) and took place 139 years ago.


Major League

Season Length

April 30, 1885 to October 10, 1885

Season Champion

Chicago White Stockings

# of Teams


Season Standings

Season Playoffs

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

World Series

The 1885 World Series was the second post-season championship series between Chicago White Stockings of the National League and the St. Louis Browns of the American Association in four cities (Chicago, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati). The series was played as follows:

Game 1 – October 14, Chicago – Tied, 5-5 (8 innings).

Game 2 – October 15, St. Louis – With Chicago leading 5–4 in the sixth inning, Browns manager Charles Comiskey called his team off the field to protest a ruling made by umpire Dave Sullivan. The game was forfeited to Chicago.

Game 3 – October 16, St. Louis – St. Louis won, 7–4.

Game 4 – October 17, St. Louis – St. Louis won, 3–2.

Game 5 – October 22, Pittsburgh – Chicago won 9–2 (7 innings).

Game 6 – October 23, Cincinnati – Chicago won 9–2.

Game 7 – October 24, Cincinnati – St. Louis won 13–4.

The St. Louis Browns claimed the Game 2 forfeit didn’t count and therefore claimed to be the champion. The Series ended in a disputed 3–3–1 tie.

Events in Baseball (Thanks to Wikipedia)

Notable Seasons
  • New York Giants first baseman Roger Connor led the NL in batting average (.371), on-base percentage (.435), hits (169), and total bases (225). He was second in the NL in slugging percentage (.495) and adjusted OPS+ (200).
  • Buffalo Bisons first baseman Dan Brouthers led the NL in slugging percentage (.543) and adjusted OPS+ (203). He was second in the NL in batting average (.359), on-base percentage (.408), hits (146), and total bases (221).
  • Chicago White Stockings pitcher John Clarkson had a win–loss record of 53–16 and led the NL in innings pitched (623), wins (53), shutouts (10), and strikeouts (308). He was third in the NL in earned run average (1.85) and adjusted ERA+ (163).
  • October 1 – The first all black professional team is formed by Frank P. Thompson. Originally known as the Athletics, they will soon change their name to the Cuban Giants.
  • October 3 – Playing in an exhibition game against Newark of the Eastern League, the American Association Baltimore Orioles are no-hit by the former (and future) big-leaguer, John “Phenomenal” Smith.
  • October 7 – Fred Shaw of the Providence Grays throws a 5 inning no-hitter before 12 fans in Buffalo in the first game of a double-header against the Bisons. Shaw beats them again in another 5-inning game in the nightcap.
  • October 10 – The Providence Grays sweep the Buffalo Bisons in a double-header in the Bisons’ last day in the major leagues. Buffalo finishes the season with a 17-game winless streak, only managing 1 tie in the season’s last 3 weeks.
  • October 10 – Joe Gerhardt, second baseman of the New York Giants finishes the season with a .155 batting average while shortstop Charlie Bastian of the Philadelphia Quakers ends the year with a .167 average. Both players set still-standing records for the lowest batting average in a season (with a minimum of 350 at-bats) for their respective positions.
  • October 17 – The National League sets a minimum player salary of $1,000 and a maximum of $2,000 for the 1886 season.
  • October 22 John Montgomery Ward, along with several teammates, forms the Brotherhood of Professional Base-ball Players, the first union in professional sports history. The Brotherhood would ultimately result in the Players’ League in 1890.
  • October 24 – The final game of the 1885 World Series is played. The St. Louis Browns defeat the Chicago White Stockings 13–4 to tie the series at 3 wins each, with game 1 having ended in a tie.
  • December 4 – The New York Metropolitans are sold to Canadian-born millionaire Erastus Wiman for $25,000.
  • December 24 – The St. Louis Browns sell the reserve rights of Sam Barkley to fellow American Association member Baltimore Orioles for $1,000.

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