The Boston Red Stockings won the National Association championship for the 4th consecutive year in 1875 and had the top 3 position players in the league and the top Pitcher in the league as well. In 1876 everything will change, and remember the names of my 4 all stars for 1875.
Ross Barnes regains his MVP crown again with another dominate season. Defensively, he regains his past form and prevents 45.7 runs for his team, and leads the league in that category, while he loses the best hitter crown just barely to Red Stockings 1st Baseman Cal McVey. Barnes hits for a higher average and gets more stolen bases, while McVey has more doubles, triples, and homeruns. Meanwhile, Deacon White hit higher than either Barnes or McVey with a .367 average but less stolen bases or total bases than either, but was a plus defender and had the best single season of any catcher in the National Association.
Al Spaulding was again the best pitcher in the league, posting a 54-5 record, keeping the baseball in the ball park, walking few batters, and striking out 75 batters, and being among the elite hitting batters (but not the silver slugger) for pitchers, and 7th best batter on his very talented team.
On the season, Boston scored 10.1 runs a game, and teams that were not Boston scored 5.55 runs a game. Meanwhile they gave up only 4.2 runs a game, leading to a 71-8 record and a .899 winning percentage, establishing a record that has never been beaten and will almost certainly never be beaten. To break this record in a 162 game schedule, a team would have to win 146 games, 30 games better than the 116 win Seattle Mariners in 2001. Aside from the 4 all stars above, Boston could have played with 5 wooden Indians as the expression goes, and still won the championship. (A supposition that would be challenged and confirmed in 1876 in the first season of the National League.)
My Choice for rookie of the year for 1875 is Bill Harbidge, who played for the 3rd place Hartford Dark Blues. The 20 year old batted .240 and played 5 positions, splitting his time between catcher and everywhere else. Most rookies in 1875 played for teams that folded during the year or during the previous year, and many batters were not able to get the requisite 135 at bats.
During the season of 1875 All 4 of my 1875 all-stars signed contracts for the 1876 season with the Chicago White Stockings. I wonder how that will all come out.
|Best By Position||Silver Slugger||Fantastic Fielders|
|P||Al Spalding||George Bechtel|
|C||Deacon White||Deacon White||Deacon White|
|1B||Cal McVey||Cal McVey||Tim Murnane|
|2B||Ross Barnes||Ross Barnes||Ross Barnes|
|3B||Ezra Sutton||Bill Craver||Ezra Sutton|
|SS||Davy Force||George Wright||Davy Force|
|OF||Lip Pike||Andy Leonard||Count Gedney|
|OF||Paul Hines||Lip Pike||Tom York|
|OF||Joe Battin||Jim O'Rourke||Paul Hines|
|MVP||Ross Barnes||Cal McVey||Ross Barnes|