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Happy Birthday, National League

Feb 2, 2010, 1:20 PM EDT

National League logo.jpgA tweet from ESPN’s Jorge Arangure reminds us that today is the National League’s 134th birthday.  The league was founded in New York by William Hulbert, the owner of the Chicago White Stockings, and the owners of the Philadelphia Athletics, the Boston Red Stockings, the Hartford Dark Blues, the Mutual of New York, the St. Louis Brown Stockings, the Cincinnati Red Stockings and the Louisville Grays.

Obviously much has changed.  The White Stockings would soon be known as the Cubs. The Red Stockings would eventually be known as the Braves.  Hartford remained until 1961, when it moved to Houston to become the Colt .45s, and was replaced by another team in Hartford that moved to Texas after the 1971 season, dropped the “Dark” from their nickname and simply became “The Blues.” By 1900 The Mutual had morphed from a baseball team into a regional bank, with branches in the Bronx, Brooklyn and northern Manhattan which themselves were reverted back into baseball team to fulfill contractual obligations.  As you can see, it was really a time of flux in Major League Baseball.

One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is that the National League did not have the DH. This conclusively proves that — apart from the racial segregation, gambling, rampant alcoholism, short distance from mound to home and the fact that batters could call for a high pitch or a low pitch to his liking — Mr. Hulbert and his colleagues were on the side of the angels.

  1. Jason @ IIATMS - Feb 2, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    Angels signed Matsui to be their DH. So there.

  2. Joe - Feb 2, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    Might want to check your facts, Calcaterra.

  3. Joe - Feb 2, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    Might want to check your facts, Calcaterra. I’m pretty sure Hartford moved to North Carolina (and became the Northern Miami Hurricanes), not Texas.

  4. Craig Calcaterra - Feb 2, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    Oh, you’re right — they didn’t remain the Blues. They changed to the “Stars.”

  5. StreatorDave - Feb 2, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    Dude. Your historical information has more holes in it than a slice of swiss sheese. Please. Go by BASEBALL by Ken Burns.

  6. BC - Feb 2, 2010 at 2:05 PM

    I’ve lived in Hartford my entire life and we’ve never had a baseball team, unless you’re living in some bizarro universe.
    PS. Bring back the Whalers.

  7. Craig Calcaterra - Feb 2, 2010 at 2:06 PM

    OK, I know I can be a bit dry sometimes, but do people actually think that paragraph about the teams was meant to be serious?

  8. BC - Feb 2, 2010 at 2:08 PM

    While I’m at it…
    The Texas Rangers moved from Washington. They were previously
    the 1961 expansion Senators team that was place in Washington when the original Senators moved to Minnesota and became the twins.
    The Colt 45’s were a 1961 expansion team, eventually renamed to the Astros.
    As for Hartford… well… you were only off by 94 years:
    PS. I repeat, bring back the Whalers.

  9. Phil - Feb 2, 2010 at 2:13 PM

    The Cincinnati Red Stockings – the first professional team in 1869 – moved to Boston in 1871 and became the Boston Red Stockings. The Boston Red Stockings played under that name until joined the NL as a charter member in 1876 as the Boston Red Caps. Today the Boston Red Caps are known as the Atlanta Braves.
    The Cincinnati entrant in 1876 was known as the Reds and played in the NL through the 1880 season after which the club was disbanded. Cincinnati next professional franchise was the Cincinnati Red Stockings in 1882 in the American Association, which was considered a major league. The 1882 club has no relation to either the NL entrant or to the 1869 team save similarity of the names.

  10. BC - Feb 2, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    Well, Hartford lost the Whalers and screwed up on getting the Patriots. Our arena collapsed one time. You have to drive through a demilitarized zone to get to Rentschler Field. Our men’s basketball coach had a nervous breakdown…
    It kind of goes along with the theme.

  11. Simon DelMonte - Feb 2, 2010 at 2:19 PM

    You neglect to mention that the Louisville Grays are of course the ancestor of sportscaster Jim Grey. His antipathy towards Pete Rose is thus the result of the family feud between the Grays and the Red Stockings as the two organizations sought control over the lucrative Kentucky bourbon and tobacco cartels.

  12. Old Gator - Feb 2, 2010 at 2:21 PM

    You had Wallace Stevens. He trumps any stupid hockey team.

  13. BC - Feb 2, 2010 at 2:51 PM

    Yeah, well 30 years ago we had Howard Stern and we let HIM get away too.

  14. TF in Tampa - Feb 2, 2010 at 4:35 PM

    “Bring back the Whalers”
    Dr. Phil,
    My wife and her Ex lived just outside of Hartford and were Whalers season ticket holders for years. Now, to get her to go to a Rays or Bucs game here with me takes too many ‘Honey Do’ promises, that its just not worth the effort trying to convince her.
    I don’t get it, pray tell is it me?

  15. international tv online - Feb 10, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    Happy Birthday!

  16. Evalyn Vanbogelen - Feb 21, 2010 at 9:49 PM

    I love watching TV episodes online. Whoever came up with this idea is a genius!

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