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National Association of Professional Baseball Players

From Academic Kids

The National Association of Professional Baseball Players, or simply the National Association, was founded in 1871 and lasted through the 1875 season, after which its stronger teams created the National League. It is regarded as baseball's first professional league.

National Association Franchises

Contents

Team names technicalities

The way the teams are listed above puts their names in the modern context of a city name plus a nickname. In fact, the singular form of that "nickname" was often the team name itself, with its base city "understood", and was so listed in the standings. Example: Rather than saying "Brooklyn Atlantics", the team was simply called "Atlantic", or "Atlantic of Brooklyn" if deemed necessary by the writer.

Sometimes the team would have a nickname, usually something to do with the team colors. Examples: Boston Red Stockings, Chicago White Stockigns, Mutual Green Stockings. A relatively modern equivalent to this was when the Pacific Coast League had two teams in San Francisco, called "San Francisco" and "Mission". The teams were officially the "Seals" and the "Reds" respectively. However, the second team was also often called the "Missions".

This practice of using the singular form of the "nickname" as the team name faded with time, although as recently as the early 1900s the team generally known as "Philadelphia Athletics" was shown in the American League standings as "Athletic", the traditional way.

The closest modern sports franchises come to this style is by assigning a name that reflects the region that the team wants to represent. The Rangers have always played in Arlington, Texas but are listed as "Texas" in the standings because that is what the team calls itself. In 2005, this idea came full circle. In the early 1870s, there were the Mutual Green Stockings of New York. Now we have the newly redubbed Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The way the NA teams were typically shown in contemporary standings was as follows:

  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Forest City (of Cleveland)
  • Kekionga
  • Mutual
  • Athletic
  • Forest City (of Rockford - a little confusing in 1871)
  • Troy
  • Olympic
  • Atlantic
  • Eckford
  • Lord Baltimore
  • Mansfield
  • National
  • Maryland
  • Philadelphia
  • Resolute
  • Hartford
  • Centennial
  • Elm City
  • St. Louis Brown Stockings
  • St. Louis Red Stockings
  • Western

Timeline

  • 1869-70 - Cincinnati Red Stockings demonstrate that professional baseball is a viable enterprise.
  • 1871 - Several teams from the "amatuer" National Association of Base Ball Players turn openly professional and form the first pro league, the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players.
  • 1876 - Boston, Chicago, Hartford, Mutual, Athletic, and St. Louis Brown Stockings all join the newly founded National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, along with new teams in Louisville and Cincinnati.

Champions

  • 1871 Athletic
  • 1872 Boston
  • 1873 Boston
  • 1874 Boston
  • 1875 Boston

NA Presidents

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