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Philadelphia Claims Best 1870 US Record -- Over the Red Stockings? Really?

Salience Noteworthy
Tags Championship Games
Game Base Ball
Age of Players Adult

"BASE BALL MATTERS: Answers to Correspondents: 

[to] K. S. M.  The Mutuals of New York city won the national championship last year, but the Athletics of this city had the best record. . . ."


Philadelphia Sunday Mercury April 9, 1871; See Hershberger commentary, below/.



Richard Hershberger, FB Posting, April 9. 2021:

"150 years ago in baseball: a bit of historical revisionism via homerism by the Philadelphia sporting press. Thank goodness that no longer plagues us! For the record, the 1870 Mutuals went 68-17-3 while the Athletics went 65-11-1. Presumably the claim to a better record was based on winning percentage, rather than absolute number of games won. This criterion was not at all established at the time. The problem with claiming the moral, if not nominal, championship this way is that the Cincinnati Club went 67-6-1. Those records include both professional and amateur games. Perhaps the writer was thinking of just professional games? The Athletics went 26-11-1, while the Cincinnatis went 27-6-1. So while there is an argument to be made that the A's had a better record than the Mutuals, this is not at all the same as the A's having the best record. So it goes." 

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Did the Mutuals themselves claim the best 1870 record, or just the NABBP Championship, or what?

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Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Submission Note FB Posting, 4/9/2021


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