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Professionals Edge Away from NABBP; Modern Standings Begin to Take Shape

Salience Prominent
Tags Baseball Professionalism, Business of Baseball
City/State/Country: New York, NY, United States
Game Base Ball
Immediacy of Report Contemporary
Age of Players Adult

"BASE BALL BOTHER.  National Professional Association. The Championship Question Settled.

"A convention of delegates from the professional base ball clubs of the country was held at #840 Broadway last evening.  At the time that the call for the convention was sent out its objects were stated to be the settlement of the manner of achieving the title of champion club of the country, and the arrangement of the routes of the club tours during the season.  But the action of the amateur clubs in withdrawing from the National Association see 1871.14 . . . caused the scope of the Convention's duties to be enlarged, and . . . made necessary the reorganization of the National Association on a professional basis."



New York Herald,  March 18, 1871


Richard Hershberger, FP posting of March 17, 2021:

"150 years ago today in baseball: The big day! Yesterday the amateurs met in Brooklyn and formed a new association. See 1871.14.  Today we move across the East River, where the professionals form theirs. It wasn't originally supposed to be this way. The meeting was initially called simply to coordinate travel schedules. From there it expanded to arranging a championship system. With yesterday's event the meeting expanded yet further. The status of the old National Association of Base Ball Players is up in the air. Simpler for the professionals just to start fresh. . . . .

"Their championship system is quietly revolutionary. The old unofficial system followed the model of champion and challenger, like in boxing. The new system is not laid out explicitly here, but it is close to the modern system of every club playing a series against every other club.

This 'championship season' (which is what the official rules still call what the rest of us refer to as the 'regular season') is the great invention of the NAPBBP. This often is overlooked, as NAPBBP tends to carry the stench of failure today. So let us pause a moment and contemplate the glory that is the regular season.

Done? Excellent! This is not quite the regular season as we understand it today. It is a series of best-of-five series. If a club won the first three games of the series, there was no need to play the last two. This is why the win-loss records for 1871 are so scattered. Teams did not play the same number of games, but they weren't expected to. This will result in some wackiness in determining the championship. No spoilers! We will get to that in the Fall. Suffice it to say that for 1872 they will switch to every team playing the same number of games, at least in theory." 

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Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Submission Note FB Posting of 3/17/2021


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