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February 11, 2007

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Kevin

That's an interesting comment about the Northwest League and Interstate Assocation being the ONLY minor leagues. I'm not sure we should use a 'modern' definition? I show the following as Minor Leagues also operating in 1883:

American Alliance
California League
Connecticut State League
Eastern Association
Massachusetts State Assoc
Western Interstate League
Cuban League
Cuban Winter League

Richard Hershberger

I have several corrections or clarifications. The 1882 League Alliance teams were the Metropolitans and the Philadelphias. The Philadelphias joined the NL the following year, where they remain to this day.

The Metropolitans joined the AA for the 1883 season, but the situation is more complicated. They were owned by John Day. He also got a NL franchise for 1883. Initially it was widely assumed that the Mets would join the NL, but what Day did was collectively sign the players on the old NL Troy team. Troy and Worcester had been invited to resign from the NL due to poor attendence. Troy was the better of the two, and this likely is why Day went there rather than Worcester. There is no evidence that he purchased the franchise in the modern sense, though modern writers often assume he did. So then Day essentially threw the former Troy players and the 1882 Mets players into a single pool, then divided them up between his 1883 Mets and the new New Yorks, who later became known as the Giants. The New Yorks generally got the better players.

So you can't really compare the 1882 and 1883 Mets with one another: the 1882 Mets were probably better.

And in 1883 the Northwestern League and the Interstate Association weren't merely the best minor leagues: they were the only minor leagues, at least as far as what we consider a minor league today. The minor league system was just developing at that time. There are earlier organizations that modern writers shoe-horn into the minor league category, but they ought not.

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