The Ballclubs of Philadelphia
Now, I’m sure any fan of baseball in the Philadelphia area knows the two baseball teams that graced their presence in Philly. They are the Athletics and Phillies. But did you know there have been others?
- The Athletic of Philadelphia
- Philadelphia Athletics (National Association)
- Philadelphia White Stockings
- Philadelphia Centennials
- Philadelphia Athletics (National League)
- Philadelphia Athletics (American Association)
- Philadelphia Athletics (Players League)
- Philadelphia Keystones
- Philadelphia Quakers
- Philadelphia Stars (Negro League)
The Athletic of Philadelphia was formed in 1860. Their most noted player was left-handed second baseman Al Reach. They were also called the Athletics for short. They eventually went by that name permanently when they joined the National Association in 1871.
They won the pennant that year, the first one of organized baseball. The Athletics made the switch to the National League in 1876 after the National Association folded, but they lasted only one season.
The Philadelphia White Stockings, or Whites, were formed in 1873. They finished second that year ahead of the Philadelphia Athletics. In 1874, Hall of Famer Candy Cummings joined the team, but left right after the season was over. The team left the league after the 1875 season.
The Philadelphia Centennials were a one-year deal, playing only in 1875. They had an okay pitcher and offense but what killed them was defense. They made 164 errors the whole season, and their season was only 14 games long!
The Philadelphia Athletics of the American Association weren’t all that bad. They won the pennant in 1883 and had notable players Bobby Matthews and Harry Stovey. They became worse and worse as the years wore on. Their last season was in 1890.
The Quakers of the Players League weren’t good. After the league folded they tried to play in the American Association as the Athletics, but they didn’t last.
The Philadelphia Keystones were the just like the Centennials. They lasted only in 1884. The most notable player on the team was Billy Greer, who began his career when he was 14 with the New York Mutuals in 1874.
The last team is the Philadelphia Stars, a Negro League team. Led by Slim Jones, they won the Negro League pennant in 1934. Negro League greats such as Biz Mackey, Jud Wilson, Slim Jones, and Dick Lundy played for the Stars.
Mackey and Wilson are in the Hall of Fame and Lundy almost made it but fell short. The great Satchel Paige even played for the Stars in 1950 before he returned to the majors!
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