Worcester Worcesters all-time roster

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Frank Bancroft managed the Worcester team in 1879 and 1880.

The Worcester Worcesters, sometimes referred to as the Brown Stockings or the Ruby Legs, were a Major League Baseball team based in Worcester, Massachusetts.[1][2] Though the team's alternate names appear in many modern sources, no contemporary records from the time exist that support the use of names other than "Worcester".[3] They existed in the National League (NL) from 1880 to 1882, and played their home games at the Worcester Agricultural Fairgrounds.[4][5]

The team was organized in 1879 as the Worcester Baseball Association, and joined the minor league National Association.[6] The team was profitable, successful against rival teams, and did well against NL teams in exhibition games. After the season, team management turned their attention on the NL, and pursued the slot vacated by the departing Syracuse Stars.[2][7] The team was voted into the NL by a majority of the owners, and in 1880, the team began their first season. The manager of the team, Frank Bancroft, and many of the players stayed with the team when it joined the NL, including pitchers Lee Richmond and Tricky Nichols, and position players Arthur Irwin, Doc Bushong, Charlie Bennett, and Chub Sullivan.[8] On June 12, Richmond threw the first perfect game in major league history, against the Cleveland Blues.[9] Harry Stovey, in his first major league season, led the league in triples and home runs.[10] However, the Ruby Legs were, in turn, no-hit on August 20 by Pud Galvin of the Buffalo Bisons, becoming the first team to be no-hit at home.[9] They played 85 games in their first season, and had a win–loss record of 40 wins, 43 losses, with 2 ties, finishing fifth in the league.[4]

Before the 1881 season, the Worcester team experienced several setbacks. Bancroft departed as their manager, and many of the players also left the team. Mike Dorgan replaced Bancroft and served as player-manager, while Hick Carpenter and Pete Hotaling were brought in as player replacements.[11][12] Further complications arose during the season: the popular Sullivan was sick with tuberculosis, and on August 19, shortstop Irwin broke his leg. This presented a problem for that day's game, because his backup, Buttercup Dickerson, was also injured at the time.[12] As a solution, local sports equipment dealer Martin "Flip" Flaherty was used to help field a full team.[12] Matters did not improve the following month: Lip Pike was accused of conspiring to throw baseball games, and was later expelled by the NL, and Sullivan succumbed to tuberculosis.[12] To commemorate their teammate, the team wore a black crape on their sleeve, which began baseball's tradition of honoring the recently deceased in this manner.[12][13] Dorgan departed the team before the season ended, and Stovey took over the on-field managerial duties, while also continuing his playing role. The team finished with a record of 32 wins, 50 losses, with 1 tie, finishing last among the eight teams in the league.[4][12]

In 1882, the team's decline continued, and the pitchers began to complain of exhaustion and accused management of overuse.[12] A second consecutive last-place finish, along with declining talent, their fans stopped attending home games, with attendance numbers averaging 50 paid spectators.[12] John Clarkson, who went on to win 328 games in a 12-season career, and was the only Hall of Famer to have played for the franchise, began his career for the 1881 Ruby Legs.[14] When the season ended, the NL decided to drop the team from the league, replacing them with the Philadelphia Quakers, who later became the Phillies.[1][15]

Keys

Players

Doc Bushong split time at catcher in Worcester's first season, but became the starter for the final two.
John Clarkson began his Hall of Fame career with the 1882 Worcester team.
Arthur Irwin was the starting shortstop for the first two seasons, then switch over to third base for most of the 1882 season.
Harry Stovey played in all three of the club's seasons.
Player Position Seasons Notes Ref
Bennett, CharlieCharlie Bennett C 1880 He was the starting catcher for the team's inaugural season. [16]
Bond, TommyTommy Bond§ RF / SP 1882 In 1882, he played eight games, and was a player-manager for six of them. [17]
Bushong, DocDoc Bushong C 18801882 In 1880, he split time as catcher with Charlie Bennett, but became the starter in both 1881 and 1882. [18][19]
Carpenter, HickHick Carpenter 3B 1881 In his only season with the team, he had a .216 batting average. [20]
Clarkson, JohnJohn Clarksondagger SP 1882 He pitched in three games during his first season in the major leagues. [14]
Clinton, JimJim Clinton LF 1882 In 1882, he played left field and batted .163 in 26 games. It was his only season with the team [21]
Cogswell, EdEd Cogswell 1B 1882 He batted .137 during the 1882 season, the third and final season of his career. [22]
Corey, FredFred Corey SP / RF 18801882 He was a starting pitcher all three seasons, frequently played right field his first two seasons, and played shortstop during his third season. [23]
Creamer, GeorgeGeorge Creamer 2B 18801882 He was the starting second baseman for all three seasons. [24]
Dickerson, ButtercupButtercup Dickerson OF 18801881 He was a reserve outfielder in 1880, but started in left field for the 1881 season. He is credited as being the first Italian-American to appear in a major league game. [25][26]
Dignan, SteveSteve Dignan CF 1880 He played in three games for the Ruby Legs during his only season in the major leagues. [27]
Dorgan, JerryJerry Dorgan RF 1880 He played in 10 games during his first season in the major leagues. He was the brother of Mike Dorgan. [28]
Dorgan, MikeMike Dorgan§ 1B / RF 1881 In a reserve role, he played in 51 games for the 1881 team. He was the brother of Jerry Dorgan. [29]
Ellick, JoeJoe Ellick 3B 1880 In five games, he had one hit in eighteen at bats, for a .056 batting average. [30]
Evans, JakeJake Evans RF 1882 In 1882, he led the league in outfield assists, with 31. [31]
Flaherty, MartinMartin Flaherty OF 1881 Nicknamed "Flip", he was the owner of a local sporting goods retailer who, due to injuries, came out of the stands to play, and he struck out in two at bats. It was the only major league game in which he appeared. [12][32]
Geer, BillyBilly Geer RF / SS 1880 In 1880, he went hitless in six at bats. [33]
Halpin, JimJim Halpin 3B 1882 He went hitless in eight at bats in 1882, his first season in the majors. [34]
Hayes, JackieJackie Hayes CF / C 1882 As a rookie in 1882, he was the starting center fielder, and batted .270 in 78 games. [35]
Hotaling, PetePete Hotaling CF 1881 He batted .309 as the team's starting center fielder in 1881. [36]
Irwin, ArthurArthur Irwin SS / 3B 18801882 He played in all three seasons, usually as the starting shortstop, with the Ruby Legs. He was the brother of John Irwin, who played for this franchise in 1882. [37][38]
Irwin, JohnJohn Irwin 1B 1882 Irwin played in one game for the Ruby Legs, and went hitless in four at bats. He was the brother of teammate Arthur Irwin. [38]
Knight, LonLon Knight RF 1880 In 1880, he started in right field, and batted .239. [39]
Mann, FredFred Mann 3B 1882 In his rookie season, he played in 19 games and had a .234 batting average. [40]
McCormick, HarryHarry McCormick SP 1881 He pitched in nine games during his lone season with the Ruby Legs, and had a winloss record of 1–8. [41]
McGunnigle, BillBill McGunnigle OF 1881 He played in one game for the Ruby Legs after having played seven that season for the Buffalo Bisons. [42]
McLaughlin, FrankFrank McLaughlin SS 1882 He played in 15 games, the majority as the reserve shortstop. [43]
Merrill, EdEd Merrill 3B 1882 He played in two games, and had one hit in eight at bats. [44]
Mountain, FrankFrank Mountain SP 1882 He pitched in 18 games for the Ruby Legs, despite having been loaned to the Philadelphia Athletics of the American Association from May 30 to June 26. [45]
Nelson, CandyCandy Nelson SS 1881 He played in 24 games after having not played in the majors the previous season. [46]
Nichols, TrickyTricky Nichols SP 1880 In 1880, he pitched in two games, and lost both of them. [47]
O'Brien, TomTom O'Brien LF 1882 In 1882, his first season in the major leagues, he played in 22 games, and had a .202 batting average. [48]
O'Leary, DanDan O'Leary CF 1882 He played in six games for the Ruby Legs in 1882, and had four hits in 22 at bats. [49]
Pike, LipLip Pike CF 1881 His career had ended after the 1878 season, when in 1881, he joined the Ruby Legs for five games. He is credited as being the first great Jewish baseball player. [50][51]
Quinn, JosephJoseph Quinn C 1881 He played in two games for the Ruby Legs, as well as one for the Boston Red Caps, in 1881. [52]
Reilley, CharlieCharlie Reilley C 1881 He had three hits in eight at bats in two games played for the Ruby Legs in 1881. [53]
Richmond, LeeLee Richmond SP / RP 18801882 He was the Ruby Legs' number one starting pitcher for all three seasons. He won 32 games in 1880, and 25 in 1881, and he threw the major leagues' first perfect game. [9][54]
Smith, JohnJohn Smith 1B 1882 In 1882, he played in 19 games in Worcester, but began the season with the Troy Trojans. It was his only season in the major leagues. [55]
Smith, PopPop Smith OF / 2B 1881 In 1881, he played in 11 games for the Ruby Legs, and had 3 hits in 41 at bats. [56]
Stovey, HarryHarry Stovey§ OF / 1B 18801882 He played in all three Worcester seasons, his first three of his 14-season career. In 1880, he led the NL in triples and home runs. [10]
Stratton, AsaAsa Stratton SS 1881 He had one hit in four at bats in the only major league game in which he appeared. [57]
Sullivan, ChubChub Sullivan 1B 1880 He played in 43 games in 1880, which was his last of his three seasons in the major leagues. [58]
Taylor, BillyBilly Taylor RF / SP 1881 He played in 31 games for three teams in 1881, 6 of which were for Worcester. [59]
Tobin, BillBill Tobin 1B 1880 In the 1880 season, he played in 5 games for Worcester, and 33 more for the Troy Trojans. [60]
Whitney, ArtArt Whitney 3B 1880 He was the starting third baseman for Worcester in 1880 season, the first of his 11-season career. [61]
Wood, GeorgeGeorge Wood LF 1880 He was the starting left fielder for Worcester in 1880 season, the first of his 13-season career. [62]

References

General
  • Gordon, Robert. 2005. Legends of the Philadelphia Phillies. Sports Publishing LLC. ISBN 1-58261-810-0
  • Gordon, Robert; Tom Burgoyne. 2005. Movin' on Up: Baseball and Philadelphia Then, Now, and Always. B B& A Publishers. ISBN 0-9754419-3-0.
  • Foulds, Alan E. 2005. Boston's ballparks & arenas. University Press of New England. ISBN 1-58465-409-0.
Specific
  1. ^ a b Gordon/Burgoyne, p. 43
  2. ^ a b Foulds, p. 149
  3. ^ Foulds, Alan (2005). Boston's ballparks & arenas. University Press of New York. ISBN 1-58465-409-0. 
  4. ^ a b c "Worcester Ruby Legs (1880-1882)". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  5. ^ "Agricultural County Fair Grounds I in Worcester, MA". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  6. ^ Foulds, p. 146
  7. ^ Foulds, p. 150
  8. ^ Foulds, p. 148
  9. ^ a b c "No Hitters Chronologically". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  10. ^ a b "Harry Stovey's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  11. ^ "1881 Worcester Ruby Legs". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i Foulds, p. 153
  13. ^ Lukas, Paul (May 17, 2004). "You're dead. Here's your uniform tribute.". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  14. ^ a b "John Clarkson's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-16. 
  15. ^ Gordon, p. 1
  16. ^ "Charlie Bennett's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  17. ^ "Tommy Bond's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  18. ^ "1880 Worcester Ruby Legs team statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  19. ^ "Doc Bushong's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  20. ^ "Hick Carpenter's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  21. ^ "Jim Clinton's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  22. ^ "Ed Cogswell's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  23. ^ "Fred Corey's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  24. ^ "George Creamer's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  25. ^ "Buttercup Dickerson's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  26. ^ "Buttercup Dickerson". niashf.org. The National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  27. ^ "Steve Dignan's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  28. ^ "Jerry Dorgan's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  29. ^ "Mike Dorgan's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  30. ^ "Joe Ellick's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  31. ^ "Jake Evans' Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  32. ^ "Martin Flaherty's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  33. ^ "Billy Geer's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  34. ^ "Jim Halpin's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  35. ^ "Jackie Hayes' Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  36. ^ "Pete Hotaling's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  37. ^ "Arthur Irwin's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  38. ^ a b "John Irwin's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  39. ^ "Lon Knight's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  40. ^ "Fred Mann's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  41. ^ "Harry McCormick's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  42. ^ "Matt Kilroy's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  43. ^ "Frank McLaughlin's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  44. ^ "Ed Merrill's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  45. ^ "Frank Mountain's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  46. ^ "Candy Nelson's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  47. ^ "Tricky Nichols's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  48. ^ "Tom O'Brien's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  49. ^ "Dan O'Leary's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  50. ^ "Lip Pike's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  51. ^ Schaefer, Robert H. (2002–2009). "The Biography Project: Lip Pike". bioproj.sabr.org. The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) & The Respective Authors. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  52. ^ "Joseph Quinn's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  53. ^ "Charlie Reilley's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  54. ^ "Lee Richmond's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  55. ^ "John Smith's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  56. ^ "Pop Smith's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  57. ^ "Asa Stratton's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  58. ^ "Chub Sullivan's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  59. ^ "Billy Taylor's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  60. ^ "Bill Tobin's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  61. ^ "Art Whitney's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  62. ^ "George Wood's Career Statistics". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 

External links

  • Franchise index at Baseball-Reference and Retrosheet
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