Monday, October 8, 2007

More On The Poor 1884 Browns

The pictures above are of the 1883 Browns that finished second in the AA, the poor 1884 Browns, and the 1885 championship Browns. The 83 and 85 Browns wore all white uniforms while the 84 team was wearing all black (or I guess it could be a dark gray or brown).

The 84 Browns, wearing those heavy, dark uniforms, had the worst record of any Browns team from 1883 through 1890. I honestly believe that those uniforms had to have played a part in it.

I can imagine Comiskey going to George Munson and saying "Look, I know that Von der Ahe's latest mistress designed these uniforms. But only a crazy man would go out and play baseball in the hot St. Louis sun while wearing all black. Talk to the boss and get us our old white uniforms back."


Richard Hershberger said...

Do you have any idea why that middle group is so large? The other two are typical teams for that era, with a dozen or so players. The middle group has about sixteen. Were they really carrying that many extras?

Jeff Kittel said...

The 1884 Browns had 16 guys play at least 16 games and another 7 who played in at least 5. Both the 1883 and 1885 team essentially had only 13 players (with a few scrubs getting in here and there).

I think this goes to point about the uniforms (which is only partially in jest). If you're going to were all black uniforms in StL, you better carry extra players because you're going to have guys passing out from the heat.

Richard Hershberger said...

It was often held that a large number of players cycling through the lineup over the course of the season was a sign of a bad team. This is even true to some extent today. A team with the same starting lineup for an entire season is probably pretty good. What strikes me is that this photograph implies that they had 16 guys at one time. The usual pattern was playing dropping out (or being dropped) and being replaced. They wouldn't all be together for a photo.

Cliff Blau said...

Dark, loose clothing is actually cooler than light-colored clothing, because it doesn't trap body heat inside.

Isn't the reason for the larger roster in 1884 the Union Association war? They were trying to keep players away from their rival.

Jeffrey Kittel said...

Is this one of those things like hot water freezing faster than cold water? People can keep saying that but when I fill up the ice cube tray, I'm using cold water. And I'm not wearing black clothes in StL in the summer.

That's a really good point about the 1884 rosters that I never considered. Wondering if this was a league wide phenomenom?

Have to say that I hate looking at these old posts. They make me cringe. However, the other way to look at it is that the blog and the content is much better now.