Cap Anson, in A Ball Player's Career, has this to say about the Browns:
The St. Louis Browns was a strong organization, a very strong one, and when we met them in a series of games for what was styled at the time the world's championship, in the fall of 1885, they would have been able, in my estimation, to have given any and all of the League clubs a race for the money.
He goes on to say this about the 1886 World Series:
We were beaten, and fairly beaten, but had some of the players taken as good care of themselves prior to these games as they were in the habit of doing when the League season was in full swim, I am inclined to believe that there might have been a different tale to tell.
It seems that the problem was that the two series with the Browns "in both cases were played after the regular season was over and after the players had in reality passed out of my control, and for that reason were not as amenable to the regular discipline as when the games for the League championship were going on."