Tip O’Neill and the St. Louis Browns of 1887

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About the Book

In 1887, Tip O’Neill, left fielder for the St. Louis Browns, won the American Association batting championship with a .492 average—the highest ever for a single season in the Major Leagues.
Yet his record was set during a season when a base on balls counted as a hit and a time at bat. Over the next 130 years, the debate about O’Neill’s “correct” average diverted attention from the other batting feats of his record-breaking season, including numerous multi-hit games, streaks and long hits, as well as two cycles and the triple crown.
The Browns entered 1887 as the champions of St. Louis, the American Association and the world. Following the lead set by their manager, Charles Comiskey, the Browns did “anything to win,” combining skill with an aggressive style of play that included noisy coaching, incessant kicking, trickery and rough play. O’Neill did “everything to win” at the plate, leaving the no-holds-barred tactics to his rowdier teammates.

About the Author(s)

Dennis Thiessen is a professor emeritus of education at the University of Toronto. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Dennis Thiessen
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 251
Bibliographic Info: 27 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7290-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3667-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Foreword by Mark ­O’Neill 1
Preface 5
1.  October 18 to October 23, 1886: Champions of the World 17
2. From Pitcher to Left Fielder 24
3. Core Players: St. Louis Browns 33
4. “Anything to Win” 43
5. October 24, 1886, to April 15, 1887: ­Off-Season 56
6. April 16 to May 24: Batting for Average 63
7. Two Cycles 75
8. May 25 to July 11: Injury and Struggle 79
9. Featured Games: Batting and Fielding 95
10. July 12 to August 10: A Slow Return to Form 101
11. Long Hits 110
12. August 12 to September 8: Batting for Power 116
13. Batting Streaks 129
14. September 9 to October 9: American Association Champions 135
15. October 10 to October 26: St. Louis Loses to Detroit in the World Championship 144
16. A Season of Firsts 154
Epilogue 159
Appendix A: Resolution of Discrepancies in ­Game-Based Statistics 171
Appendix B: Tip ­O’Neill—Single-Season Batting Records and Feats in 1887 183
Appendix C: Tip ­O’Neill—Career Statistics 189
Chapter Notes 191
Bibliography 233
Index 237