The Detroit Wolverines

The Rise and Wreck of a National League Champion, 1881–1888


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About the Book

The Detroit Tigers were founding members of the American League and have been the Motor City’s team for more than a century. But the Wolverines were the city’s first major league club, playing in the National League beginning in 1881 and capturing the pennant in 1887. Playing in what was then one of the best ballparks in America, during an era when Detroit was known as the “Paris of the West,” the team battled hostile National League owners and struggled with a fickle fan base to become world champions, before financial woes led to their being disbanded in 1888. This first-ever history of the Wolverines covers the team’s rise and abrupt fall and the powerful men behind it.

About the Author(s)

Award-winning journalist Brian Martin lives in London, Ontario. He is a member of the selection committee of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and the Society for American Baseball Research.

Bibliographic Details

Brian Martin
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 222
Bibliographic Info: 32 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6507-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2786-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface 1
1. Late to the Game 5
2. The Hollinger Nine 20
3. Getting Back in the Game 36
4. A Fine Debut 50
5. A Wild Ride 67
6. Thompson and the ­Tail-enders 82
7. Retooling 99
8. A Big Deal 116
9. Going for It 132
10. Getting There 150
11. Collapse 170
Epilogue 185
Appendix: Detroit Baseball Rosters, 1879, 1881 to 1888 191
Chapter Notes 197
Bibliography 208
Index 211