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Frank Selee – Boston Beaneaters

1893 would be Frank Selee’s 4th year as manager. He was on a roll. His record would be 86-43 for a first place finish. That would be 5 games ahead of Pittsburgh.

It was another year and another pennant for the Boston Beaneaters. In 1991-93, the Atlanta Braves would come close to winning three consecutive National League pennants only to lose to Philadelphia. 100 years earlier, the Beaneaters (now known as the Braves) accomplished this rare feat. These victories gave Boston an amazing six of the first 18 pennant flags.

There were a couple of big changes in 1893. The split-season format of 1892 was dropped.  Major league baseball had been through a trying experience with the players revolt of 1890 which resulted in the one year operation of the Players’ League, and then the collapse of the American Association after the 1891 season.

The National League picked up four AA cities and expanded from eight teams to 12 for the 1892 season. Consideration was given to adopting a first half and a second half of the season based on an apparently successful experiment in the Eastern League in 1891. It was not a very successful season. As the editor of the Reach Guide stated: “The clubs have this year acknowledged their error in both the double championship and the lengthened season by abolishing both. This year (1893) there will be one continuing season beginning late in April and ending about the first of October.”

The biggest change came to pitching. The pitching distance was moved back five feet to a total of 60 feet, 6 inches in 1893. None of this seemed to effect Boston. By late June, they assumed the lead for good and coasted to the end of the season. They were so good that year that not a single player was released during the season, a National League first.