Boston Red Caps 1876
1876 was the first season for the Braves (then known as the Boston Red Caps) when the National League was formed. While this was the first season for the National League, it was not the first season for the Braves.
They were a charter member of the National Association which had its first season in 1871. So the Red Caps had been playing together for 5 years already. The team name was changed to the Boston Red Caps to avoid confusion with the new Cincinnati Red Stockings team. Some of the players from the previous year’s team defected to other ballclubs, so the team finished further down in the standings this season.
The Boston club was initially known as the Red Stockings, because four of its key players had come from the famous 1869-1870 barnstorming team known as the Cincinnati Red Stockings and took the nickname with them to Boston
They would have 39 wins and 31 loses (39-31 .557%) finishing 4th. They ended up 15 games behind Chicago who was the champion. They would score 471 runs and allow 450 runs. They were 19-17 at home and 20-14 on the road. As you can see, this was not a 162 game season.
Harry Wright was the manager and they played the season at South End Grounds I. The first South End Grounds was opened on May 16, 1871. The last game was played on September 10, 1887. The ballpark’s stands were demolished later that month to make way for a new structure.
Joe Borden – Pitched 29 games and played 16 in right field. At age 22, he had a 11-12 record with a 2.73 ERA. He pitched 218.1 innings giving up 51 walks with 51 walks.
Foghorn Bradley – Pitched 22 games and 4 at right field. At age 22, he had a 18-5 record with a 2.14 ERA.
Lew Brown – A right handed catcher with a .210 batting average. He was only 18 and the youngest player. He led the team with 6 triples and 2 home runs. Lew also struck out the most on the team with 22.
Andy Leonard – Second base and left field
Jack Manning – Pitched 34 games.
Dick McBride – Pitched 4 games and played 1 in right field.
Tim McGinley – Played 9 games catching and center field.
John Morrill – 23 games as catcher and 37 at second.
Tim Murnane – 69 games as first baseman who batted left and threw right. The only left handed batter on the team.
Tricky Nichols – Pitched 1 game.
Jim O’Rourke – An eventual Hall of Famer with 60 games in left field and the team best 327 batting average. Jim had the most hits with 102. He had the second most doubles with 17. Jim led the with 43 RBI’s. 15 walks was the most on the team.
Bill Parks – Played 1 game as left fielder.
Harry Schafer – 70 games at third base
Frank Whitney – 24 games in left and 10 in right field.
George Wright – Eventual Hall of Famer with 68 games at short stop and the second best batting average at .299. In 70 games, he led the team with 72 runs scored. He also had the second most hits with 100. He led the team with 18 doubles. George tied Lew Brown with 6 triples.
Harry Wright – Eventual Hall of Famer and played 1 game as right fielder.
Sam Wright – Played 2 games as short stop.