The Browns of the American Association finally broke through to the league championship in 1885. Still led by the play of manager/first baseman Charley Comiskey, the Browns played the Chicago White Stockings of the National League in the World Series. Cap Anson, considered by some the first superstar in baseball history, was with the White Stockings, and the president of the White Stockings was legendary pitcher Al Spalding.
The Browns had a remarkable pitching staff, led by Bobby Caruthers, who went 40-13 in 1885 with a 2.07 ERA, and Dave Foutz, who went 33-14 in the 47 games in which he pitched. Foutz went 2-2 in the postseason with an incredible ERA of 0.62.
The Browns acquired catcher Doc Bushong from Cleveland of the National League, and Bushong anchored the club for three seasons. He was a light hitter, topping out at .267 in 1885, but he played in 107 games for the team in 1886 behind the plate.
Marketing, long thought to be an invention of the 20th century, played a role in the 1885 World Series. Two of the games were moved to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh in order to cultivate interest in the games in those towns. But it was in the second game of the series in Chicago that events turned the series contentious, as Comiskey argued against an umpire's decision and eventually pulled his team off the field. That game was called a forfeit in favor of the White Stockings, and the series eventually ended without a winner with the series tied at 3-3.
Anson accused Comiskey and the Browns of quitting, and Comiskey had similar remarks about Anson and the Chicago club. Spalding announced that the White Stockings would no longer consort with any club in the American Association.
The St. Louis Maroons, a rival to the Browns who played in the Union Association for one season, were absorbed by the National League when the UA folded and went 36-72 in 1885.By Kent McDill
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- Al Spalding, Cap Anson, Charlie Comiskey, Chicago White Stockings, Dave Foutz, Doc Bushong, St. Louis Maroons