After four championship seasons in the American Association, the St. Louis Browns' title run ended in '88. They still won 90 games, going 90-45, and pitcher Silver King went 35-16 for the club, but the pennant that year went to the Brooklyn Bridegrooms, who lost the World Series to New York six games to three. The Bridegrooms were then absorbed into the National League, along with the Cincinnati Red Stockings and the Cleveland Spiders. The American Association was falling apart.
The Bridegrooms were led by Doc Bushong, Bobby Caruthers and Dave Foutz, the players Browns owner Chris Von Der Ahe sold to Brooklyn two years earlier in a cash run.
In his second season with the Browns, American Association veteran pitcher Elton "Ice Box" Chamberlin went 32-15. Outfielder Tommy McCarthy, who eventually was placed into Baseball's Hall of Fame by the Old Timers Committee, batted .291 in 140 games.
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- Brooklyn Bridegrooms, Chris von der Ahe, Cincinnati Red Stockings, Cleveland Spiders, Dave Foutz, Doc Bushong, Silver King, St. Louis Browns, Tommy McCarthy