With the extinction of the American Association, the Browns were absorbed into the National
League. They joined several other AA teams that had moved into the National League in
earlier years. The Brooklyn team switched leagues after winning the 1889 AA title, and they
were joined by the Cincinnati Red Stockings. The Pittsburgh Pirates had already moved in
Charlie Comiskey, who had managed the Browns from 1883-1889, left for one year to join the Players League, and returned for one more year to the Browns, left the team for the 1902 season to join Cincinnati in its first season in the National League. He played three years with the Reds before retiring to begin his trek to club ownership and eventual dark fame with the Chicago White Sox.
The Browns, who had dominated the American Association for years, could not do the same in the more established league that had better players. In their first year in the National League, the Browns went 56-94, their first losing season since the year of their birth in 1882. They finished 11th in the 12-team league.
During 1892, a significant fire burned Sportsman Park to the ground. The wood construction
made it a quick and clean burn. Team owner Chris Von der Ahe rebuilt the structure, but added a racetrack to the compound, and moved his baseball team to the Maroons old home, which he renamed Sportsman's Park. The Browns and Cardinals (the name was changed at the turn of the century) played at this facility until 1920.
By Kent McDill
- Charlie Comiskey, Chris von der Ahe, Cincinnati Red Stockings, Pittsburgh Pirates, Sportsman's Park