Year In Review : 1879 National League
Off the Field…
American inventor Thomas Edison developed a high-resistance carbon-thread filament that burned steadily for more than forty hours. Although not the first incandescent electric light, it was the first practical one because it used a small current and lasted a long time without burning out. Edison soon realized that widespread use of electric light bulbs would require an efficient system of delivering electricity so he developed the basis for circuits, fuses, insulating materials, and copper-wire networks that are still used in modern electrical systems today.
In the National League…
Baseball’s controversial reserve clause was introduced as National League owners debated the growing cost of players’ salaries. All agreed to limit competitive pay and established fixed amounts. Under a secret agreement, five players from each team were designated as "off-limits" and not recruitable by other ballclubs.
Two standouts in the 1879 season were John O’Rourke of the Boston Red Caps who led all hitters with a .521 slugging average, sixty-two runs batted in and John Montgomery Ward who led all pitchers with forty-seven wins, two-hundred thirty-nine strikeouts, .734 winning percentage and one save.