Year In Review : 1889 American Association
Off the Field…
On June 1st, Americans awoke to the news that Johnstown, Pennsylvania had been devastated by the worst flood in U.S. history. Over 2,200 were dead, with many more homeless. Johnstown was a steel company town with a population of 30,000. It had grown quickly into an industrious community known for the quality of its steel. After a night of heavy rains, the South Fork Dam that protected the city collapsed, sending twenty million tons of water crashing down the narrow valley. Filled with huge chunks of debris, the wall of floodwater grew at times to sixty feet high, tearing downhill at forty miles per hour, leveling everything in its path.
In the National League…
John T. Brush approved a new salary classification plan based on rating players personal habits from A to E. Class "A" players received $2500 dollars while a Class "E" player was paid $1,500 dollars and expected to help clean the clubhouse. The Brotherhood of Professional Baseball Players was displeased with the policy, but managed to avert a strike by proposing the development of a third league.
William Hoy of the Washington Senators became the first outfielder ever to throw out three runners at the plate in a single game. Both deaf and mute from the age of three, Hoy played fourteen years in the majors while hitting .288 with forty home runs and seven-hundred twenty-six runs batted in. In 1901, he also became the first player ever to hit two grand slams in a single game.
On October 29th, the New York Giants defeated the Brooklyn Trolley-Dodgers in an early nine game version of the "Subway Series" world championship.
In the American Association…
The Louisville Colonels set an unwanted Major League record on June 22nd after suffering their twenty-sixth consecutive loss.
The Brooklyn Bridegrooms won the American Association pennant after defeating the Columbus Buckeyes 6-1 on October 14th.
Montgomery Ward organized a third league known as the "Players League" consisting of the Boston Reds, Brooklyn Wonders, Buffalo Bisons, Chicago Pirates, Cleveland Infants, New York Giants, Philadelphia Quakers and Pittsburgh Burghers. It was determined that all players moving into the new league for it's 1890 inaugural season would receive three-year contracts with guaranteed 1888 salaries for the first year and no subsequent pay-cuts.