Is there a conspiracy against 19th century baseball

When Clayton Kershaw pitched a no-hitter I kept hearing it was the 22nd no-hitter in franchise history. The information is wrong. It was the 25th.

The difference of three is found in the 1880’s. The Dodgers, known as the Brooklyn Athletics in 1884, had the franchise’s first no-hitter thrown by Sam Kimber on October4th. Play was stopped after ten innings in a scoreless game. But it was a no-hitter.

The other two no-hitters were thrown by Adonis Terry, one on July 24, 1886, in a 4-0 win over the St. Louis Browns. His other no-hitter was in May of 1888, a 1-0 win over the Louisville Colonels.

Franchises are sold through time and the sale of a franchise in the 1880’s is no different than one sold in the 20th century. Nicknames may change, but the franchise is the franchise, even if it moves from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. Ownership has been passed from hand to hand beginning in 1883 when George Taylor, Charles Byrne, Joseph Doyle, and Ferdinand Abel financed the first Brooklyn nine. Today the baton has been passed to Magic Johnson and a large investment consortium.

Yet for some reason there is a prevailing attitude to be dismissive of the past when it is in the 19th century. The rules may have been different, but it was still baseball. Of Cy Young’s 511 wins 257 came before 1900, but they are still counted among his 511 wins.

Years ago they changed the rules for no-hitters eliminating the no-hitters for pitchers who pitched 8 innings and lost because the pitcher was on the road team, thus no reason for playing the bottom of the 9th. But it was a complete game. They also eliminated those that were rain shortened. Even though it was a legal game, it was not a no-hitter.

Discrepancies are often found in researching or analyzing baseball statistics and when they are the 19th century gets short shift for some reason. I wonder if in the 23rd century-provided  the world is still existing-and baseball has changed its rules, will present statistics be getting the short shift. Could it be that every athlete is on some kind of performance enhancing drug and there are now two separate record books. One for pre 22nd century baseball when substances were banned, but players used them anyway and one for post 22nd century baseball when everything was legalized.

Never happen you say. I thought the same in the 1960’s regarding marijuana. But guess what?

In the end, as in the beginning, the Dodgers have 25 no-hitters. Put that in your hookah.

 

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