Mutual Base Ball Club
of New York
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Original Mutuals

Mutual Base Ball Club 1857-1876

1857- MpastedGraphic.pdfutuals are formed, named after the Mutual Hook and Ladder Company Number 1. Many of its players and officers are city employees. William "Boss" Tweed (pictured to the right) was a major financial contributor to the team, although he was never president of the club as was widely believed. He did in fact serve on the board of trustees.

1857-1867- The Mutuals would play all their home games at the Hoboken Grounds.

1862- The Mutuals along with the Eckfords of Brooklyn traveled to Philadelphia for the first time.

August 3, 1865- Twenty thousand spectators watch a match in Hoboken between the Mutuals and The Brooklyn Atlantics.
The game is a 5 inning rain shortened 13-12 Atlantic victory. This particular game would
 
be immortalized in the Currier and Ives print (pictured left):  The American National Game of Base Ball.

Sept. 28, 1865- Four thousand spectators gather at Hoboken Grounds to watch the heavily favored Mutuals lose to the Eckfords 23-11. The Mutual Club meets after the game and charges William Wansley of "willful and designed inattention" with the view of causing Eckford to defeat the Mutuals. Shortstop Devry later sends a letter of confession to the deed. A committee formed to investigate the matter later reports that catcher Wansley, third baseman Duffy, and Devry received the sum of $100 from Kane McLaughlin to allow McLaughlin to win money on the game. The players will be banned at the next convention, but are reinstated several years later.

April 8, 1867- Devry applies for readmission and is reinstated due to what is called "lack of proof". It was agreed that Wansley was the main culprit in the whole affair and that Devry merely went along with it.

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1868- The Mutuals make the Union Grounds in Brooklyn (pictured to the left) their home until their demise.

Sept. 1868- The Mutuals reinstate Duffy without consulting the Association.

Oct. 1868- The National Association meets and declares that the Mutuals violated the rules by reinstating Duffy.

Nov. 11, 1868- The New York State Base Ball Convention at Albany expels the Mutual Club from the Association for reinstating Duffy. Moments later the membership reversed its decision and voted to petition the National Association to reject the penalty recommended by the Judiciary Committee, therefore reinstating that Mutuals. 

Nov. 5, 1869- The Mutuals traveled to Cincinnati to face the Red Stockings. They lose in front of 7,000 fans who braved the cold to see Cincinnati's 60th straight victory.

Dec. 1869- Duffy is officially reinstated at the convention even though he played throughout the year.

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July 23, 1870- Five thousand spectators fill Dexter Park in Chicago to see the White Stockings play the visiting Mutuals. Mutual pitcher Rynie Wolters limits the opposition to 3 hits and no runs, winning 9-0 for the first shutout game in big-time base ball history. The New York Herald will use the term "Chicagoed" from now on to signify a shutout; the term survives until the late 1890's.

Sep. 22, 1870- The Mutuals win the much-debated Championship for 1870 by defeating the Atlantics 10-4 at Union Grounds. The game had such interest that inning by inning results are sent nationwide via telegraph wires. Several clubs would lay claim to the championship that year.

Nov. 30, 1870- Wansley is officially reinstated to professional base ball, at the 14th Annual Convention of the National Association of Base Ball Clubs in New York.

Winter, 1871- The Mutuals join the newly formed National Association of Professional Ball Players and remained in the league until it's demise in 1875.

June 5, 1871- The Mutuals meet the White Stockings before 10,000 at the Union Grounds in Brooklyn. Five of the old Eckfords play for Chicago while five of last year's Atlantics play for the Mutuals. Fielding decides the game, as Chicago makes 19 errors to 7 for the Mutuals. The Mutuals win 8-5.

Fall, 1871- The Mutuals finish 4th overall with a record of 16 wins and 17 losses.

Aug. 15, 1872- The Maple Leaf Club of Guelph, Canada, the Canadian Champions, plays the Mutuals on the Union Grounds. The Mutuals prevail in a close game, 9-4.

Fall, 1872- The Mutuals finished a strong third with a record of 34 wins and 20 losses. Harry Wright's powerful Boston Red Stocking Club took the pennant with a record of 39-8.

Spring, 1873- The league drops from eleven teams to nine.

Oct. 10, 1873- Bobby Matthews pitches a two hitter as the Mutuals defeat the Lord Baltimores 7-0. Matthews, although never officially given credit, was known as a spitballer as far back as 1867.

Fall, 1873- The Mutuals finish with a record of 29 wins and 24 losses putting them in fourth place. The Red Stockings take their second pennant finishing 42-23 behind the play of newcomers Jim O'Rourke and Jim White.

June 18, 1874- The Mutuals defeat the Chicago White Stockings 38-1. Of the 33 hits collected by the Mutes, Tom Carey makes 6 and scores 6 runs. Chicago had two hits and committed 36 errors.

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July 10, 1874- Joe Start (pictured to the left), the Mutual first baseman, misses the train to Hartford, and the Mutes are forced to play with only eight players. Hartford wins 13-4.

1875- Thirteen teams would start the season though only six would finish. Boston would once again dominate the league finishing 71-8. The Mutuals had their worst year yet finishing a dismal 30-38. Reform seemed eminent due to competitive imbalance, financial losses, and excessive player freedom.

May 13, 1876 - The Mutuals execute the first triple play in Major League history against the Hartford Dark Blues.

1876- William A. Hulbert of the Chicago White Stockings took to forming a rival major league, the National League. Many teams, including the Mutuals, left the National Association for the newly formed National League, thus leading to the demise of the National Association.

The Chicago White Stockings loaded with such players Al Spalding, Ross Barnes, Jim White, Cal McVey, and Cap Anson, ran away with a 52-14 record with its' nearest competitors six games out. Attendance dropped off because of this, causing financial difficulties for the Mutual and Philadelphia clubs. This prompted both clubs to forgo their final games in the west, causing both clubs to be expelled from the league.

The Mutuals finished the season 21-35, their only season in the National League. The Mutuals disbanded shortly thereafter.


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Click here for actual game accounts of the Mutuals

 

Information gathered from he following sources:  

Ryczek, William J.. When Johnny Comes Sliding Home. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 1998.

Ryczek, William J.  Blackguards and Red Stockings. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 1998.

Box scores and game accounts from the following Newspapers; New York Times, Brooklyn Eagle, New York Herald

Online. May 10, 2007. <www.baseball-reference.com>

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