1886 Fan-Scored Official Scorecard Baltimore Orioles vs. St. Louis Browns
Wonderful fan-scored Baltimore Orioles official scorecard, from the early days of baseball. The Baltimore Orioles entered the National League in 1892, moving from the then Major League American Association. After finishing last in its inaugural season, the Orioles, under owner and manager Ned Hanlon, quickly improved and won three championships in a row, from 1894-1896. They finished first in the regular season these three seasons and also won the championship trophy, from an intra-league play-off, called the Temple Cup, all three years.The scorecard involves an August 19, 1896, Orioles home game against the St. Louis Browns, and shows how great the Orioles line-up was. Batting lead-off was Hall of Famer Joe Kelley, who led the league in stolen bases in 1896, with 97. The printed lineup also included HOF outfielder Wee Willie Keeler, famous for his explanation of his great hitting (Keeler hit .386 this season) when he explained, "I hit 'em where they ain't." But Keeler was scratched. HOFer Wilbert Robinson is printed in the line-up, but he didn't play that day. Hugh Jennings, Hall of Fame shortstop, batted third for the Orioles that day. Jennings had a pretty good season in 1896, hitting .401. The rival St. Louis Browns had Hall of Famer Roger Connor at first base. Hall of Famer John McGraw, famous manager of the Baltimore Orioles and New York Giants, was also on this 1896 team, but he was not listed in the scorecard. There are nice nostalgic advertisements that tout beer, cigars, and an ice and coal company. The scorecard shows some very minor wear, but is in remarkable condition for its over-132 year age, and has colored illustrations on the cover and back page. A superb remembrance of baseball's exciting early years.