Hartford of Connecticut was a charter member of the National Baseball League that was formed on February 2,1876 in the Grand Central Hotel in New York. Connecticut Baseball History
The following from Microsoft Baseball
“Backed by representatives from the St. Louis, Louisville, and Cincinnati clubs, William A. Hulbert met with representatives of several eastern clubs—New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Hartford—in February 1876. Out of this meeting came the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs.
The teams each paid annual dues of $100 that were used to finance the league administrative body’s handling of disputes, record keeping, and officiating fees. The latter expense went for a staff of umpires, each to be paid $5 a game.”
www.baseballhistorian.com Notes: Hartford Connecticut Baseball History
“Morgan G. Bulkeley, a Hartford businessman, who was at the time 29-years-old, was voted the first president of the National League. After just one season at the helm of the newly formed National League, Morgan G. Bulkeley left the office and went into politics. He later became a United States Senator. Henceforth, Hartford lasted just one season in the National League and was replaced by Brooklyn.”
“William A. Hulbert, owner of the Chicago team, took over the job of league president.”
Again the following from Microsoft Baseball
“The eight charter clubs of the new National League were aligned on an east-west basis, and each team was granted a monopoly over its territory. For the 1876 season, each team agreed to play each rival 10 times, with expulsion from the league the penalty for failing to do so.
Adopting a high moral stance, NL leaders ordered member clubs to ban gambling, liquor sales, and Sunday games, and to draw up tightly written contracts aimed at preventing players from “revolving.” For the players this was tough medicine, but with the strongest teams enrolled in the new league, there was little to do but submit.
As “the Father of the National League,” Hulbert presided over its fortunes from 1877 until his death in 1882. However, this most powerful of NL presidents to date owed much to his chief lieutenant, Al Spalding, who won 46 games for Chicago in 1876. He later retired from the field to become the NL’s most powerful advocate and defender.
As a reward for his loyal support, Spalding’s fledgling sporting goods company received the contract to supply the league’s balls and to publish its annual guidebook. Beginning in 1877, Al Chadwick became the perennial editor of the league’s official Spalding Guide.
In 1876 Al Spalding pitched and managed the Chicago White Stockings (later the nicknamed was changed to Cubs) to a 52-14 record, topping their closest pursuers (St. Louis tied with Hartford by 6 games).
Because of this runaway, attendance tailed off, prompting two teams, the Philadelphia Athletics and New York Mutuals, to forgo playing their final games in the west. For this breach of the rules, Hulbert expelled the pair, thereby depriving the NL of franchises in the populous Philadelphia and New York areas until 1883. However, William A. Hulbert made no effort to replace the two teams; hence only six teams took the field in 1877, the year the NL adopted a formal schedule of games.”
Hartford Baseball Team in 1876
A few of the leading baseball players of the Hartford Baseball team:
Tommy Bond, born in Granard, Ireland. Tommy Bond, a right handed pitcher, compiled a sterling 31-13 record with a stingy 1.68 earned run average per 9 innings in 1876. Bond’s 6 shutouts that season were 2nd best in the NL, trailing Al Spalding’s 8.
Candy Cummings, born in Ware, Mass. A member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, pitcher Candy Cummings is credited with discovering or inventing the curve ball. He posted a 16-8 record with a 1.67 ERA, including 5 shutouts in 1876.
Dick Higham, born in England. Dick Higham, an outfielder and catcher, batted .327 in 1876 and tied for the NL lead with 21 doubles.
Jack Burdock, born in Brooklyn. John Black Jack Burdick played 14 seasons with various teams in the National League, 1876-1888, 1891. As a rookie in 1876, Jack Burdock, a second baseman, had a .259 batting average.
Jack Burdock finished 8th in the NL with 13 base on balls. (Note: 8 pitches out of the strike zone was a base on balls at this time).