The American League's struggle for major league recognition began in earnest in 1900. The National League's owners had recently dropped four teams, which left many ball players unemployed. Such favorable conditions for players favored the cause of the newly started AL, which was operating as the Western League (a strong minor league system) to sign laid-off players and NL stars.
One of the original eight AL teams in 1901 was the Milwaukee Brewers. Outfielder John Anderson, the club's best hitter was lured away from Brooklyn of the NL "with promise of a big raise".
But, due to lack of fan interest and poor performance, a 48-89, .350 pct, last in the AL, the team ran into financial duress and was replaced by the St. Louis Browns a year later.
Old Baseball History: Although, records of the 1901 Milwaukee Brewers are sketchy, this much can be safely noted: The workhorse of the pitching staff was Bill Reidy, who pitched only a few games in the NL in both 1898 and 1900. Reidy, however, hurled 301 innings, going 16-20, 4.21 ERA. And pitcher Bert Husting, signed away from Pittsburgh of the NL. Husting won 10 lost 15, 4.27 ERA.
The team's leading batter was slugger John Anderson. Already well-known in baseball circles, in 1901, he hit .330, lashed out 46 doubles - (2nd highest in the league), cranked out 8 homers - (4th in the league), and his 99 RBIs were 3rd highest - (in a 136 game schedule) (in 1904 the schedule went to 154 games, where it remained until it was changed to 162 games in 1961). Baseballhistorian.com - Archives - The History of Baseball Page 71