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The World's Columbian Exposition brought millions to Chicago in 1893 - Major League Baseball History

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To commemorate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' discovery of America, a World's Fair was staged in Chicago, and lasted a full six months. President Grover Cleveland, Buffalo Bill, George Westinghouse, Susan B. Anthony, Clarence Darrow, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, Ignace Paderewski, Marshall Field and Philip Armour all gathered to view a magical recollection of America's beginning.

Opening day was April 30, 1893 and all visitors passed through a gated Fair Grounds. Gatekeepers counted over 27,500,000 people, this at the time when the U.S. had 65 million people... incredible numbers, indeed. Many visitors to Chicago also ventured to see the new game sweeping the nation - Major League Baseball in Action.

During this timeframe Chicago had just one major league team - the Chicago White Sox of the National League - the team changed its' nickname a couple of years later to the Cubs... When the American League was formed in 1901, a brand new team was added to Chicago and called the White Sox. And the Boston Red Stocking won the pennant with a sparkling 86-43 record... The Boston Club also changed its nickname a couple of years later - to the Braves. The team that we know as the Boston Red Sox, was a new AL team formed in 1901.

Some of the leading players during the 1890s were: Batsman Billy Hamilton, Big Ed Delahanty, Sam Thompson and Jack Clements, all of the Philadelphia Phillies. The top mound stars were Kid Nichols of Boston, Cy Young of Cleveland, Amos Rusie of the New York Giants, and Frank Killen of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

 Most Wins - 1893 ...  Frank Killen, Pittsburgh Pirates 36-14... Kid Nichols, Boston Braves 34-14... Cy Young, Cleveland Indians 34-16... Amos Rusie, NY Giants 33-21...

** Forgotten Facts ** * Amos Rusie, New York Giants pitched a whooping total of 482 innings in 1893 - and no pitcher has worked that many innings since. * Amos Rusie completed 50-of-52 starts and no pitcher since has started nor completed that many in a single season... and, Rusie walked 218 batters - no pitcher has issued that many free passes in one season since. * Amos Rusie posted a 33-21record, with a 3.23 ERA in 1893 and followed that up with a brilliant 36-13 mark, 2.78 ERA in 1894. Note: the Giants played 132 games in each year. Note: the following players all played with the Phillies when they set their records... and, the Phils played just 129 games in 1893... whereas teams play 162 games as we past by Year 2000.

** The 1890s ** Single Season Records: * Billy Hamilton holds the still unbroken major league record for the most runs scored in a single season with 192 in 1894.

* Sam Thompson set still unbroken records in RBIs per/game during one season. And, his numbers are the highest three years in the long history of baseball. He batted in 1.42 runs per/game in 1894... 1.39 RBIs per/game in 1895... and 1.31 RBIs per/game in 1887. A member of the Hall of Fame, Thompson finished with a .331 career batting average. Career Records Set: * Sam Thompson holds the still unbroken record with .92 RBIs per/game spanning his long 15-year career.

Note: Lou Gehrig and Hank Greenberg also drove in .92 runs per/game, but Thompson's record is a fraction of a percentage higher. * Billy Hamilton set a still unbroken career record of 1.06 runs per/game. Hamilton nicknamed 'Sliding Billy' scored 1,689 runs in 1,591 games in a career spanning 14 seasons.

A Hall of Famer, Hamilton's lifetime batting average is the eight highest in baseball history - .344. - Archives

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