by Clifford Blau

After his ownership of the team was settled, Erastus Wiman went about improving the team, which he felt (or at least pretended he did) could be a contender. In fact, only a few personnel moves were made. Steve Behel replaced Ed Kennedy, and catcher Joe Crotty and utility infielder Tom McLaughlin were added. The big move was a physical one, with the team shifting its home games to newly constructed grounds on the north end of Staten Island.

They opened the season using the same two man pitching rotation of Lynch and Cushman that proved successful late in 1885, but it was soon apparent that it wasn't going to work again. After a slow start, due in part to a spate of injuries, manager Gifford was replaced by Bob Ferguson. Al Mays was added to the pitching staff and soon replaced Cushman in the rotation. In August the team returned to a three man rotation, and in September they tried out a four man rotation. They added rookie John Shaffer, who pitched sensationally in his eight starts, with an ERA under 2.0. Behel wasn't the answer in the outfield, so Elmer Foster was obtained. They also used catchers Donahue and Reipschlager in center for a while, and late in the year moved the aging veteran Candy Nelson to the outfield. At second, once again the incumbent proved to be a washout, and newcomer John Meister took over in September, and was soon hitting third in the lineup. Once again, first base was the team's strong point, as Dave Orr took advantage of the expansive field at Staten Island to hit 23 of his 31 triples there. First baseman Dave Orr

The 31 triples is the AA single season record. Overall, though, the hitting was weak; team scoring dropped another .25 runs per game from 1885. Team ERA dropped by .65, with strong performances by Mays, Cushman, and Shaffer. However, Mays and Lynch combined for a 31-58 record and the team winning average was .393, down from .407 the previous year.


Back to Metropolitans introduction

Back to main page