Friday, October 7, 2016

Cubs vs. Giants - 1883 edition

Tonight, October 7, 2016, the Cubs and the Giants play in the National League Division Series in the Windy City. The teams first met 133 years ago, when the White Stockings hosted the new to the league New York Gothams at Lakefront Park.

The Saint Paul Daily Globe - May 16, 1883
from Chronicling America

Different papers give different bits of information.  Two thousand turned out to see the game.

The Rockford Gazette - May 16, 1883

The umpire was Mr. William Furlong.

New York Herald - May 16, 1883

But wait.  The Cubs weren't even a team in 1883.  Yes.  And no.  The National League franchise from Chicago was then known as the White Stockings.  According to the Cubs 2015 Media Guide other nicknames for the Cubs over the years have been :
  • White Stockings (1876-1894)
  • Colts (1887-1906)
  • Black Stockings (1888-1889)
  • Ex-Colts (1898)
  • Rainmakers (1898)
  • Orphans (1898-1902)
  • Cowboys (1899)
  • Rough Riders (1899-1900)
  • Remnants (1901-1902)
  • Recruits (1902)
  • Panamas (1903)
  • Zephyrs (1905)
  • Nationals (1905-1907)
  • Spuds (1906)
  • Trojans (1913)
  • Cubs (1902-present)

Well, the Giants didn't move to San Francisco until 1958.  Before that they were the New York Giants, from 1885.  The two previous seasons they were the New York Gothams.  Same team.

Back to mid-May, 1883.  The Chicago White Stockings swept the New York Gothams in that first three game series (8-7, 6-2, 15-2).

It wouldn't be until June 2, 1883, when the Chicago club visited New York that they would first lose to the Gothams (7-22).

Times, and names, have changed.


  1. Except those teams weren't called the White Stockings and the Gothams, as you can see from the posted articles. They were called the Chicagos and the New Yorkers.

    1. Cliff, you're correct. Although these news accounts the teams are not named the Gothams or the White Stockings, MLB considers these nicknames to be the team names at that time.