The National League returns to Washington. The 1892 team starts the season packed with star players. George Wood has been one of the top outfielders. Hardy Richardson has been the most dependable second baseman in the League for well over a decade. Danny Richardson, no relation, is a great fielding middle infielder. The pitching is in the capable hands of Matt Kilroy and Frank Foreman. Washington starts at a fast clip and fans pour into ...
The National League returns to Washington. The 1892 team starts the season packed with star players. George Wood has been one of the top outfielders. Hardy Richardson has been the most dependable second baseman in the League for well over a decade. Danny Richardson, no relation, is a great fielding middle infielder. The pitching is in the capable hands of Matt Kilroy and Frank Foreman. Washington starts at a fast clip and fans pour into National Park. Expectations are high for a chance at a first division finish.
But there are two issues that will play out that will play out during the 1892 season that will test the resolve of even the most ardent crank.
The National League following the “amalgamation” of the American Association is now supreme. It quickly moves to pay off the large debt incurred, but it does so in a manner that creates ill will with the fans and the players. It is only the beginning of a series of mistakes that over the years will cause the League to be despised.
Meanwhile in Washington, George Wagner, the oldest of the Wagner brothers, takes charge of the team. Can the Wagner brothers put a winning team on the field, something that the Hewitt’s were unable to do? His first move is to fire the popular Billy Barnie, and replace him with the loathed Arthur Irwin. What follows is a classic example of how not to run a baseball franchise. To be fair the 1891 edition should be entitled Bad Base Ball Management 101, the 1892 season should be Bad Base Ball Management 201, with the 1893 the Graduate course.
The Wagnerian business model is made clear to fans in 1893; the Wagners are in business to make money. They are successful at making money by the simple tactic of developing young players and selling them off to the other magnates. This is the beginning of the Wagner Era in Washington. With a city that has the distinction of having some of the worst owners in baseball history the Wagners stand out, towering even above Bob Short.
“Baseball in the District,” is the title we have assigned to our project to document the early history of baseball in Washington DC. This book documents the 1892 season. This book like others in the series is written in chronological narrative, every game is covered. Local papers and sporting publications are used. This is how the players were viewed in their own time. Information about players the reader may not be aware of is referenced. Historical events are presented as they happened. Page count is 230.
Our series about baseball in Washington, “Baseball in the District,” includes the following titles. Most are available as e-books at Barnes & Noble. Hard copy available upon request. Karen and I have been avid baseball fans and enjoy traveling the country taking in ball games at all levels. Comments suggestions, email us at
This book is dedicated to our good friends Dave and Ruth.
The Baseball in the District series
1869 Rise of the Olympics
1877 to 1885 Renaissance
1886 A League City
1887 Trials and Tribulations
1888 The Last Hurrah
1889 Ward Sold
1890 to 1891 The Dark Ages
1892 Enter the Wagners
1893 The Cranks Rebel
1894 A Bad Team
1895 The Agony of Defeat
1896 Scrappy Bill
1897 Tom Brown’s Team
1899 End of an Era
1900 to 1904 An Orphan in an Upstart League
1918 Uncle Sam’s Game
Baseball Memories, Tales and Anecdote’s
The Flynn's have created a valuable resource on the state of major league baseball in Washington prior to the 20th century. If you don't believe that history repeats itself, guess again. The Wagner Years provide a textbook guide on how not to run a big league team