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1887 World Series

The 1887 World Series was won by the Detroit Wolverines of the National League, over the St. Louis Browns of the American Association, 10 games to 5. It was played between October 10 and 26, and played in numerous neutral cities, as well as in Detroit and St. Louis. Detroit clinched the series in game 11.

This Series was part of the pre-modern World Series, an annual competition between the champion of the National League and the champion of the American Association.

The Wolverines, who had been in the League since 1881, had spent a significant sum of money to bring star players to Detroit for the 1887, and the investment paid off with a championship, but not in money. Detroit was not yet the Motor City, and was not ready to support major league baseball. The 1887 champions folded after the 1888 season.

World Championship Summary

Lady Baldwin
Larry Twitchell

The Detroit Wolverines defeated the St. Louis Browns in the 1887 World Series, 10 games to 5.

After the Wolverines won the National League pennant, owner Fred Stearns challenged the American Association champion St. Louis Browns. The Wolverines and the Browns would play "a series of contests for supremacy" of the baseball world. This early "world series" consisted of fifteen games – played in Pittsburgh, Brooklyn, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, Baltimore and Chicago, as well as Detroit and St. Louis. The Wolverines claimed their eighth victory – and thus the championship – in the eleventh game.

  • October 9: The St. Louis Browns ended their season with a 95–40 record‚ a win total that was not exceeded until the adoption of the 154-game schedule.
  • October 10: The World Series opened in St. Louis with the Browns beating Detroit 6–1. St. Louis pitcher Bob Caruthers held the Wolverines to five hits and had three hits himself.
  • October 11: In Game 2, the Wolverines scored five unearned runs to defeat the Browns, 5–3.
  • October 12: In Game 3, Detroit won at home, 2–1, in 13 innings. St. Louis batters had 13 hits against Charlie Getzien‚ but scored only once. Bob Caruthers held the Wolverines to six hits, but the Wolverines scored twice.
  • October 13: In Game 4, the World Series began its tour of other cities with a game in Pittsburgh. Detroit won, 8–0, behind the two-hit pitching of Lady Baldwin.
  • October 15: In Game 5, the Browns beat the Wolverines in Brooklyn, 5–2.
  • October 16: In Game 6, played in New York, Detroit beat St. Louis, 9–0. Charlie Getzien took a no-hitter (not counting walks) into the ninth inning but settled for a three-hit game. Charlie Ganzel‚ playing first base in place of the injured Dan Brouthers‚ led Detroit with four hits. Brouthers was out for the series with a sprained ankle.
  • October 17: Detroit won Game 7, by a score of 3–1, in Phillies’ Park.
  • October 18: In Game 8, Detroit beat the Browns, 9–2, at old Dartmouth Street Grounds in Boston, as Big Sam Thompson hit two home runs.
  • October 19: Detroit won Game 9 by a score of 4–2 at Athletics’ Park and extended its lead in the World Series to seven games to two.
  • October 21: After a rainout the day before, Detroit and St. Louis played two games in two cities on the same day. In the morning game in Washington, the Browns pull off a triple play in an 11–4 victory over Detroit. In Game 11, played in the afternoon at Baltimore, Detroit clinched the championship with its eighth victory, 13–3.
  • October 26: The World Series ended with a final game back in St. Louis. St. Louis won the final game but lost the series‚ 10 games to 5. Sam Thompson led all hitters in the series with a .362 average.


  • Baseball Library chronology for 1887
  • Glory Fades Away: The Nineteenth-Century World Series Rediscovered, by Jerry Lansche, Taylor Publishing, Dallas, Texas, 1991: pp. 95–125.

See also

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