News flash: Ross Barnes was not the dominant player in 1874 NA play. After two years as unquestionably the MVP of the league, Barnes was merely one of the best in this year, finishing 9th in OPS+. Barnes played in only 51 of the team's 71 games, so he was likely hurting during the season.
A more solid league this year, with Boston playing the most games at 71, but the least was a still-solid 47 by last-place Baltimore, which finished at 9-38. Boston checked in at 52-18, with one tie.
Levi Meyerle batted .394, Cal McVey .359, Lip Pike .351. The top six in runs scored all played for Boston, led by McVey at 91. Al Spalding had 52 wins, Bobby Mathews 42, Dick McBride 33, Candy Cummings 28, George Zettlein 27, Tommy Bond 22. McBride had a 1.64 ERA, Mathews 1.90.
WARP3 numbers of the top guys: Cal McVey (Boston) 7.7, George Wright (Boston) and Mike McGeary (Philadelphia Athletics) 4.9, Deacon White (Boston) 4.7, Ross Barnes (Boston) 4.6, Jim O'Rourke (Boston) 4.5, Bill Craver (Philadelphia Whites) 4.4, John McMullin (Philadelphia Athletics) 4.3, Lip Pike (Hartford) and Joe Start (New York) 4.2.
WARP3 of top pitchers: Jack Manning (Baltimore/Hartford) 8.9, Cherokee Fisher (Hartford) 5.7, Al Spalding (Boston) 5.4, Bobby Mathews (New York) 4.8, Candy Cummings (Phil. Whites) 3.9, Dick McBride (Phil. Athletics) 3.6, George Zettlein (Chicago) 2.2.
Non-pitching WAR: McVey 3.1, Wright 2.9, Barnes 2.7, O'Rourke 2.4, Pike 2.3.
Top player: Cal McVey, stepping up with Barnes hurting. One of the deep stable of stars collected by Boston mastermind Harry Wright. #2 George Wright, #3 Lip Pike, #4 Levi Meyerle, #5 Jim O'Rourke.
Top pitcher: Al Spalding again, with an honorable mention to Mathews. #3 Dick McBride, #4 Candy Cummings, #5 Tommy Bond.
Top rookie: Tommy Bond, although he didn't have a real good season. He would have several good ones soon, though.
Top manager: Harry Wright, holding his team together in spite of the star's injury. Of course, you could argue that brother George was the biggest star....