The 1883 edition of the AA featured a new New York team as well as one in Columbus, as the loop expanded to eight teams from six. Philadelphia and St. Louis battled to the wire, the A's winning by a game, with Cincinnati close behind. New York and Louisville weren't far back, while Columbus, Pittsburgh and Baltimore were doormats. Tim Keefe moved from Troy of the NL to New York of the AA, the first real talent to move in that direction.
Ed Swartwood won the batting title with a .357 average, followed by Pete Browning at .338. Jim Clinton hit .313, John Reilly .311, Mike Moynahan .310, Candy Nelson .305, and Harry Stovey .304. Stovey scored 110 runs and Reilly 103 as team schedules neared 100 games. Charley Jones had 80 RBI, Reilly 79.
Will White led in wins again with 43, followed by Tim Keefe with 41. Tony Mullane had 35 and Bobby Mathews 30, then came Guy Hecker and Jumbo McGinnis with 28. White led with a 2.09 ERA and Mullane was second at 2.19. Keefe nearly lapped the field with 359 strikeouts, second was Mathews with 203.
AA Win Shares, pitchers; Tim Keefe (New York) 70, Tony Mullane (St. Louis) 55, Will White (Cincinnati) 51, Jumbo McGinnis (St. Louis) 42, Guy Hecker (Louisville) 36, Bobby Mathews (Philadelphia) 30.
Position players; Harry Stovey (Philadelphia) 25, Mike Moynahan (Philadelphia) 24, George Bradley (Philadelphia--sensing a trend?) 22, Pete Browning (Louisville) 20, Jack O'Brien (Philadelphia) and Ed Swartwood (Pittsburgh) 19, Charley Jones and John Reilly (Cincinnati) and Fred Corey (Philadelphia) 18, Hick Carpenter (Cincinnati) and Bill Gleason (St. Louis) 16. Bradley got all those Win Shares for a .234 average, but also as the team's #2 pitcher when not playing 3B.
WARP3 scores: Keefe 8.0 (best year), Mullane 0.4, White 4.0, McGinnis -0.7, Hecker -0.6, Mathews 0.5; not in the top WS group is Bob Emslie of Baltimore with a 3.7; position players, Stovey 2.9, Moynahan 3.2 (only full season), Bradley 1.3, Browning 3.4, O'Brien 3.0, Swartwood 3.4, Jones 5.2, Reilly 3.0, Corey -2.2, Carpenter 4.1, Gleason 4.0. Other high scores not among the WS leaders are Candy Nelson of New York at 4.4, Pop Snyder of Cincinnati and Hugh Nicol of St. Louis at 4.0, Bid McPhee of Cincinnati at 3.8, Bill Holbert of New York at 3.7, and John Richmond of Columbus at 3.5.
WAR for pitchers: Keefe 16.6, White 10.9, Mullane 7.6, McGinnis 7.2, Mathews 6.0. Position players: Stovey 3.6, Reilly 3.1, Nelson and Swartwood 3.0, Richmond 2.9, Browning 2.8, Gleason and Carpenter 2.7, Jones 2.6.
Top pitcher was easily Tim Keefe. 5th in ERA, 2nd in wins, led in WHIP, innings, and strikeouts, propping up a mediocre New York team. After being a good but not exceptional NL pitcher, his work in the AA helped establish it as the "lesser" league.
#1 Tim Keefe, #2 Will White, #3 Tony Mullane, #4 Jumbo McGinnis, #5 Bobby Mathews.
Top player: Harry Stovey. Swartwood was the best hitter, but no defensive player. Stovey could go both ways, and was right with the hitting leaders, first in slugging, runs, doubles, homers, and extra-base hits.
#1 Harry Stovey, #2 Pete Browning, #3 Ed Swartwood, #4 John Reilly, #5 Charley Jones.
No good candidates for top rookie.
Top manager: Lon Knight, leading Philadelphia to a close pennant victory while playing right field. One of only two "captain" seasons for the veteran Knight.