The NL had the same 8 teams in 1884. Providence won the pennant with an all-time classic performance by Charles (Old Hoss) Radbourn. The other four good teams in the league were Boston, Buffalo, New York and Chicago; Philadelphia, Detroit and Cleveland were also-rans. Providence also won the post-season series against AA champions New York by sweeping three games, all won by Radbourn of course.
King Kelly led the league with a .354 average, followed by Jim O'Rourke at .347, Ezra Sutton .346, Cap Anson .335, Dan Brouthers .327, and Deacon White .325. Kelly scored 120 runs, O'Rourke and Joe Hornung 119. Paul Hines had 36 doubles, O'Rourke 33 and Anson 30. Buck Ewing had 20 triples, Brouthers 15. Four Chicago players had at least 20 homers, due to the short porch in left field. Before and after this year, balls hit over it were doubles. So, Ed Williamson had 27 homers which lasted for some time as a record.
Charley Radbourn had 59 wins, more than anyone since, Charlie Buffinton won 48, Pud Galvin 46, Mickey Welch 39, Larry Corcoran 35. Radbourn led with a 1.38 ERA, followed by Charlie Sweeney at 1.55, Pretzels Getzein at 1.95, and Galvin at 1.99. Radbourn completed his Triple Crown with 441 strikeouts, Buffinton had 417, Galvin 369, Mickey Welch 345.
NL Win Shares data, pitching; Charley Radbourn (Providence) 89, Charlie Buffinton (Boston) 62, Pud Galvin (Buffalo) 57, Mickey Welch (New York) 46, Jim Whitney (Boston) and Larry Corcoran (Chicago) 37, Charlie Sweeney (Providence) 32.
Position players; Ezra Sutton (Boston) and Paul Hines (Providence) 28 each, Jim O'Rourke (Buffalo) 25, Roger Connor (New York) 23, Dan Brouthers (Buffalo) 22, Deacon White (Buffalo), King Kelly (Chicago) and Buck Ewing (New York) 21, Hardy Richardson and Jack Rowe (Buffalo), Cap Anson, Fred Pfeffer and Ned Williamson (Chicago) and Jack Manning (Philadelphia) all with 19.
WARP3 leaders, pitchers: Galvin 12.0, Radbourn 9.5, Buffinton 8.4, Corcoran 7.7, Welch 7.0, Whitney 6.0, Sweeney 5.4.
WARP3 leaders, players: Ewing 9.2, Sutton 7.7, Hines 7.6, Williamson 7.2, George Gore (Chicago) 7.1, O'Rourke 7.0, Pfeffer 6.9, Kelly 6.8, Barney Gilligan (Providence) 6.4, Abner Dalrymple (Chicago) 6.3, Brouthers and Rowe 6.1, Richardson 5.1. WS leaders not among WARP leaders are White 4.4, Anson 4.8, Connor 4.3, Manning 2.5.
WAR for pitchers: Radbourn 19.8, Galvin 19.1, Buffinton 15.4, Welch 11.4, Corcoran 8.3, Whitney 7.8, Sweeney 6.5, McCormick 5.8. Position players: Williamson 6.7, Sutton 6.3, Pfeffer 5.9, Brouthers 5.4, Kelly 5.3, Hines 5.2, Anson 5.0, White 4.8, Ewing 4.7.
Best pitcher: Radbourn, pitching every game down the stretch after #2 pitcher Charlie Sweeney jumped to the Union Association, led the league in wins, ERA, strikeouts, and innings. WARP likes Galvin even better, but that's crazy talk. 1884 belonged to the Old Hoss.
#1 Charley Radbourn, #2 Pud Galvin, #3 Charlie Buffinton, #4 Mickey Welch, 5 Larry Corcoran.
Best player: Ezra Sutton, the stellar third baseman from Boston.
#1 Ezra Sutton, #2 Paul Hines, #3 King Kelly, #4 Jim O'Rourke, #5 Dan Brouthers.
Best rookie: No good candidates.
Best manager: Frank Bancroft was Providence's non-playing manager (a rarity) in their pennant year.