Most stars went to the new Players' League, created in protest by the stars over conditions in the NL and to a lesser extent, the AA. Cap Anson was a notable exception. It was a year of labor war, and fans stayed away from the ballparks in droves, bankrupting to PL and soon the AA as well. By 1892, only the National League would be left standing. Brooklyn and Cincinnati jumped to the NL from the AA, and Indianapolis and Washington were dropped. Brooklyn won the pennant with a roster mostly intact from the year before, comfortably ahead of Chicago, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Boston. New York was fair, Cleveland was bad, and Pittsburgh was terrible, finishing 23-113.
Jack Glasscock won the batting title with a .336 average. Following were Billy Hamilton at .325, Jack Clements at .315, Sam Thompson at .313, Cap Anson and Joseph Knight at .312, and Jesse Burkett and George Pinkney at .309. Hub Collins scored 148 runs, Cliff Carroll 134, Hamilton 133 and Mike Tiernan 132. Thompson and Glasscock had 172 hits each. Thompson led with 41 doubles. John Reilly had 26 triples and Bid McPhee 22 while Tiernan had 21. Tiernan, Walt Wilmot, and Oyster Burns had 13 home runs. Burns had 128 RBI, Anson 107 and Thompson 102. Hamilton led the way with 102 steals, Collins had 85 and Billy Sunday 84.
Bill Hutchinson led the loop with 41 wins. Kid Gleason won 38, Tom Lovett 30, and Amos Rusie won 29 at age 19. Billy Rhines won 28 at age 21 and Kid Nichols 27 at age 20. The veterans were in the Players' League, so the teams had to find some new, mostly young, pitchers. Rhines had a 1.95 ERA, Nichols 2.23, Tony Mullane 2.24. Rusie was on top with 341 strikeouts, Hutchinson had 289.
Win Shares leaders, NL Pitchers; Bill Hutchinson (Chicago) 54, Kid Gleason (Philadelphia) 45, Kid Nichols (Boston) 43, Adonis Terry (Brooklyn) and Billy Rhines (Cincinnati) 41, Amos Rusie (New York) 40, John Clarkson (Boston) 33, Bob Caruthers (Brooklyn) 30, Charlie Getzien (Boston) and Tom Lovett (Brooklyn) 29.
NL Position players; George Pinkney (Brooklyn) 29, Hub Collins (Brooklyn) 28, Dave Foutz (Brooklyn, playing 1B) 27, Walt Wilmot (Chicago) and Mike Tiernan (New York) 26, Jack Glasscock (New York) and Billy Hamilton (Philadelphia) 25, Cap Anson (Chicago) 24, Jimmy Cooney (Chicago) 22, Oyster Burns (Brooklyn), Bid McPhee (Cincinnati), Ed McKean (Cleveland) and Bob Allen (Philadelphia) 21.
WARP3 scores: Gleason 7.0, Nichols 6.9 (rookie), Rusie 6.6, Rhines 6.4 (rookie), Tony Mullane (Cincinnati) 5.1, Hutchinson 4.9, Clarkson 4.6, Terry 3.3, Mickey Welch (New York) 3.1, Caruthers and Lovett 3.0. Not a leader was Getzien 2.1 (last good year).
Players, Collins 7.3, Glasscock 6.9, Pinkney 6.6, Tiernan 6.4, Cooney (rookie) and McPhee 6.3, Jack Clements (Philadelphia) 5.9, Wilmot 5.4, Tom Burns (Chicago) 5.3, Chief Zimmer (Cleveland) 4.8, Foutz and Charlie Bennett (Boston) 4.7, Anson 4.5. WS leaders not among WARP leaders were Hamilton 4.0, Burns 4.0, McKean 3.8, Allen 4.4 (rookie). A big year for rookies and other young players, with so many holes to fill.
WAR leaders, pitchers: Nichols 11.2, Gleason 10.4, Rhines 9.9, Hutchinson 8.6, Clarkson 7.8, Rusie 7.3. Position players, Glasscock 6.7, Collins 5.9, Pinkney 5.3, Anson 5.0, Cooney 4.8, McPhee and Hamilton 4.6, Tiernan 4.4.
Top pitcher: Rookie Billy Rhines, ERA and WHIP leader. Rhines made an impressive debut.
#1 Billy Rhines, #2 Kid Nichols, #3 Amos Rusie, #4 Kid Gleason, #5 Bill Hutchinson.
New York shortstop Pebbly Jack Glasscock was the best in the year of the decimated NL.
#1 Jack Glasscock, #2 Hub Collins, #3 George Pinkney, #4 Mike Tiernan, #5 Cap Anson.
Top rookie: Billy Rhines, league ERA leader. Rhines also led in WHIP and was 5th in wins.
Top manager: Bill McGunnigle, holding together Brooklyn as they changed leagues and winning another pennant.