1887 : Detroit Wolverines Win First Pennant

October 10, 2021 all-day

In 1887 the Detroits — more commonly know as the Detroit Wolverines — captured the only pennant of its eight-year stay in the National League and then went on to play the American Association champion St. Louis Browns in a 15-game, cross-country “world’s series.” The 1887 Detroit-St. Louis series lasted from October 10 through October 26 and dragged on through 11 different parks in 10 cities. The Wolverines won the tournament, 10 games to 5. Only two of the matches were played in Detroit. The popular Wolverines were the toast of Detroit, and for decades to come they were the standard by which professional baseball was judged in this town.

Crowds of up to 9,000 people watched the games. In these pre-automobile days it was a common sight to see the outfield ringed with carriages, horses, and knots of spectators. Any outfielder chasing a ball into that overflow risked crushing a straw boater or sliding on a horse apple. But that was part of the appeal of 19th-century baseball. It was fiercely competitive and quaint at the same time.

Source : Richard Bak, “The 1887 Wolverines were Detroit’s first champs”, Detroit Athletic Co., December 12, 2012.

1887 Detroit Wolverines Season wikipedia entry.

Detroit Wolverines 1887 Season Recap, Baseballpage.com

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