Nashville Blues

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Nashville Blues
Nashville, Tennessee
Previous Class B
Minor league affiliations
Previous leagues
Southern League
Major league affiliations
Previous unaffiliated
Minor league titles
Pennants (0) none
Team data
Nickname Nashville Blues
Colors Light blue & red
Ballpark Athletic Park
Nashville's uniforms consisted of light blue shirts & pants, white belts, red stockings, and red & white caps.[1]

The Nashville Blues were a minor league baseball team of the Class B Southern League in 1887. They were located in Nashville, Tennessee and played home games at Athletic Park.

Team history[edit]

Nashville's first minor league baseball team, the Nashville Americans of the Class B Southern League, did not return to play after the 1886 season.[1] In 1887, the city fielded a team called the Nashville Blues.[2] They joined five other teams in the Southern League: the Charleston Quakers, Memphis Browns, Mobile Swamp Angels, New Orleans Pelicans, and a team from Savannah.[3] Mobile and Savannah would later leave the league during the season and be replaced by the Birmingham Ironmakers.[1] The Blues played their home games at Athletic Park, which would later come to be known as Sulphur Dell. Nashville was managed by player-managers George Bradley, who also played as a third baseman, and Jim Clinton who was a left fielder.[2] Both were major league veterans, having played in the majors for nine and ten years, respectively.

The team's first contest was an pre-season exhibition game against the Syracuse Shamrocks.[1] George Bradley pitched Nashville to an 11–10 win.[4] The Blues later played a three-game exhibition series against the National League's Detroit Wolverines. Detroit defeated the Blues in all three games, 14–4, 8–0, and 12–2.[1] Before the second game of the series against the Wolverines, Southern League president John Morrow visited the Belle Meade Plantation and horse farm in Nashville. He was accompanied by members of the Nashville Blues and visiting members of the press. General William Hicks Jackson, owner of the plantation, entertained the group with a showing of his horses, including the Thoroughbred Iroquois.[1]

At the time, the state of Tennessee had a blue law which banned the playing of baseball on Sundays. After being advised that the law was unconstitutional, the Blues played their first scheduled Sunday game against Savannah. Prior to the contest, a group, including several Nashville ministers, gathered to see that the law was enforced. The game was played without incident, but the Davidson County grand jury later sent indictments to players from both teams who participated in the game and officials of the Nashville Base Ball Association. The charges were later dropped and games continued to be played on Sundays without reprimand.[1]

After the first 19 games, the Blues held a 16–3 (.842) record.[1] Financial problems plagued the team throughout the season. Circumstances were so dire that the team had to sell off players in order to remain solvent. One such player was ace pitcher Al Maul, who held a 9–3 record before having his contract sold to the National League's Philadelphia Quakers.[1]

At one point in the season, Blues' pitcher Larry Corcoran was scheduled to pitch at Nashville's Athletic Park against the Memphis Browns. Before the game, Corcoran was found to be drunk. Memphis' Bob Black allegedly got Corcoran intoxicated so Memphis would win, thus aiding individuals from Memphis who had wagered money against Nashville. Blues manager George Bradly learned of the plan, removed Corcoran from the game, and pitched Nashville to a win himself. Corcoran was later fined, suspended, and sold to the National League's Indianapolis Hoosiers for US$500.[1]

Financial problems continued, eventually forcing Nashville to withdraw from the Southern League on August 8.[5] This caused them to forfeit a $1,000 deposit guaranteeing they would finish the season. It was estimated that the Blues lost as much as $18,000.[6] Their final record was 32–32 (.500).[7]

Nashville went without a professional team for the next five years, until the Nashville Tigers were fielded as a part of the Southern League.[8]

Season results[edit]

Year Wins Losses Win % GB Finish
1887[7] 32 32 .500 NA NA


Pitcher Larry Corcoran had a 2.84 earned run average and 13 strikeouts in 3 games pitched for the Blues.[2]
Al Maul led the Blues in home runs (4) and slugging percentage (.725)[2]

Of the 21 men who played for the Blues, 11 also played for major league teams during their careers.[2]

Name Position(s)[P] Major league experience
Alexander Pitcher
Bradley, GeorgeGeorge Bradley Third baseman St. Louis Brown Stockings (1875–1876)
Chicago White Stockings (1877)
Troy Trojans (1879)
Providence Grays (1880)
Detroit Wolverines (1881)
Cleveland Blues (1881–1883)
Philadelphia Athletics (1883, 1886)
Cincinnati Outlaw Reds (1884)
Baltimore Orioles (1888)
Robert Burks Shortstop
Clark, SpiderSpider Clark Second baseman Washington Nationals (1889)
Buffalo Bisons (1890)
Clinton, JimJim Clinton Left fielder Brooklyn Eckfords (1872)
Elizabeth Resolutes (1873)
Brooklyn Atlantics (1874–1875)
Louisville Grays (1876)
Worcester Ruby Legs (1882)
Baltimore Orioles (1883–1884, 1886)
Cincinnati Red Stockings (1885)
Corcoran, LarryLarry Corcoran Pitcher/Right fielder Chicago White Stockings (1880–1885)
New York Giants (1885–1886)
Washington Senators (1886)
Indianapolis Hoosiers (1887)
Michael Firle First baseman
Ford, TomTom Ford Center fielder/Right fielder Columbus Solons (1890)
Brooklyn Gladiators (1890)
Albert Gibson Pitcher/Left fielder
Robert Greene Shortstop
Hayes, JackieJackie Hayes Second baseman Worcester Ruby Legs (1882)
Pittsburgh Alleghenys (1883–1884)
Brooklyn Atlantics/Grays (1884–1885)
Washington Nationals (1886)
Baltimore Orioles (1887)
Brooklyn Ward's Wonders (1890)
Hogan, MortimerMortimer Hogan Right fielder Milwaukee Brewers (1884)
New York Metropolitans (1887)
Cleveland Blues (1888)
Patrick Kelly Pitcher
Bud Manion Second baseman
Joseph Masran Pitcher/Left fielder
Matthias, SteveSteve Matthias Second baseman Chicago Browns/Pittsburgh Stogies (1884)
Maul, AlAl Maul Right fielder/Pitcher Philadelphia Keystones (1884)
Philadelphia Quakers/Phillies (1887, 1900)
Pittsburg Alleghenys/Pirates (1888–1889, 1891)
Pittsburgh Burghers (1890)
Washington Senators (1893–1897)
Baltimore Orioles (1897–1898)
Brooklyn Superbas (1899)
New York Giants (1901)
Mountjoy, BillBill Mountjoy Pitcher/Right fielder Cincinnati Red Stockings (1883–1885)
Baltimore Orioles (1885)
Frank Nicholas Catcher
Reeder, IcicleIcicle Reeder Center fielder Cincinnati Red Stockings (1884)
Washington Nationals (1884)
Smith Pitcher/Center fielder


  • P Players are listed at a position if they appeared in 30% of their games or more during their Tigers career, as defined by


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Traughber, Bill (April 26, 2010). "Looking Back: The 1887 Nashville Blues". Nashville Sounds. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "1887 Nashville Blues Statistics". Retrieved January 29, 2015. 
  3. ^ "1887 Southern League Statistics". Retrieved January 29, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Nashville Baseball Timeline". Sulphur Dell. Retrieved October 5, 2008. 
  5. ^ "The Pulaski Citizen". The Pulaski Citizen. Pulaski, Tennessee. August 11, 1887. p. 2. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Milan Exchange". The Milan Exchange. Milan, Tennessee. August 13, 1887. p. 4. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Timeline" (PDF). Southern Association Baseball. Retrieved January 31, 2015. 
  8. ^ "1893 Southern Association Statistics". Retrieved January 29, 2015.