Thursday, December 27, 2007
The Brooklyn baseball club that eventually became the NL Dodgers was established in 1883, and the team joined the upstart American Association the following year. Originally the Brooklyn team was known as the "Atlantics" (a reference to the earlier National Association team), and later as the "Grays." After several of the team's players were married in succession in 1888, the press began referring to the team as the "Brooklyn Bridegrooms." The Bridegrooms won the AA pennant in 1889. Upon switching to the National League in 1890, the franchise became the first of only three major league sports teams, and the only major league baseball team, to win championships in different leagues in consecutive years. (The other two sports teams to win consecutive championships in different leagues were the 1948-1949 Minneapolis Lakers and the 1949-1950 Cleveland Browns.) Eight years passed before any more success followed. Because of joint ownership between the two clubs, several Hall of Fame players were sold to Brooklyn by the soon-to-be-defunct Baltimore Orioles, along with their manager, Ned Hanlon. This catapulted Brooklyn to instant contention, and "Brooklyn Superbas" (as the team was known in the late 1890s because the manager shared a surname with "Hanlon's Superbas," a popular acrobatic troupe at the time) lived up to their name, winning pennants in 1899 and 1900.