After the good year of 1888 the Oriole fans had to be excited. Hopes of a pennant had to be rampant, yet the Orioles who had a good year must have proved disappointing to their hopeful fans. Billy Barnie led the Orioles to a 70-65 .519 -22 5th place finish. The Orioles did provide baseball with a first however. The batting title this year when to their 1b Tommy Tucker. Tommy Tucker was the first switchitter to ever win a batting title in the majors. The next switchhitter to win the batting title was in 1956. Tucker hit .372 and led the team with 5 homers, 99 RBIs , Stolen Bases with 63 and a SA of .484. Mike Griffin in CF led the team with 152 Runs. The Orioles as a team hit .254. The pitching was led by Matt Kilroy again who went 29-25 with a 2.85 ERA. His 55 Complete Games led the American Association. Kilroy led the team with 217 Ks, 480.2 IP and 5 Shutouts which tied him with Frank Foreman for the team lead. Their combined 10 shutouts led the AA for the 1889 season. While not winning the pennant, the Orioles still had a decent season and there was hope for the next year. There record against the other AA teams were as follows: Brooklyn 8-12, St. Louis 7-12, Philadelphia 8-11, Cincinnati 8-11, Columbus 12-8, Kansas City 11-7 and Louisville 16-4.
The 1890 season dawned with the great players' revolt underway. The players founded and owned their own league, the Players League. This greatly weakened many clubs and in some cities there were three teams. Almost everyone lost money this year which eventually led to not only the PL collapsing, but also the AA going out of business, leaving the NL the only league in operation. But, for 1890 there were three leagues. How did the Orioles do? Well, Matt Kilroy, Tommy Tucker and Frank Foreman jumped to the PL. The AA had a power struggle over who was to be President of the AA and the Orioles withdrew from Association. They joined the Atlantic Association and romped to a 77-24 record till August 27th when they rejoined the American Association and finished the year under Manager Billy Barnie at 15-19 .441 -30.5 in 6th place. The one big event for the Orioles this year was the arrival of pitcher Sadie McMahon who was the first member of the famous Orioles to arrive. 1891 was to prove to be the turning point for the Orioles... but more about that next time. :)