New York Mutuals

The Mutual Base Ball Club of New York was a leading American baseball club almost throughout its 20-year history. It was established during 1857, the year of the first baseball convention, just too late to be a founding member of the National Association of Base Ball Players. It was a charter member of both the first professional league in 1871 and the National League in 1876.

Picture of an unidentified New York Mutual player
Mutual Base Ball Club of New York
(New York Mutuals)
LocationHoboken, New Jersey (1857–1867)
Brooklyn, New York (1868–1876)
Year founded1857
Year folded1876
League championships
  • National League pennants: 0
  • National Association pennants: 0
  • National Association (amateur) pennants: 2 (1858, 1868)
ColorsNavy, white
OwnershipBill Cammeyer (1868–1876)
  • Bill Cammeyer (1876)
  • Dick Higham & Tom Carey (1874–1875)
  • Joe Start (1873)
  • John Hatfield (1872–1873)
  • Dickey Pearce (1872)
  • Bob Ferguson (1871)

The team was initially formed from firefighters of New York's Mutual Hook and Ladder Company Number One. Boss Tweed operated the team until his arrest in 1871.[1]

The Mutual club initially played its home games at Elysian Fields in Hoboken, with the New York Knickerbockers and many other Manhattan clubs, but moved to the enclosed Union Grounds in Brooklyn in 1868. Though historically identified as "New York", they never staged any home games in Manhattan.

The Mutuals chose open professionalism in 1869–70 after NABBP liberalization. They joined the first professional league, the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, for its 1871 to 1875 duration. In 1876, the Chicago White Stockings initiated the National League and recruited its members from West to East, partly to wrest control of professional baseball from Eastern interests. The Mutuals were one of eight charter members, six of whom were from the National Association. Weak (sixth place at 21–35) and cash-poor, the club refused to complete its playing obligations in the West; and was expelled.[2]

On May 13, 1876, the Mutuals executed the first triple play in major-league history in a game against the Hartford Dark Blues.

Union Grounds proprietor William Cammeyer, often listed today as the Mutual club owner, signed the Hartford Dark Blues to play at his Union Grounds in 1877. The team was effectively a one-year replacement for the defunct Mutuals, and was sometimes called "Hartford of Brooklyn".


1870 New York Mutuals team photograph
YearWonLostTiedGamesRank in games (or in wins)
1858111122 (1st in wins)
186182102 (tie 1st in wins)
186285132 (2nd in wins)
1863104141 (tie 1st in wins)
1864213241 (1st in wins)
1865124165 (tie 4th in wins)
18661021215 (tie 5th in wins)
18672361304 (4th in wins)
18683110415 (5th in wins)
18693716533 (5th in wins)
187068173881 (1st in wins)
Championship matches with professional teams, 1869–1870
18691115261 (5th in wins)
187029153471 (1st in wins)
League record
18711617331 (4th place)
187234202562 (3rd place)
18732924534 (4th place)
18744223652 (2nd place)
187530383714 (7th place)
187621351578 (6th place)

Source for season records: Rio (2008).

Franchise leaders



  • WinsBobby Mathews (100)
  • ERA – Bobby Mathews (2.41)
  • Strikeouts – Bobby Mathews (95)
  • Innings – Bobby Mathews (1,64723)

Notable alumni

  • Lip Pike, major league baseball 4× home run champion
  • Rynie Wolters, first Dutch professional baseball player

Baseball Hall of Famers

New York Mutuals Hall of Famers
Inductee Position Tenure Inducted
Candy CummingsP18721939

See also

  • New York Mutuals all-time roster
  • 1871 New York Mutuals season
  • 1872 New York Mutuals season
  • 1873 New York Mutuals season
  • 1874 New York Mutuals season
  • 1875 New York Mutuals season
  • 1876 New York Mutuals season


  1. Purdy, Dennis (23 February 2010). Kiss 'Em Goodbye: An ESPN Treasury of Failed, Forgotten, and Departed Teams. Random House Publishing Group. p. 215. ISBN 978-0-345-52047-0. Retrieved 5 July 2022.
  2. Baseball history- Retrieved 2012-01-08

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