A New Champion Emerges
After a couple of coaching changes at Harvard and Fordham, the 1873 season of the Collegiate Baseball Association was underway. Commissioner James Herring moved the start of the season from the middle of March to the beginning of March, and so the season began on March 4th. Yale, Princeton and Lafayette began the season as favorites to win their regions, while Cornell was picked to make it into the postseason as the wildcard.
By the end of the first month of play, the favorites were looking the part. Brown was the surprise team, challenging Yale in the New England Region. Injuries took their toll on a number of players and ended some team’s seasons just as they were beginning. Brown first baseman Nick Swan took home Batter of the Month honors after hitting .417, while Princeton’s junior pitcher, Jon Richmond, was named Pitcher of the Month. Richmond ended the month at 15-3, with a 1.74 earned run average.
When the month of April came to an end, the standings reflected the preseason predictions. Trouble was brewing for Yale, however, as their star pitcher, Kyle “Rebel” Brown, fractured his foot on the 18th and would be out for three weeks. On the bright side, Princeton pitcher Jon Richmond picked up his 100th win on the 23rd in a 7-3 victory over Dartmouth. Columbia junior center fielder Josh Rice was named Batter of the Month after hitting .396 for the month. Lafayette starter, Tom “Acrobat” Drummond, earned Pitcher of the Month honors by posting a record of 13-4, with a 2.01 earned run average.
As the regular season was drawing to a close, Lafayette clinched the Atlantic Region. Princeton followed suit by clinching the Northeast Region. Yale, however, was faltering without their star pitcher and Brown had closed the gap. Yale managed a victory on the last day of the season to win the New England Region, leaving Brown in a tie with Syracuse for the wild card position. Brown routed Syracuse, 15-4, and advanced to the postseason.
In the playoffs, Brown took on Princeton, while Yale traveled to Lafayette. Both series were over in two games, with Brown upsetting the defending champions and Lafayette defeating Yale. Brown traveled to Lafayette for the Collegiate Championship Series and the teams split the first two games, with Lafayette winning Game 1 and Brown taking Game 2. This was the headline the day following Game 3.
And with that, the 1873 season came to a close. There were no noteworthy historical players signed by the collegiate teams, but Commissioner James Herring’s oldest son, Ephraim, did sign with Rutgers to play second base for the Scarlet Knights.