New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Jim Mutrie

Jim Mutrie (Baseball. Born, Chelsea, MA, June 13, 1851; died, New York, NY, Jan. 24, 1938.) James J. Mutrie came to New York with the idea of starting a high-level professional baseball club. In the event, he started two. When Mutrie arrived in 1880, the city lacked a big league-quality team since the Mutuals had been expelled from the N.L. after the 1876 season for failure to complete their schedule. Finding a willing backer in John B. Day, Mutrie formed a team he called the Metropolitans composed of the best local talent. He found a place to play in the newly-opened Polo Grounds at 110th Street and Fifth Avenue. The Mets played 151 games in 1881 against ranking semipro teams and many N.L. clubs looking for a good New York payday on the road (especially while going between Boston and the West). In 1883, the Mets moved into the American Association, then the N.L.’s rival. Day also bought out Troy, N.Y., to get an N.L. franchise for New York the same year. Mutrie managed the Mets to the A.A. pennant in 1884 and took them into the first authorized World Series (which they lost to Providence in three straight games at the Polo Grounds). Mutrie then switched to the N.L. club, where he managed for seven years, winning pennants in 1888 and 1889 as well as the World Series both years. In nine seasons, Mutrie was 658-419, a .611 percentage that is the second-highest ever. He is also credited with giving the Giants their nickname by calling his players “my big fellows, my giants.”

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The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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About Bill Shannon

A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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