Toronto Canucks

From BR Bullpen

The Toronto Canucks joined the former New York State League in 1886; as the Hamilton Clippers joined as well, the league was renamed the International League. Toronto, managed by backup catcher John Humphries, finished third at 53-41 in the first season in IL history. OF Jon Morrison led the league in average (.346), runs (108) and hits (141). Daisy Davis (16-7, 1.59, 39 BB in 204 IP) led the IL in winning percentage, while Peek-A-Boo Veach (20-19, 1.73) completed all 40 of his starts.

The old ballfield at Hanlan's Point.

Toronto won the second IL pennant with a 65-36 season under new manager Charlie Cushman. Cannonball Crane had an amazing two-way season; he was 33-13, 2.49 on the mound, either tying George Stovey for the league lead or second to Stovey (depending on your source). He also won the batting title (.428), slugging .598 and playing 35 games in the outfield in addition to his 47 as a pitcher (throwing 510 innings). OF Mike Slattery (.352) led the IL in runs (134 in 100 games), doubles (31) and steals (112, a league record still unbroken).

Cushman's club slipped to second in 1888 behind the Syracuse Stars. The league was renamed the International Association and Toronto went 75-35, 5 and a half games off the pace. Al Atkinson (1.36) led the league in strikeouts (307) and OF Eddie Burke (.237) stole 107 bases in 111 games.

The Canucks of Cushman fell to fifth in 1889 with a 56-55 campaign. Burke (.315, 102 R) again led the association, this time with 97 stolen bases and outfield mate Buster Hoover (.333, 72 SB, 114 R) led the IA with 10 homers. Tom Vickery (20-22, 2.39) led in both walks (171) and K's (194) while Cannonball Titcomb (14-13, 1.29) led the IA in ERA.

Toronto was in third place when the IA folded on July 7; they were 30-20 and one game behind the Detroit Wolverines. They were managed by Chub Collins that year.

The Canucks returned in 1895, though the league now had another name, the Eastern League. Under Charles Maddock and Jack Chapman, they finished last at 43-76. 3B Jud Smith was originally credited with the batting title, though this was proven incorrect by later research. He did it .355 with 114 runs, 12 triples and an EL-high 14 homers, more than the entire Scranton Coal Heavers team. Crane returned but was just 7-18 even though his 2.40 ERA was the best of their main pitchers. Chummy Gray (15-27, 3.00) led the EL in losses.

In 1896, the team was renamed the Toronto Maple Leafs, a name that would hold for decades.

Source: The International League: Year-by-Year Statistics by Marshall Wright

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1886 53-41 3rd John Humphries
1887 65-36 1st Charlie Cushman
1888 75-35 2nd Charlie Cushman
1889 56-55 5th Charlie Cushman
1890 30-20 3rd Chub Collins / William Maddick
1895 43-76 8th Charles Maddock
1897 NA Charles Maddock Team had a .500 record