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Monday, April 26, 1886 – Hartford Stags cut day

P.T. Barnum, thrilled by his championship, will most certainly be back as the owner of the club. Head coach Caspar Alva was given a $5,000 pay raise and brought back for another year. The team of course has one open spot on their roster due to the recent passing of Oscar MacLean. This affords them the unique distinction that they have an open two year contract. They offered it to Second Option John Mills who accepted. Their other free agent Ernest Browning was not offered a new contract but released to free agency. The Frederick Burke who last season played in the Cleanup spot was moved to the Third Option spot after the team reached out two Frederick Harris of the New Orleans Buccaneers and David Delius of the New York Dutchmen, both of whom are free agents. Verbally both have given their commitment to the Stags. Of course these verbal commitments are none-binding however.

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Tuesday, April 27, 1886 – New York Dutchmen cut day

Nothing changes with the ownership but other changes are going to happen. First the team officially announces that they will be moving to Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, they will have a new logo, and perhaps biggest of all due to pressure from the three minority owners John Root will not be back as the head coach. The team is said to be eyeing John Vanderbilt, currently of the Rhode Island Quakers, as their new coach. When it comes to free agent the team had to negotiate with David Delius and Eliezer Zille. Delius who is a native of Hartford, Connecticut decided to sever his ties with the Dutchmen and move on. The Dutchmen therefore decide to mitigate damage done to their club by signing Eliezer Zille to a new three year contract but at only $3,000 a year.

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Wednesday, April 28, 1886 – Detroit Archers cut day

James Anthony Bailey remains the team’s owner. David Small is back as the teams coach but with a slight pay raise. Both of their free agents however were let go; Second Option Dave Brown and Third Option Vernon Black.

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Thursday, April 29, 1886 – Rhode Island Quakers cut day

Big changes coming about for this once dominating team. First of all their owner Alva Vanderbilt announced today that she has sold the team to her business associate Richard Morris Hunt. She will be sticking with the league however as she moves over to become the new majority owner of the New Orleans Buccaneers which will are owned by her childhood friend. Second came news that their stadium, Messer Street Grounds, will be closing so the team will have to find a new home. This issue is still not resolved. Then as the new owner went into negotiations with his coach and free agents he was immediately broadsided. Coach John Vanderbilt informed Hunt that he would be leaving the team. Vanderbilt has signed a tentative agreement to become the head coach of the New York Dutchmen. Interestingly Hunt turned around and signed former Dutchmen coach John Root to a similar tentative agreement. The good news was that the team’s strongest rider Angelo Koller was willing to resign with the club and with his advice the team cut Third Option Karl Blaine in hopes that they can perhaps acquire something better in Race Wars.

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Friday, April 30, 1886 – New Orleans Buccaneers cut day

Changes coming to the ownership arrangement with this team. Former 90% owner George Montagu is retiring from ownership of a team in this league. He sold 80% to the team’s new majority owner, former Rhode Island Quakers owner Alva Vanderbilt. His remaining 10% he sold to his wife who already owned 10% of the team. So she now owns 20% of the team. The team just went through the worst season they have ever had. They retained however Coach Robert Harcourt who was in his first year as head coach. However both of their free agents, their two best riders, parted ways with the team to enter free agency. Both of them have already signed tentative agreements with other teams; Frederick Harris with the Hartford Stags and Frank Rich with the Boston Rustlers.

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Saturday, May 1, 1886 – Boston Rustlers cut day

The first thing to be taken care of was the announcement of who is the team’s new owner. P.T. Barnum, owner of the Hartford Stags, was on hand to make introduce his friend Moses Kimball as the owner of the Boston Rustlers. For the move the team will retain Head Coach Stewart Cavendish and in fact they gave him a raise due to the hardship he has had to endure for the last couple years. The team released both of their free agents; Franklin Claiborne and Robert Parnell.

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Sunday, May 2 – Sunday, May 9, 1886 – Coach Week

Coach Week is a bore. The first day being a Sunday, as is customary, no teams negotiated but on the second day both teams with open coaching jobs filled those jobs. The New York Dutchmen wasted no time in signing John Vanderbilt and the Rhode Island Quakers in turn signed John Root. Essentially the two teams trade coaches.

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Monday, May 10, 1886 – Boston Rustlers signing day

The Boston Rustlers sign Frank Rich to their Middle position for $5,000 a year.

Tuesday, May 11, 1886 – New Orleans Buccaneers signing day

The Buccaneers opt not to sign any free agents but rather go make two selections at Race Wars.

Wednesday, May 12, 1886 – Rhode Island Quakers signing day

The Rhode Island Quakers opt not to sign any free agents. They have one open spot and will fill it at Race Wars.

Thursday, May 13, 1886 – Detroit Archers singing day

The Detroit Archers are another team that opts not to sign any free agents. With two open rosters spots they will fill them both at Race Wars.

Friday, May 14, 1886 – New York Dutchmen singing day

The Dutchmen sign Franklin Claiborne who had previously played for them back in 1883. He will make $4,000 a year and will fill the Second Option position.

Saturday, May 15, 1886 – Hartford Stags signing day

The Stags sign Frederick Harris, formerly of the New Orleans Buccaneers, as their Cleanup. They will pay him $6,000 a year.

Sunday, May 16 – Sunday, May 23, 1886 – last call for free agents

On Monday, May 17 the Stags sign David Delius formerly of the New York Dutchmen, as their Middle. He will earn $6,000 a year.

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Race Wars pick order

Pick 1 – Boston Rustlers

Pick 2 – New Orleans Buccaneers

Pick 3 – Rhode Island Quakers

Pick 4 – Detroit Archers

Pick 5 – New Orleans Buccaneers

Pick 6 – Detroit Archers

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Race Wars 5 logo in Boston released


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Title Match 5 logo


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Monday, July 5, 1886

League President William Kissam Vanderbilt holds a big news conference to make several announcements.

First the Rhode Island Quakers will play this year at a temporary home of Harris Warehouse in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. The set up will only have room for 500 fans.

Second the league will for the first time this year give an award to the most valuable player for the year. In honor of the fact that his previous season should have earned him such an award the trophy will be named the David Wharton Trophy. The award will be presented by the league and the league president makes the final decision as to who it will go to. The award will be presented annually.

Third the schedule was released:

January 7-8, 1887

Race Wars 5 at South End Grounds in Boston, Massachusetts

Jan 15, 1887

Stags @ Dutchmen

Quakers @ Buccaneers

Archers @ Rustlers

Jan 22

Dutchmen @ Archers

Buccaneers @ Rustlers

Stags @ Quakers

Jan 29

Archers @ Stags

Rustlers @ Quakers

Dutchmen @ Buccaneers

Feb 5

Stags @ Buccaneers

Dutchmen @ Rustlers

Archers @ Quakers

Feb 12

Rustlers @ Stags

Quakes @ Dutchmen

Buccaneers @ Archers

Feb 19

Dutchmen @ Stags

Buccaneers @ Quakers

Rustlers @ Archers

Feb 26

Archers @ Dutchmen

Rustlers @ Buccaneers

Quakers @ Stags

Mar 5

Stags @ Archers

Quakers @ Rustlers

Buccaneers @ Dutchmen

Mar 12

Buccaneers @ Stags

Rustlers @ Dutchmen

Quakers @ Archers

Mar 19

Stags @ Rustlers

Dutchmen @ Quakers

Archers @ Buccaneers

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