"Bridegrooms” was a 19th-century nickname of the Brooklyn club that later became the Brooklyn Dodgers, now the Los Angeles Dodgers. Several of the team’s players were recently married, and the name “Brooklyn Bridegrooms” appears to have begun in the spring of 1888.
The Brooklyn baseball team which became Dodgers returned afterwards in 1883, and joined the American Association the following year. The “Bridegrooms” won the AA pennant in 1889. Upon switching to the National League in 1890, the franchise became the only one in MLB history to win pennants in different leagues in consecutive years. Eight years passed before any more success followed. Several Hall of Fame players were sold to Brooklyn by the soon-to-be-defunct Baltimore Orioles, along with their manager, Ned Hanlon. This catapulted Brooklyn to instant contention, and “Hanlon’s Superbas” lived up to their name, winning pennants in 1899 and 1900.
Teams of this era played in two principal ballparks, Washington Park and Eastern Park. They first earned the nickname “Trolley Dodgers,” later shortened to Dodgers, while at Eastern Park during the 1890s because of the difficulty fans (and players) had in reaching the ballpark due to the number of trolley lines in the area.
Los Angeles Dodgers
1958 - present
1932 - 1957
1914 - 1931
1911 - 1913
1899 - 1910
1890 - 1898
Brooklyn Bridegrooms (AA)
1889 - 1889
Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers (AA)
1884 - 1888
(The datings of some of these nicknames appear to be incorrect—ed.)
6 April 1888, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, pg. 1:
Eleven of the Brooklyn team are blessed with charming wives and they have something to work for beside their own individual pleasure. Most of these benedicts are yearling bridegrooms. The other five are unlucky, neglected bachelors who are likely to be caught out by some Brooklyn belles this season.
6 May 1888, Washington Post, pg. 2:
“Bernie’s Baltimore Boys Beaten by Byrne’s Brooklyn Bridegrooms” is the way in which a New York contemporary refers to the recent games between the Brooklyn and Baltimore clubs at the City of Churches.
10 June 1888, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, pg. 7:
The Bridegrooms have never yet hit the coveted position and their prospects seem not a bit brighter than they were last year.
20 October 1889, Washington Post, pg. 2:
GOTHAM VS. BROOKLYN
The Giants Turn the Tables Upon
5 January 1890, Boston Daily Globe, pg. 12: