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Historical Hitter June 16, 1892: Hugh Duffy

Hugh Duffy

The Batter of Yesterday was Hall of Famer Hugh Duffy, Sir Hugh Duffy as the Royal Rooters knew him. In 1892 Duffy batted second for the Beaneaters, and statistics show he hit a legitimate .301/ .364/ .410 with an OPS+ of 124;  a worthy average.  Yet, 1892 was the last year of the shorter mound distance of 55’-6.” It was ...

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Historical Hitter June 4th: Heinie Reitz

We celebrate both Country and Player on this day. Oh, Canada John Thorn and Tom Heitz research notes that on June 4, 1838, the first recorded baseball game in Canada was played Near Beachville‚ Ontario‚ residents watch the first recorded game of baseball in Canada. Of course this is quite an issue for the mythical Abner Doubleday for he is ...

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Historical Hitter November 16th 1911: Hans Lobert

International baseball is not a new occurrence, and in the years before the First World War, major league teams played numerous exhibition games overseas. The focus is on Cuba, and the year is 1911, Three major league teams visited the Island Nation in November and December & January 1911-12; the World Champion Philadelphia A’s, their World Series rivals the New ...

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Historical Hitter November 3rd & 4th: Pearl Casey

PCL Baseball Team

As November means the end of the post season, the barnstorming season begins. In 1908 a special all star team, called the Reach All-American Stars began their 90 day journey from the shores of San Francisco to Hawaii, Japan, China, Manila, Hong Kong, and Honolulu before returning to San Francisco in time for Spring Training. It was the third major ...

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Historical Hitter October 29-30: Monte Ward

Monte Ward

With the Giants winning their Eighth World Series Title, or 10 if one includes the two from 1888 &1889, it brings forth the famous last stanza from Casey at the Bat. Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright; The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light, And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children ...

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Historical Hitter October 28th: John Montgomery Ward

John Montgomery Ward

Today was the day Monte Ward joined the Baseball Tourists en-route. Ward had arrived late for his Giants had just gotten done with their successful 1888 World Series in Missouri, playing against the American Association Browns. It was the Tourists second game in Denver, and a day of acclimation did wonders for the players and the game, as Sporting Life ...

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Historical Hitter October 2th 1888: Cap Anson

Cap Anson Swinging

On this day in 1888 The All-American Stars were playing the Chicago National Leaguers on their American wing of their Around the World Tour of 1888-1889. This was Game 8 and was played at River Front Park in Denver Colorado. The score was Chicago 16 – All Americans 12. The Hitting Hero was the mainstay of the Chicago Nationals of ...

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Historical Hitter October 24th 1892: Hugh Duffy


In the age when the Beaneaters were the toast of Boston and kings of baseball, their leader was once derided as being too small to play ball with the comment, “we already have a batboy.” Yet this diminutive player soon became one of the games titans, and set the highest single season batting average, and winning the Triple Crown. As ...

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Historical Hitter October 23rd 1910: Eddie Collins

Eddie Collins

Discovered by Connie Mack from the halls of Columbia University Eddie Collins began his 25 year playing career as Eddie T Sullivan on September 17, 1906 on the south side of Chicago for the grand old Philadelphia Athletic. It was a pseudonym created to protect his amateur status and hid his collegiate status. It was rather common at the time, ...

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Historical Hitter October 19th 1889: Hank O’Day

Hank O'Day

Today the hitting hero is Giants Centerfielder Hank O’Day. Yet it also presents a great discrepancy that needs adjudication. On this day he led his team to a 6-2 victory over the then American Association Brooklyn Bridegrooms. A few years later when the National League absorbed the better American Association teams, the Bridegrooms will become the Dodgers. Thus, this game ...

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Historical Hitter October 18th 1862: Jim Creighton

Jim Creighton

As we know, that baseball was not “invented” but evolved as a game most notably in the baseball incubator of the New York Metropolitan area. While the Giants –Dodgers rivalry commenced with 1889 “World Series” between the National League Champion Giants and the American Association’s Brooklyn Atlantics, won by the Giants 5 games to 3; the baseball rivalry between Brooklyn ...

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Historical Hitter October 8th 1909: Honus Wagner

Honus Wagner Cut Card

This October 8th illustrates the best and worst of the Baseball business.  And it ties together two Hall of Famers; Honus Wagner and Yogi Berra. First is the worst part of the Baseball business, it’s the selling of illegally gained or unethically altered memorabilia at auctions. Some of the more unique items have been stolen from public institutions such as ...

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Historical Hitter October 6 1926: Babe Ruth

Babe Ruth and Little Johnnie

The World Series is the stage that etches great players into the national consciousness. The Babe set the mark for home runs in a World Series game today at three. In fact Ruth did it twice, 1926 and 1928, in the same park, Sportsman’s Park, and of course against the same team, the Cardinals. The first home run occurred in ...

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Historical Hitter October 3 1920: George Sisler

George Sisler3

October 3 has been the date for epic contests between the Giants and Dodgers. While the current teams date from the 1889 World Series, New York and Brooklyn based teams have been playing against each other from the early days of baseball. While they are many more critical games in this rivalry, here are five games played on October 3. ...

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Historical Hitter October 2 1898: Candy La Chance

Candy La Chance

It’s October, which means that it’s the month that belongs to the Yankees.  Baseball history contains more references perhaps to the Yankees on this day than any other team, it’s either the Yankees have just won, or somebody has done a superhuman effort and the Yankees lost. Such superhuman events are Sandy Koufax’s 15 strikeouts in leading the Dodgers to ...

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Historical Hitter September 27: Nap Lajoie

Nap Lajoie Cleveland

In the long history of the game, I know of four people who have teams named for them. Two are indirect, and three more direct. For the indirect names we start in the 1880’s with the National League Gothams being renamed after a rousing victory against the Phillies, and a giant of the times, Roger Conner, a past Batter of ...

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Historical Hitter September 25 1931: Cal McVey

Cal McVey

On this day in 1931, baseball again rose to the occasion and performed a Charity Series in New. Unlike yesterday, in 1931 the Dodgers lost to the Giants. The round-robin playoff among New York City’s three major league teams, to raise money for the unemployed, concludes with Brooklyn losing to both the Giants and the Yankees at the Polo Grounds. ...

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Historical Hitter September 15 1887: Tim Murnane

Tim Murnane

Baseball has been played in Boston since 1871 as a professional sport. On this day in 1887, perhaps the first old-timers game was played in Beantown. With over 2,000 fans present, it’s clear the New Englanders have been baseball mad since the beginning of the sport. While the game was billed as a benefit for Jack Manning the outfielder of ...

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Historical Hitter September 10th-15th: Roger Connor

Roger Connor

Yesterday’s batter Jackie Tavener, while spectacular on September 12, was sadly a tragic figure. So it’s time for a true Baseball Hero. Question: We know that Hank Aaron broke The Babe’s career home run record with number 715 on April 8th 1974, but who did Babe Ruth eclipse? Roger Conner. Who was Roger Connor? He was the 19th Century’s first ...

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Historical Hitter September 2 1890: Harry Bay

Harry Bay

On this day in 1902, the Cleveland Bronchos had no trouble defeating the soon to be defunct Original American League Orioles. With the final score being 23-7, Cleveland knocked out 23 hits and was the beneficiary of 9 Baltimore errors. In the same edition of the Sporting Life Magazine, it was announced that the American League was going to invade ...

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Historical Hitter September 1 1890: Tom Oyster Burns


On this day one of baseball’s most unusual event occurred: a triple header. In the three games for the price of one the Brooklyn Bridegrooms’s swept it from the hapless and mismatched Pittsburgh Alleganys. It was in 1890 and during the height of the Players League attempt, which weakened both leagues. Also good news for Pittsburgh; their team would be ...

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