Happy Birthday, Eddie Glenn!

(Revised on November 28, 2020)

“The redeeming feature of the game was the good all around work of Glenn. In addition to his seven put outs, three hits and five runs, he stole three bases.”

“Sioux City, 12; Minneapolis, 8,” Sioux City Journal, July 28, 1890: 2.

Ed GlennEddie Glenn was a fine left fielder who appeared on four different major league rosters during the 1880s, but wasn’t a good enough hitter to make it stick.  Eventually, like many of his era, tuberculosis caught him and took him away far too soon.

Edward C. Glinn was born June 15, 1860 to Peter and Mary Elizabeth (Patman) Glinn in Richmond, Virginia, the last of eleven children born to the brick mason father and very busy mother.

Glinn the person became Glenn the baseball player by 1881, when he first appears in game summary as a catcher for the Virginias, one of the first semi-professional (and later professional) teams out of Richmond.  He continued to play with the Richmond Virginias through 1885 – but for a few months in 1884, Richmond was a major league team.  In the middle of the 1884 season, the Washington team was replaced by Richmond in the American Association, playing 42 league games and winning just twelve.  Richmond was one of four teams removed from the Association in 1885, so it rejoined the Eastern League.  Glenn developed a fine reputation as a person and outfielder and signed to play with the Pittsburg Alleghenies of the American Association, but when he couldn’t keep his batting average over .200 he was allowed to take his chances with Syracuse for a few weeks.  (Baseball-Reference.com thinks it was this Ed Glenn, but I think it might have been a different Glenn who played with a military team in the Finger Lakes region and might have been given a shot.  The Stars got impatient toward the end of the season and turned over the roster in the late summer – someone named Glenn appeared in seven games.)

His rights no longer retained by Pittsburgh, Glenn landed with Charleston in the Southern League where he hit about .370 in 1887, a batting average high enough to get one more shot with big league clubs in 1888.  In August of that year, Kansas City gave Glenn three games in the outfield, released him after a week, and Boston then took him for the rest of the season.  Glenn hit .165 for Boston, confirming that he wasn’t a major league hitter, and Glenn returned to the minors.

He wasn’t done, though.  The player known in baseball circles as “Mouse” took over the left field job for Sioux City in 1889 and was having a fine season until injuries ruined his season.  

“In the last half of the seventh, Sutton opened at bat for the visitors (Milwaukee); he lifted the ball over short left field for which both Glenn and (Robert) Burks started. Both fielders reached the ball, but it was caught by Burks. At the same instant Burks and Glenn came into collision with full force and both went to the ground. Burks was stunned, but revived at once. Glenn was knocked out of consciousness, and after half an hour of effort to restore him by the doctors and his companions he was placed in a hack and driven to the Booge hotel.

“Sioux City, 4; Milwaukee, 6,” Sioux City Journal, July 2, 1889: 3.

Drs. Shallabarger, Brasch and Beggs examined Glenn’s injury, but owing to the trouble being internal it was difficult to arrive at the exact nature and extent of the hurt. They all agree, however, that Glenn will recover, but slowly. There appears to be a temporary displacement of the organs around the heart, and the pleura, or lining of the organs, is torn. A later examination was made and it was found that a cartilage in the vicinity of the heart was broken. This discovery was the most serious one, and it seems to settle Glenn’s career as a ball player the rest of the season.

“Left-Fielder Glenn Hurt,” Sioux City Journal, July 2, 1889: 5.

Glenn actually returned to the field in less than four weeks – stunning really, given that articles written later said he had broken ribs and punctured a lung.  He wasn’t the same player, though.  Batting averages listed in the 1890 and 1891 Spaulding Guides show that he lost more than 50 points in his batting average from 1889 to 1890 and his range was compromised.  Adding insult to injury, Glenn lost a little time to a concussion when he was hit in the head with a pitch in July, 1890.  Sioux City released the veteran outfielder at the end of 1890.

At that point, Glenn returned to his native Richmond (and his wife, the former Margaret E. Dugan) where he had previously worked as a laborer or shoemaker. Unfortunately, he caught tuberculosis sometime in early 1891 – articles alternated between “he’s really sick” and “he’s getting healthy and hopes to play again,” but back in the 1890s tuberculosis usually won.

“Eddie Glenn, the well-known baseballist, who played left field on the famous Virginia nine for several years, has been dangerously ill for some time, but he is now greatly improved and his friends hope that he will speedily recover.

“Glenn has been suffering with consumption for several years and recently had hemorrhages, which came very near causing him to lose his life. He is greatly reduced in flesh, and former acquaintances would hardly know him, though he is able to sit up…

“Glenn was a magnificent fielder in his day, and few quicker or better athletes could be found. Rarely, indeed, did a fly slip his grasp when it came in his direction. He was always exceedingly popular in Richmond, as his manners are very gentlemanly and his demeanor dignified and refined.”

“Eddie Glenn Quite Ill”, Richmond Dispatch, 04 December 1891.

Three months later, on February 10, 1892 – not quite 32 years old – Glenn passed to the next league in RIchmond and is buried in Shockoe Hill Cemetery near his family.  His wife, Maggie, remained a widow until passing away in 1926.

“Eddie Glenn, the well-known baseballist, is dead. He passed away at his residence on West Leigh Street, yesterday morning after a long illness.

“For some months past the health of the deceased had been very bad, but while his friends foresaw his early end, they did not think it would come so soon.

“Glenn first gained his reputation as a baseballist in this city. He played left field on the famous Virginia nine during the existence of this team, and afterwards filled a similar position on the Sioux City club. While on the latter nine he collided with one of the players when running a base and received serious injuries, from which he never recovered. This accident, which affected his lungs, was one of the ultimate causes of his death.

“The deceased, who was quite young, was married. He was very popular, not only with the members of the base-ball fraternity, but also with all who knew him. As a left fielder he was almost without an equal when in good health, and his skill upon the diamond won him quite a reputation in the Eastern League.”

“Death of Eddie Glenn,” Richmond Dispatch, February 11, 1892: 1.


Image of Glenn, uploaded to FindAGrave.com by user Jeffry Burden in 2014 and retrieved on 11/28/2020 

1870, 1880 US Censuses
1881, 1882 Richmond City Directories
VA Death Records

“Base Ball,” Richmond Daily Dispatch, July 6, 1881: 4.

“Base Ball,” Richmond Daily Dispatch, July 6, 1883: 4.

“Diamond Chips,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 21, 1884: 5.

“Briefs and Personals,” Richmond Dispatch, January 31, 1886: 8.

“Gossip in Pittsburg,” Philadelphia Times, October 3, 1886: 11.

“General Base ball News,” Wilkes-Barre Leader, August 12, 1888: 6.

“Base Ball Notes,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 23, 1888: 3.

“Sioux City, 4; Milwaukee, 5,” Sioux City Journal, June 16 1890: 2.

“Base Ball Notes,” Sioux City Journal, July 27 1890: 3.

“Base Ball Notes,” Pittsburgh Post, March 11, 1891: 6.

“Scraps of Sport,” Sioux City Journal, May 3, 1891: 2.

“Scraps of Sport,” Sioux City Journal, May 10, 1891: 3.

“Base Ball Notes,” Sioux City Journal, August 2, 1891: 2.

“Collision on the Field,” Pittsburgh Post, February 13, 1892: 6

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