Baseball History for December 31st

<— DEC 30     JAN 01 —>


1842 Tom Berry

Civil War veteran who played professionally in Philadelphia after the war but gets in your encyclopedia for playing six innings of one game for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1871.

1852 Alfred Metcalfe

Alfred Metcalfe.pngAlfred Tristram Metcalfe played eight games with the New York Mutuals of the National Association in 1875.  The photo shown here is cropped from one uploaded to by a member (name not visible to me) and is also an image found on

Metcalfe was the third child of Tristram and Elizabeth Mary Pearkes – a couple of English immigrants.  Tristram, as Alfred would do later, was a druggist.  Alfred married Anne Angevine and they had four children as well.  His record on shows a Brooklyn birthplace, but the 1860 US Census suggests the three children of Tristram and Elizabeth Metcalfe were born in Canada, something that is noted in son Ernest’s passport application.

“Alfred T. Metcalfe, 62, chief clerk of the Brooklyn Health Department, died on Wednesday at his summer cottage at Richie’s Point, Sheepshead Bay. He was in the drug business and active in Democratic politics prior to his appointment in the health office. He was a member of the Flatbush Democratic Club. His wife, three sons, and a daughter survive him.”

“Alfred T. Metcalfe”, New York Sun, 04 September 1914, Page 9.

Other sources include the 1860, 1870, 1900 and 1910 US Census Records, the passport application of Ernest Metcalfe an English marriage record and a Virginia Marriage Record.

1857 Michael Joseph “King” Kelly

Matinee idol ballplayer of the 1880s, a Hall of Famer, the subject of a book by Marty Appel called Slide, Kelly, Slide, and the subject of a biography on the SABR website, too.

1861 Jerry McCormick
1861 Walt Goldsby
1863 Pete Sweeney
1870 Tommy Connolly
1879 Fred Beebe
1884 Bobby Byrne
1891 Charlie Flannigan
1894 Jim Murray
1894 Joe Berry
1900 Syl Johnson
1918 Fats Dantonio
1918 Al Lakeman
1919 Tommy Byrne
1919 Loyd Christopher
1924 Ted Gray
1933 Ken Rowe
1947 Manny Muniz
1951 Joe Simpson
1953 Jose Baez
1955 Jim Tracy
1961 Rick Aguilera
1961 Steve Engel
1961 Donell Nixon
1965 Sil Campusano
1971 Brian Moehler
1971 Esteban Loaiza
1975 Sam McConnell
1977 Chris Reitsma
1980 Jesse Carlson
1982 Julio DePaula
1982 Ronald Belisario
1985 Evan Reed
1986 Nate Freiman
1988 Alex Colome
1989 Kelvin Herrera
1991 Ryan Yarbrough
1991 Kevin Kaczmarski
1992 Adam McCreery
1994 Dawel Lugo
1996 Jorge Ona


1898 Martin Duke
1903 Joe McGuckin
1905 Frank Bonner
1907 Jocko Flynn
1911 Pete Gilbert
1912 Charlie Sprague
1914 John Farrow
1914 John O’Brien
1915 Tip O’Neill
1925 Denny Sullivan
1927 Jack Sharrott
1933 Jim Donnelly
1936 Doc Casey
1944 Bill Chappelle
1954 Tom Raftery
1955 Clint Brown
1958 Jack Doyle
1961 Dutch Lieber
1962 Del Mason
1962 Al Mamaux
1963 Bill Batsch
1963 Junie Barnes
1964 Doc Wallace
1964 Bobby Byrne
1964 Red Rollings
1967 Shovel Hodge
1972 Roberto Clemente

One of the first sport deaths to really shock me – he perished in a plane crash helping to take supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

He nearly died in a car wreck on the same day in 1954 when his car was nailed by a drunk driver. He had back issues the rest of his career.

1978 Tod Davis
1980 Bob Shawkey
1988 Wes Flowers
1994 Jack Shepard
1996 Sam Narron
1999 Harry Kimberlin
1999 Larry Bearnarth
2000 Fritz Dorish
2003 Max West
2004 Charlie Cozart
2006 Marv Breeding
2015 Vern Rapp


There were no games or events (beyond births, deaths, or transactions) worthy of note.


1916 The White Sox released the oft-injured Ed Walsh.

1966 The Braves send Eddie Mathews, Arnold Umbrach and (later) Sandy Alomar to the Astros for Dave Nicholson and Bob Bruce.

1974 The Yankees win the bidding war for Catfish Hunter.

1990 Oakland sells veteran Scott Sanderson to the Yankees.


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