Baseball History for October 14th

<— OCT 13     OCT 15 —>


1842 Joe Start

Joe Start’s career spans the beginnings of professional baseball, through the National Association, and finally the National League – and he was a star first baseman for about 25 years.  More incredibly, if you think about it (and Bill Ryczek did), the rules of the game were really changing between the 1860s and the 1880s.  Stiff-armed underhanded throwers became hard tossers throwing balls from any arm slot.  Fielders went from playing barehanded to wearing gloves. The number of strikes and balls changed over those years – as did the quality of playing fields and number of leagues, the number of games, and the quality of play. And Joe Start was good enough to play at the top levels of his sport from 1860 to 1886.

The 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings toured the country playing the best clubs in the National Association (and other teams) without losing. This winning streak continued into 1870, when they met up with Start’s Brooklyn Atlantics on 14 June 1870.

“With two out and two on the bases, Joe Start came to the plate. McVey was playing a deep right field, as he was aware of Start’s style of lifting the leather in that direction when he hit it squarely. Everything depended on the man at the bat. He was equal to the emergency, for catching a ball where he could let out, he drove it high over McVey’s head into a surging crowd, and around the bases he went, while McVey pushed the crowd back. As Mac emerged from the crowd and swung his arm back to line it home Start had turned third and was making for home to the accompaniment of the cheers of the spectators. It was a close race, for McVey was the best and hardest long distance thrower of his day and was on his mettle. ‘Doug’ Allison stood on home plate waiting for the ball, that was coming straight as an arrow. The umpire bent low to give his decision. The ball came to Allison waist high, just in time to get his man, but he dropped the ball. Start scored the winning run, and the great team was defeated for the first time in two years. Thus Joe Start was entitled more than ever to the name of ‘Old Reliable.'”

Murnane, T. H. “‘Old Reliable’ Won It.”, Boston Globe, 31 December 1888, Page 3.

Murnane didn’t quite tell the story correctly – and 18 years had passed since the game had been played.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, the Red Stockings had taken a 7 – 5 lead in the top of the eleventh inning.  After a leadoff single, Start did just as Murnane described – only he plated just the one run and stopped at third base.  He scored the tying run on an infield hit one out later; Bob Ferguson reached base and drove in Start with the tying run and later scored the winning run through his own aggressive base running and a Red Stocking error.

“The Atlantics Triumphant.”, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 15 June 1870, Page 2.

(As an aside, the two pitchers, Asa Brainard and George Zettlein, combined to throw 551 pitches.)

1853 Charlie Waitt
1857 Tom Poorman
1858 Wyman Andrus
1861 Paul Radford
1862 Norm Baker
1864 Jim Chatterton
1866 Charlie Abbey
1868 Fred Underwood
1871 Ed Eiteljorge
1872 Suter Sullivan
1883 Harry Huston
1884 Homer Davidson
1885 Bill Leard
1885 Ivy Olson
1886 Vincent Maney
1886 Joe Walsh
1886 Ona Dodd
1889 Mark Stewart
1890 Charlie Becker
1891 Bert Gallia
1896 Oscar Charleston
1897 Vance McIlree
1909 Jimmy Ripple
1913 Hugh Casey
1914 Harry Brecheen
1915 Ken Heintzelman
1915 William Ford
1915 Max Macon
1924 Bill Renna
1924 Dave Jolly
1934 Tom Cheney
1940 Billy Sorrell
1940 Tommy Harper
1941 Art Shamsky
1944 Rich Robertson
1945 Tom Silverio
1946 Al Oliver
1946 Frank Duffy
1948 Ed Figueroa
1948 Brent Strom
1953 Kiko Garcia
1954 Willie Aikens
1955 Jesus Vega
1960 Bill Bathe
1962 Carl Nichols
1964 Joe Girardi
1967 Dave Hajek
1967 Pat Kelly
1968 Zak Shinall
1969 Hector Ortiz
1971 Midre Cummings
1974 Erik Sabel
1976 Henry Mateo
1978 Ryan Church
1979 Duaner Sanchez
1981 Boof Bonser
1982 Jerry Gil
1982 Carlos Marmol
1983 Alberto Arias
1984 Kris Johnson
1987 Kole Calhoun
1988 Seth Maness
1988 Merrill Kelly
1990 William Cuevas
1991 Brad Wieck
1991 Willians Astudillo
1992 Miguel Del Pozo
1993 Austin Dean


1890 Gus Williams
1891 Larry Corcoran
1915 Bill Reidy
1919 Harry Blake
1922 Rasty Wright
1927 Ed Hughes
1928 Billy Milligan
1928 Bill Stuart
1929 Joe Borden
1931 Al Niehaus
1934 Les Cox
1944 Topsy Hartsel
1945 Fred Tyler
1949 Huyler Westervelt
1950 Jocko Fields
1952 Jim Banning
1954 Bill Swanson
1961 Clyde Southwick
1968 Lynn Brenton
1971 Doc Prothro
1985 Ossie Bluege
1988 Abie Hood
1988 Vic Raschi
2001 Ben Sankey
2003 Wil Culmer
2007 Fred Bruckbauer
2007 Owen Friend
2008 Tom Tresh
2017 Daniel Webb


1905 Christy Mathewson’s third shutout finishes the A’s; the Giants take their first World Series.  John McGraw, evil bastard that he was, chickened out of playing the 1904 AL champs…

1906 The White Sox finish off the 116-win Cubs, 8 – 3, to win the World Series.

1908 The Cubs take down the Tigers in game five the last time the Cubs would win the World Series for a LONG time.

1976 Yankee first baseman Chris Chambliss crushes the Royals with a game winning homer to send New York to the World Series.

1984 Kirk Gibson’s homers finish off San Diego – Detroit wins the World Series in five games.

1985 Go Crazy! Cardinal shortstop Ozzie Smith homers to beat the Dodgers in game five of the NLCS.

2003 The Cubs melt down five outs from going to the World Series as the Marlins come back against Mark Prior to win game six. The game is most famous for ruining the public life of Steve Bartman, who was one of many people reaching for a foul ball that Moises Alou tried to catch while reaching over a wall along the left field line.

2015 Jose Bautista’s bat flip puts the exclamation mark on the Blue Jays finishing the Rangers to earn a trip to the ALCS.


1888 Philadelphia purchases Lave Cross from Louisville.

1929 Cincinnati purchases Harry Heilmann from Detroit.

1944 The Browns sign amateur free agent Roy Sievers.

1952 Cincinnati sends Cal Abrams, Gail Henley, and Joe Rossi to the Pirates for Gus Bell.

1968 Expansion Draft… The Padres took Ollie Brown from San Francisco while the Expos took Manny Mota from the Pirates with first picks… The list of players drafted is a veritable who’s who of guys who landed on baseball cards between 1965 and 1975 for us collectors.

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