Obituary – Rynie Wolters (1917)

Veteran Hurler is Dead

Wolters Pitched Baseball’s First Shutout Game.

Was Star Twirler in the 60s

Pioneered in National Pastime When Professional Leagues Were Unknown – Was Member of Famous Irvington and Mutual Teams


Rynie Wolters in a team photo of the 1870 New York Mutuals.  The photo is part of the Albert Spaulding Collection in the New York Public Library.  Wolters is seated, second from the right.

“Rynie” Wolters, whose reputation as a baseball pitcher nearly half a century ago was almost as great as was Christy Mathewson’s in later years, died Friday at his home at No. 181 Pennsylvania avenue, Newark. He was 74 years old.

Reinder Albertis Wolters came to America from Holland when 4 years old. When a boy he became a member of the famous Irvington team, which, in the ’60s, was one of the crack clubs in the country, ranking with the Mutuals, of New York, Atlantics, of Brooklyn, and the Red Stockings, of Cincinnati. The late Charlie Sweasy and Andy Leonard, in later years bright illuminaries of the baseball firmament, were teammates of Wolters.

From the Irvingtons Wolters went to the Mutuals, known also as the “Green Sox,” the first team to represent the metropolis, and pitched for that team against the Reds, to whom Sweasey and Leonard had then graduated. On July 16, 1870, while pitching for the Mutuals in this city (NYC), Wolters shut out Chicago, 9 to 0, which is believed to be the first shutout on record.

After retiring from the diamond in the early ’70s, Wolters entered the commission house of his brother, Christian Wolters, in Newark. Ten days ago he was attacked with dropsy, which caused his death. He leaves a wife, four sons, and three daughters.

“Veteran Hurler is Dead”, Sioux City Journal, 07 January 1917, Page 13.


The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Mutuals of New York, M. Nelson, Martin, Swandell, Eggler, E. Mills, Hatfield, Walton, Peterson” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1870 – 1919.

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