Happy Birthday, Charles L. Daniels!

Charles Daniels was a Boston area pitcher who earned a fairly good local reputation and was given a brief trial with the 1884 Boston Union club.

Charles L. Daniels was born to John and Lucinda T. (Barry) Daniels in Roxbury, MA on 01 July 1861.  Charles was the last of five children – the first three girls and the last two boys.  The Daniels left Roxbury for Boston where John would work as a machinist.

Charles L. Daniels of Jamaica Plain had an excellent record as pitcher of the Manchesters last season, New Hampshire’s best club.

“Base Ball.”, Boston Globe, 23 March 1884, Page 4.

Boston was a hotbed for baseball in the decades following the Civil War – certainly there were any number of new clubs springing up in the area for an athletic chap like Charles to play.  Eventually, he landed a paying job with Manchester in New Hampshire and had a fine season for them in 1883.  When the Union Association opened in 1884, Boston had an entry and manager Tim Murnane invited him to work out with the Boston Unions.  When the season started, Charles had earned a chance to be the second starter behind Tommy Bond.  The Boston Globe wrote, “…(James) McKeever will be Daniels’ catcher. This battery works together beautifully, and only needs the experience which hard-played and exciting games give.”

Daniels got his first chance to pitch in the second game of the season on 18 April 1884.  He fanned 11 batters, but errors behind him didn’t help.  A ninth inning rally fell a run short and Boston lost to the Keystones, 7 – 6, in Philadelphia.  Six days later, Daniels took the mound again.  This time, his fielders didn’t help him keep leads and Washington scored a run with two outs in the ninth to beat the Boston Unions, 7 – 6.  This time, Daniels fanned just two batters and walked one.

Daniels professional baseball days were numbered.  He played right field in the last game of the series against Washington on 26 April 1884 – he caught one fly, made one error, and got two hits in five trips.  The Unions returned home to their new stadium at Dartmouth Street near the railroad tracks (I have no idea where, though) – but one player would never play there.  Charles Daniels was quietly released.

Daniels returned home and took a job as a machinist for the rest of his days, just like his father.  And he lived in the family home the rest of his life.  He never moved; he never married.  For the last couple of decades he also took care of his sister Elizabeth, who lived with him.  On 09 February 1938, Charles L. Daniels left this world for the next one.  Like his release, his death didn’t make the newspapers.

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