Happy Birthday, Frank McIntyre!

This is a little early…  I stumbled on Frank’s story because he died on July 8th shortly after making his MLB debut and decided to just write the story.  To be fair, there isn’t a whole lot to work with, so it’ll be much shorter than most of my bios.

Frank McIntyre was born to Michael and Tresa (Theresa?) McIntyre on 12 July 1859 in Walled Lake, MI.  Frank was the third child, following two older sisters born to the laborer and his much younger (like, two decades younger) wife.  Both Michael and Tresa were born in Ireland and came to the US by 1850.

In time, the family moved into Detroit and Frank learned to play ball on the lots of his hometown.  While still an amateur he was signed by the Detroit Wolverines of the National League and thrown right into the fire, facing the Philadelphia Athletics on 16 May 1883.

“To the credit of McIntyre, be it said that he stood up manfully through it all and faced the storm undauntedly. Not only that but he pitched the succeeding innings of a long and trying game as effectively as he did the opening ones…

He showed that he had the speed, nerve and endurance, and he will be given an opportunity by the Detroit management to develop that ability that he possesses.”

“Sporting Matters.”, Detroit Free Press, 17 May 1883, Page 5.

McIntyre was solid until the sixth when fielding errors cost led to an eight run rally, which was pretty much the only time Philadelphia threatened at all.  However, Detroit came back to tie it in the ninth and won it in the eleventh inning.

As for that opportunity, Detroit management let him go within days of his start.

Columbus, however, gave the kid a chance and on 16 June 1883 McIntyre beat Pittsburgh in ten innings.  Again, the kid with the swift release had just one really off inning, but his team rallied late and won in extra innings.  Four days later, Pittsburgh got a second chance to face McIntyre in Columbus and pummeled the kid’s pitching.  Since Columbus ownership saw the one bad outing, that was all for for McIntyre and he returned home to Detroit.

I mentioned that McIntyre didn’t live long after this.  The “traveling man” (that was the job listed in the Michigan State Death Record) died of consumption (tuberculosis) on 08 July 1887, only four days shy of his 28th birthday.



Michigan Death Records

1860 US Census

“Sporting Matters.”, Detroit Free Press, 17 May 1883, Page 5.

“Thrice Defeated”, Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette, 16 June 1883, Page 2.

“Another Game Won.”, Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette, 21 June 1883, Page 8.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s