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Anson, Cap (17 April 1852–14 April 1922), professional baseball player and manager, was born Adrian Constantine Anson in Marshalltown, Iowa, the son of Henry Anson, a land developer, town founder, and mayor, and Jeannette Rice. By his young adult years, Anson was tall and well built at 6′ and 227 pounds. He often was referred to as “the Swede” because of his square shoulders and wavy blonde hair, but, in fact, his parents were of English-Irish extraction. Anson was taught to play baseball and invited to join his father and older brother who formed the nucleus of the Marshalltown team, an amateur club of great repute. While in his teens, he attracted attention as an outstanding hitter and all-around athlete. Local residents dubbed him the “Marshalltown Infant.”...

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Baker, Home Run (13 March 1886–28 June 1963), baseball player, was born John Franklin Baker in Trappe, Maryland, the son of Franklin Adam Baker, a butcher and farmer, and Mary Catherine Rust. Baker began playing baseball on the farm fields of Trappe and performed for area semiprofessional teams beginning at age nineteen, earning from $5 to $15 a week. He rejected offers from the Texas League because it was too far from home and from the Baltimore Orioles of the International League because he did not think the contract terms were fair. In 1908 he signed with Reading, Pennsylvania, of the Tri-State League, a team controlled by the Philadelphia Athletics, who called him up to Philadelphia that fall....

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Beckley, Jake (04 August 1867–25 June 1918), baseball player, was born Jacob Peter Beckley in Hannibal, Missouri, the son of Bernhardt Beckley, a brick mason, and Rosine Nith. As a youth, Beckley played with the various semipro baseball teams in and around Hannibal. His batting prowess earned him the nickname “Eagle Eye.” His professional career began in 1886 with Leavenworth, Kansas, in the Western League. Bob Hart, a former Hannibal teammate who pitched for Leavenworth, knew the club needed some new players and suggested Beckley, who became the starting second baseman. Beckley had a fine year, hitting well above .300. In 1887 he switched to first base, a position he played for the next twenty years. Early that season his contract was sold to the Lincoln, Nebraska, team where he continued to dominate Western League pitchers, maintaining a season average above .400 at a time when walks were counted as hits....

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Bender, Chief (05 May 1884–22 May 1954), baseball player and manager, was born Charles Albert Bender at Partridge Lake, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, the son of Albertus Bliss Bender and Mary Razor, farmers. His father was of German-American descent, and his mother, whose tribal name was Pay shaw de o quay, was a half-white member of the Mississippi band of the Ojibwa (Chippewa). The family moved to Brainerd, Minnesota, on White Earth Indian Reservation during the 1880s, but at age seven Bender was placed in the Educational Home in Philadelphia, an Episcopal school for white and Indian orphan and destitute children. Although he returned to Minnesota in mid-1896, he soon ran away and enrolled at the Indian School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he played baseball and football under the legendary coach Glenn Warner. After leaving Carlisle in February 1902, he pitched for nearby Dickinson College. That summer he played for the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Athletic Club, using the surname Albert to protect his college eligibility. There, he pitched a 3–1 win over the Chicago Cubs. Jess Frisinger, a scout for ...

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Bresnahan, Roger Philip (11 June 1879–04 December 1944), baseball player, coach, and manager, was born in Toledo, Ohio, the son of Michael Bresnahan and Mary O’Donahue, immigrants from Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland. As a youth, Bresnahan played baseball on amateur teams in Toledo, and at age sixteen he earned money playing on a club in Manistee, Michigan. In 1896, while with Lima in the Ohio State League, he impressed scouts with his strong arm, quickness of foot, and all-around ability. The next year he made his major league debut as a pitcher for the Washington Senators of the National League and hurled a shutout in his first game (28 Aug. 1897), finishing the season with a 4–0 mark. The following spring he got into a salary dispute with the Senators and refused to sign. As a result, he played in only a handful of minor league games in 1898 and 1899, and in 1900 he appeared in just one major league contest, as a member of the Chicago club in the National League....

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Brouthers, Dan (08 May 1858–02 August 1932), professional baseball player, was born Dennis Joseph Brouthers in Sylvan Lake, New York, the son of Irish working-class immigrants Michael Brouthers and Mary (maiden name unknown). He was raised in nearby Wappingers Falls, where he attended school until age sixteen. Brouthers was recruited by the semiprofessional Wappingers Falls Actives baseball team, beginning a lifelong career....

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Brown, Mordecai Peter Centennial (19 October 1876–14 February 1948), baseball player, was born in Nyesville, Indiana, a rural community near Terre Haute, the son of Peter P. Brown, a farmer, and Jane Marsh. At the age of seven, Brown caught his right hand in a feed cutter on his uncle’s farm and lost the top joint of the index finger and use of the little finger. With the hand still in a cast, he broke the other two fingers, which remained permanently deformed. Brown’s crippled hand enabled him to throw a natural sinker ball and a sharper-breaking curveball that batters found difficult to hit; the hand also earned him the nickname among fans of “Three Finger.”...

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Browning, Pete (17 June 1861–10 September 1905), baseball player, was born Lewis Rogers Browning in Louisville, Kentucky. Very little is known of his parents and early years. As a child Browning contracted mastoiditis, a middle ear infection. Because the illness was never properly diagnosed or treated, Browning suffered from it his entire life. Periodically his ear filled with fluid, rendering him totally deaf. His condition embarrassed him, and he missed so much school because of it that he never attained literacy. Nonetheless he developed athletic prowess in shooting marbles, ice skating, and playing baseball. The pain from his condition led Browning to drink heavily from an early age, though very few people ever knew of his medical problems, and many criticized what they perceived as Browning’s moral weakness....

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Burkett, Jesse Cail (12 February 1870?–27 May 1953), baseball player, was born in Wheeling, West Virginia. His parents’ names are unknown, and little is known of his youth; Burkett never knew his actual birthdate. Some sources list it as 4 December 1868. Burkett stood 5′ 8″ inches, weighed around 150 pounds, and threw and batted left-handed. He began his professional baseball career as a pitcher and showed tremendous promise, winning 27 games at Scranton, Pennsylvania (Central League), in 1888 and 39 games at Worcester, Massachusetts (Atlantic Association), in 1889. His major league debut came the following season with the New York Giants. Control problems sent him reeling to 10 defeats in 13 decisions with a lone victory in 12 starting assignments. That was the downside. However, Burkett’s biggest break also occurred that year when Giants manager Jim Mutrie began playing him in right field between pitching turns. Burkett answered with a .309 batting average, the second best on the team. Although his fielding needed polish, his good speed and strong arm promised better defense ahead....

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Campanella, Roy (19 November 1921–26 June 1993), Negro League and major league baseball player, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of John Campanella, an Italian-American fruit stand owner, and his African-American wife, Ida Mercer. Campanella grew up in the Germantown and Nicetown neighborhoods of Philadelphia. There he caught briefly for the Simon Gratz High School team before joining a black semiprofessional team, the Bachrach Giants, at the age of fifteen. A year later he quit high school and joined the Baltimore Elite Giants in the Negro National League (NNL). There ...

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Carey, Max George (11 January 1890–30 May 1976), Hall of Fame baseball player, known as Scoops, was born Maximillian Carnarius in Terre Haute, Indiana, the son of contractor Frank August Ernst Carnarius and Catherine Augusta Astroth. That Carey pursued a career in baseball was unexpected, given that he began a six-year program in 1903 to prepare for the Lutheran ministry. But the 5′ 11½″, 170-pound student also played for Concordia College and sought a tryout with the South Bend team of the Central League in the summer of 1909....

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Caruthers, Robert Lee (05 January 1864–05 August 1911), baseball player, was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of James P. Caruthers, a lawyer and judge. His mother, whose maiden name was McNeil (or McNeill), came from Kentucky. Caruthers’s childhood provided few clues of his future prowess. He was a sickly child from a solid middle-class family. Concerned with propriety, his mother objected when a Memphis doctor prescribed rigorous exercise for her frail son. She especially took umbrage to Robert’s pursuit of baseball, a sport that at the time was generally associated with immigrants, gambling, drinking, and rowdiness. Sports agreed with Robert, however, and though he was physically slight at 5′ 7″ and 138 pounds, he developed a compact, wiry body....

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Chance, Frank Leroy (09 September 1877–15 September 1924), baseball player and manager, was born in Fresno, California, the son of a bank president. His parents’ names and details of his early life are unknown. He played on the Fresno High School baseball team in 1893 and subsequently played for Washington College in Irvington, California, where he studied dentistry....

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Chase, Hal (13 February 1883–18 May 1947), professional baseball player, was born Harold Homer Chase in Los Gatos, California, the son of Edgar Chase, a logger and timber cutter originally from Maine, and Mary (maiden name unknown). Chase dropped out of Los Gatos High School in his sophomore year to play baseball with the amateur teams that flourished in the Santa Clara Valley, then was invited to play baseball and run track for the Brothers of Santa Clara University. Although a high school dropout, he was awarded an athletic scholarship. He later boasted that he rarely attended classes....

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Chesbro, Jack (05 June 1874–06 November 1931), baseball pitcher, was born John Dwight Chesbro in North Adams, Massachusetts, the son of Chad Chesbro. His mother’s name is unknown. He developed his baseball skills on the sandlots in the western part of the state. In 1894 Chesbro and several of his friends accepted employment at the state mental hospital in Middletown, New York, where they played for the hospital baseball team. It was at this time that his easygoing personality earned him the nickname “Happy Jack.”...

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Cicotte, Eddie (19 June 1884–05 May 1969), baseball player, was born Edward Victor Cicotte in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Ambrose Cicotte, a railroad foreman, and Archangel (maiden name unknown). He claimed Cadillac, the French founder of Detroit, as his great-great grandfather. Cicotte attended St. Ann’s Catholic School in Detroit for eight years....

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Clarke, Fred Clifford (03 October 1872–14 August 1960), baseball player and manager, was born in Winterset, Iowa, the son of William D. Clarke and Lucy Cutler, farmers. His brother was the major league outfielder Joshua Clarke. He attended Dickenson, Iowa, public schools and played left field for the Des Moines Stars and Mascots in the Newsboys League and in 1891 for the Carroll, Iowa, semipro club. His professional baseball career began in 1892 with Hastings of the Nebraska State League, continued in 1893 with St. Joseph, Missouri, of the Western Association and Montgomery, Alabama, of the Southern League, and in 1894 with Savannah of the Southern League....

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Clarkson, John Gibson (01 July 1861–04 February 1909), major league baseball player, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Thomas G. Clarkson, a Scottish immigrant and well-to-do jewelry manufacturer, and Helen W. Hackett. As a boy, Clarkson attended Webster Grammar School and Comer’s Business School in Cambridge. A versatile athlete, he played baseball for his grammar school team and later became a star pitcher for the amateur Beacon club of Boston....

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Cobb, Ty (18 December 1886–17 July 1961), baseball player and manager, was born Tyrus Raymond Cobb in Banks County in northeastern Georgia, the son of William Herschel Cobb and Amanda Chitwood. When Cobb was about six years old, his father, an itinerant schoolmaster, moved the family to Royston in Franklin County. There, William Herschel Cobb served not only as school principal but as editor of the town newspaper, county school superintendent, and, for one term, state senator. Meanwhile, young Tyrus grew up under the demands of being “Professor Cobb’s boy,” with little enthusiasm for schoolwork but a developing passion for baseball....

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Collins, Eddie (02 May 1887–25 March 1951), baseball player, coach, and executive, was born Edward Trowbridge Collins in Millerton, New York, the son of John Rossman Collins, a railroad freight agent, and Mary Meade Trowbridge. Collins spent his first years in Millerton before the family moved to Tarrytown, New York, where he attended school. He enrolled at Columbia University in 1903....