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  • Civil War Vets

    How many Civil War vets played in the majors?

    Guess we could split it up:

    National Association 1871-75

    and

    1876 and on.

  • #2
    Paul Greenig with an astounding debut date of 1888
    http://bioproj.sabr.org/bioproj.cfm?...=1531&pid=5451

    Not a player but Civil War vet Morgan Bulkeley is in the Hall

    Comment


    • #3
      From the SABR Armed Forces committee files:

      Strong evidence for the following :
      Frank Allen
      Doug Allison
      Henry Austin
      Frank Bancroft
      Alfred Barker
      John Bass
      Nate Berkenstock
      Thomas Berry
      Henry Berthrong
      Oscar Bielaski
      Charles Bierman
      David Birdsall
      William Bulkeley
      Thomas Carey
      Louis Carl
      Dennis Coughlin
      Bill Craver
      Washington Fulmer
      James Gifford
      John Greenig
      Winfield Hastings
      Nathan Jewett
      Caleb Johnson
      Fergy Malone
      Alphonse Martin
      Dick McBride
      A.G. Mills
      William Parks
      Ed Pinkham
      Al Pratt
      Robert Reach
      Seymour Studley
      William White
      Nick Young

      http://www.sabr.org/cmsFiles/Files/C...20veterans.pdf

      Richard hershberger was on the committee so maybe he could shed some light here.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by bkmckenna View Post
        Richard hershberger was on the committee so maybe he could shed some light here.
        My involvement on this project was quite peripheral. I happened to know that Bill Parks was a veteran, pointed this out, and Voila! I was on the committee. Peter Morris was an active participant, to toss out a name many of you know.

        The project is pretty transparent. The Arms Forces committee had an incomplete list. The project was to confirm and expand it, as much as possible. It was wrapped up some months ago, when it was judged as complete as it was going to get.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by bkmckenna View Post
          From the SABR Armed Forces committee files:

          Strong evidence for the following :
          Frank Allen
          Doug Allison
          Henry Austin
          Frank Bancroft
          Alfred Barker
          John Bass
          Nate Berkenstock
          Thomas Berry
          Henry Berthrong
          Oscar Bielaski
          Charles Bierman
          David Birdsall
          William Bulkeley
          Thomas Carey
          Louis Carl
          Dennis Coughlin
          Bill Craver
          Washington Fulmer
          James Gifford
          John Greenig
          Winfield Hastings
          Nathan Jewett
          Caleb Johnson
          Fergy Malone
          Alphonse Martin
          Dick McBride
          A.G. Mills
          William Parks
          Ed Pinkham
          Al Pratt
          Robert Reach
          Seymour Studley
          William White
          Nick Young

          http://www.sabr.org/cmsFiles/Files/C...20veterans.pdf

          Richard hershberger was on the committee so maybe he could shed some light here.
          If there is strong evidence, would it include what outfit they were in? With the large number of civil war buffs in the country I would think many of these players are known by local historical buffs for their soldiering.

          This brings up an interesting idea. Since these soldiers later on became professional ballplayers, do we surmise that they were key organizers of ballgames at their civil war camps? I wonder if any of them ever spoke or wrote about their civil war experiences?
          "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
          "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

          Comment


          • #6
            The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System has an index of more than six million Civil War veterans (on both sides) and provides regiment, company, and rank. If somebody had the time or inclination, it wouldn't be that difficult to run everyone who played in the NA or NL in the 1870's and 80's through the system.

            Other Civil War records and databases can be found at the Military Index website.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hall Of Fame Member From Civil War

              Again, not a ball player........but, it's inventor, Abner Doubleday

              Comment


              • #8
                Civil War

                Interest in the Civil War is bigger than ever and accordingly, authors are taking advantage of this. Many, many books are out on the subject. While cruising through Barnes and Noble the other day I spotted a hugh coffee table book that included journals, diaries and the like from citizens from both sides and civilians.

                The cost could get you tickets for opening day at Safeco.
                Last edited by Rennie Stennett; 03-14-2008, 06:04 AM. Reason: spell, grammer

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TonyK View Post
                  This brings up an interesting idea. Since these soldiers later on became professional ballplayers, do we surmise that they were key organizers of ballgames at their civil war camps? I wonder if any of them ever spoke or wrote about their civil war experiences?
                  You can find some formal games that seem to have a connection with organized ball. The Washington clubs played some regiments during the war, which strongly suggests that someone on the regiment side had ties with the formal organized ball clubs.

                  But on the other side, connecting post-war ball playing with play by soldiers, the evidence is thin. There were any number of veterans who played baseball, but it is not clear that they were disproportionately represented, either as club members or club organizers.

                  I have done some research on Bill Parks. He had a long, involved story about running away from home to enlist, despite being underage, with his father retrieving him from the recruiting station several times before finally consenting. Soon after the war he was caught up in the baseball craze, playing for various clubs in the region and drifting into professionalism. In 1876 he was a very marginal utility fielder for Boston until he was released early in the season. This was all layed out in loving detail in his obituary. There is no mention of baseball during the war. Baseball was what he did after the war. (After baseball he was a barber.) This seems pretty typical. There clearly is some connection between the timing of the baseball boom and the end of the war, but it seems not to have been so simple as soldiers learned baseball in the army and took it home with them.

                  Richard Hershberger

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dennie Cunningham View Post
                    Again, not a ball player........but, it's inventor, Abner Doubleday
                    I trust this is a joke.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rrhersh View Post
                      I trust this is a joke.
                      Me too, but I notice that Peter Morris claims (and this is apparently explained in his Michigan book, which I don't have) that Abner Graves may have confused two Abner Doubledays... one the Union officer (who had nothing whatever to do with baseball), and the other apparently an early ballplayer (but certainly not an "inventor").

                      I'm in the midst of But Didn't We Have Fun? now, and it's pretty good. It certainly portrays the war as a setback in baseball development, virtually the opposite of the notion of military movement being a vehicle for conveying the new game.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dennie Cunningham View Post
                        Again, not a ball player........but, it's inventor, Abner Doubleday
                        It's difficult to believe that myth is still so prevalent.
                        "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
                        Carl Yastrzemski

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've never looked into the "not that Abner Doubleday, the other Abner Doubleday" theory, so I can't really comment on it. But as I have discussed in other threads, even if it was the other Abner Doubleday that Graves (the other other Abner) recalled, so what? We have a bit of trivia of moderate interest to specialists. It is a data point, but not what that particularly stands out from all the others, and certainly not a window into the origins of baseball.

                          As for the Civil War, I think Peter and I have pretty much the same opinion. For organized baseball, the war put a temporary halt on its expansion. For the idea that the game spread through the ranks, there is little actual evidence. Considering the large body of diaries and memoirs, I would expect someone to record something like "the New York boys taught us how they play baseball" but this has not yet turned up.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rrhersh View Post
                            I've never looked into the "not that Abner Doubleday, the other Abner Doubleday" theory, so I can't really comment on it. But as I have discussed in other threads, even if it was the other Abner Doubleday that Graves (the other other Abner) recalled, so what? We have a bit of trivia of moderate interest to specialists. It is a data point, but not what that particularly stands out from all the others, and certainly not a window into the origins of baseball.
                            Oh, I agree. It's a tiny curiosity.

                            By the time I first heard the Doubleday story, the standard telling was accompanied by a wink and an acknowledgement that it wasn't true. I always had the understanding that Graves was just a liar. So it's mildly interesting to hear that there apparently was an "Abner Doubleday" who had heard of baseball, at least.

                            However, I still like the fact that the minor league team in Auburn, New York, is called the Doubledays.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by spark240 View Post
                              Me too, but I notice that Peter Morris claims (and this is apparently explained in his Michigan book, which I don't have) that Abner Graves may have confused two Abner Doubledays... one the Union officer (who had nothing whatever to do with baseball), and the other apparently an early ballplayer (but certainly not an "inventor").
                              Even if Graves played with one Doubleday or the other or with Joe Blow, the game was prevalent throughout the States before and during that time frame. The only reason Doubleday (one or the other) stands out is because the (long since discounted) Mills' Commission said he does.

                              Comment

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