A Dozen Things You Should Know About Buck Ewing

Buck Ewing as captain for the Giants

Buck Ewing as captain for the Giants

1. William Ewing was born in October 1859 in Hoagland, Ohio, which is southwestern Ohio.

2. A catcher, he spent 13 games with minor league Rochester, before joining the Troy Trojans (then a National League team) in 1880.

3. He remained in Troy through the 1882 season, when the franchise folded. He, along with many of his teammates, were transferred to New York to play for the newly formed Gothams (now the Giants).

4. In 1883 he became the first Major League catcher with 10 home runs. It led the NL and was the first time a catcher led the league in home runs. It also set the NL record for homers in a season (Harry Stovey hit 14 the same year in the American Association).

5. In 1884 he led the NL in triples with 20. He never led the league in any other major hitting category.

6. As a fielder he led the league in most catching stats at least once and was considered one of the finest fielding catchers in the NL.

7. As team captain he led the Gothams, now called the Giants, to consecutive pennants in 1888 and 1889. In both years the 19th Century version of the World Series was played. New York won both times with Ewing putting up the following triple slash numbers .290/323/468/791.He had 18 hits in 19 games, scored 10 runs, drove in 13, stole six bases (1880s definition), had two triples and a home run.

8. In 1890 he jumped to the Player’s League where he managed the New York entry to third place. He returned to New York the next season following the demise of the PL.

9. In 1893 he went to Cleveland where he had one final really good season. He was sent to Cincinnati in 1895 and finished his career there in 1897.

10. Between 1895 and 1899 he managed the Cincinnati team. In both 1896 and 1898 he finished third, his highest spot as a National League manager. He also managed New York in 1900. They finished last.

11.He died of diabetes in Cincinnati on 20 October 1906. He was 47.

12. In 1939 he was elected to the Hall of Fame, the first catcher enshrined.

Ewing's grave

Ewing’s grave

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4 Responses to “A Dozen Things You Should Know About Buck Ewing”

  1. William Miller Says:

    It’s amazing, though it shouldn’t be, how many of the old-time players died so young. Ewing must rate among the top ten players of the 19th-century, wouldn’t you say?
    Nice post,
    Bill

  2. W.k. kortas Says:

    I remember something that Bill James said, and it does catch your attention, as to how interesting it is that Ewing was inducted very early in the Hall’s history, when there will still a bunch of big names still waiting to get in the door–he was the first 19th Century figure to go in strictly on his merits as a player, so he must have made a huge impression on folks in his own time.

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