A Dozen Things You Should Know About Morgan Bulkeley

Morgan G. Bulkeley, 1st President of the National League

Morgan G. Bulkeley, 1st President of the National League

1. Morgan Gardner Bulkeley was born in Connecticut in 1837. His family was prominent in politics and his father was founder of Aetna Life Insurance Company.

2. He worked as a gopher and salesman for H.P. Morgan and Company of Brooklyn beginning in 1852. Morgan was owned by his uncle.

3. He served as a private in the 13th New York Volunteer Heavy Artillery during the Civil War. He served in the Peninsula Campaign and left the Army shortly after the battle of Antietam (which he may or may not have fought in–sources vary).

4. He returned to Morgan and Company and remained there until his father’s death in 1872. He moved back to Hartford and founded the United States Bank of Hartford, serving as President, and joined the board of directors of Aetna.

5. Interested in baseball he founded the Hartford Dark Blues in 1874. They played in the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players in both 1874 and 1875. They finished next-to-last in ’74 and third in ’75.

6. In 1876 he moved his team to the newly formed National League. Although William Hulbert was the league’s primary mover, he was generally unliked while Bulkeley was well liked by the other owners. Subsequently, Morgan Bulkeley was chosen first President of the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs.

7. After one year as President, Bulkeley refused to serve a second year, but remained owner of the Dark Blues until the team, failing in both the field and at the gate, folded after the 1877 season.

8. In 1874 he became a member of the Hartford, Connecticut City Council, in 1879 became President of Aetna, and in 1880 Mayor of Hartford. He remained Mayor until 1888.

9. In 1888 he was elected Governor of Connecticut, serving two terms of two years each. He was only elected to the first, but remained in office when the 1890 election resulted in a disputed result and no one was declared a winner (and you though 2000 Florida started this kind of nonsense, did you?).

10. He served one term in the U.S. Senate between 1905 and 1911.

11. He was a member of the Mills Commission that declared Abner Doubleday the father of baseball.

12. Morgan G. Bulkeley died in 1922 and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937.

Bulkeley's grave in Connecticut

Bulkeley’s grave in Connecticut


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3 Responses to “A Dozen Things You Should Know About Morgan Bulkeley”

  1. William Miller Says:

    You can’t keep a good Connecticut man down (especially if he’s from a rich family to begin with.)
    Good stuff,

  2. Precious Sanders Says:

    Points 1-4: “Wait, this is a baseball guy?”
    Point 5: “Ah… there it is.”

    Always learn something new 🙂

  3. Steve Myers Says:

    How to pronounce his last name? That number 11 could land him in some future fiction.

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