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Cap Anson

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Full Name: Adrian Constantine Anson Primary Position: 1B
Height/Weight: 6' 0"/227 First Game: May 6, 1871
Birthdate: April 17, 1852 Final Game: October 3, 1897
Birthplace: Marshalltown, Iowa MLB Experience: 27 years
Died: April 14, 1922
Deathplace: Chicago, Illinois
Bat/Throw: Right/Right


Biography

Adrian Constantine "Cap" Anson (April 11 1852, Marshalltown, Iowa - April 14 1922, Chicago, Illinois) was a professional baseball player in the National Association and Major League Baseball for the Rockford Forest Citys, Philadelphia Athletics, and Chicago White Stockings.

Anson spent a year at the University of Notre Dame before he started playing professionally in 1871 in the National Association. His best years in the NA were 1872 and 1873, when he finished in the top 5 in batting, OBP (leading the league in 1872), and OPS both years. He fell off a little after that, but was still good enough that he was sought by White Stockings Secretary-turned-President William Hulbert as he strove to improve his club for the 1876 season. Hulbert broke league rules by negotiating with Anson and several other stars while the 1875 season was still in progress, ultimately founding the new National League to forestall any disciplinary action. Anson, who had married a Philadelphia native in the meantime, had second thoughts about going west, but Hulbert held Anson to his contract and he eventually warmed to the Windy City.

Template:MLB HoF The White Stockings won the first league title, but fell off the pace the following two seasons. During this time, Anson was a solid hitter, but not quite a superstar. Both his fortunes and those of his team would change after Anson was named captain-manager of the club in 1879. With Anson pacing the way, the White Stockings won five pennants between 1880 and 1886. They were helped to the titles using new managerial tactics, including the rotation of two star pitchers. After the expression first became popular, in the 1890s, he retroactively claimed to used some of the first "hit and run" plays, and, especially aided by clever base runner Mike Kelly in the first half of the 1880s, had his players run the bases in a way that forced the opposition into making errors. In a modern sense of going South right before a season, he shares credit as an innovator of spring training along with then-Chicago President Albert Spalding. An aggressive captain and manager, he regularly helped players play better, and his contributions helped make baseball a higher-quality sport, while at the same time making it more popular with fans. On the field, Anson was the team's best hitter and run producer. In the 1880s, he won two batting titles (1881, 1888) and finished second four times (1880, 1882, 1886-87). During the same period, he led the league in RBIs an incredible seven times (1880–82, 1884-86, 1888). His best season was in 1881, when he led the league in batting (.399), OBP (.442), OPS (.952), hits (137), total bases (175), and RBIs (82). He also became the first player to hit three consecutive home runs, five homers in two games, and four doubles in a game, as well as being the first to perform two unassisted double plays in a game. He is one of only a few players to score six runs in a game, a feat he accomplished on August 24, 1886.

Unfortunately, Anson was well known to be a racist. While baseball would have become segregated without him, his regular refusal to play in exhibition games versus dark-skinned players helped to usher in segregation. Despite this, Anson remained very popular in Chicago while playing for the White Stockings, which were increasingly known as the Colts starting with an influx of new players in the mid-1880s. Anson signed a ten year contract in 1888 to manage the White Stockings (which, because of a typographical error he failed to spot, ended after the 1897 season instead of the 1898 one), but his best years were behind him. He led the league in walks in 1890 and garnered his eighth and final RBI crown in 1891, but declined precipitously thereafter. On the managerial front, he failed to win another pennant. He also mellowed enough that his nicknames became "Uncle" and "Grandpa." When he was fired as manager after the 1897 season, it also marked the end of his 27-year playing career. The following season, the Colts were called the Orphans to reflect Anson's departure.

There is much controversy as to whether he became the first player ever to make 3,000 hits in a major league career; for many years, recognized statistics credited him with precisely that total. Researchers in the 1990s argued that he was incorrectly credited with extra hits in 1887, when bases on balls were counted as hits. Eliminating the 60 walks Anson received that year would drop his hit total to 2,995 according to statistics officially recognized by Major League Baseball. However, if one counts his 423 earlier hits in the NA, the major leagues' predecessor (which Major League Baseball does not), he is well over the mark. He was, by any standard, the first player to make 3,000 hits in his professional career.

Anson briefly made a return to baseball managing the New York Giants in June and July of 1898, but fully retired afterward. He was later named president of a new American Association, but he scuttled the venture at the first sign of trouble, leaving him a laughingstock. He was later elected city clerk of Chicago in 1905, and failed in the Democratic primary to become sheriff in 1907. After going bankrupt, he toured in vaudeville and as late as 1920 had delusions of becoming commissioner of baseball. Anson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939, one of the first 19th-century players selected. Over 100 years after his retirement, he still holds several Cubs franchise records, including most career hits and runs. In addition, the White Sox owe their name to the team he made famous, the White Stockings of the 19th century and Anson, in part motivated by his dislike for the current management of the Chicago National League club, played an unorthodox role in helping Charles Comiskey place the White Sox in Chicago for the 1900 season.

Cap Anson died in 1922 and was interred in the Oak Woods Cemetery, Chicago.


Statistics

Batting Stats

Year Team G AB R H HR RBI AVG OBP SLG 2B 3B BB SO HBP SH SB IBB GDP
1871 ROK n 25 120 29 39 0 16 .325 .336 .467 11 3 2 1 0 0 6 0 0
1872 ATH n 46 217 60 90 0 50 .415 .455 .525 10 7 16 3 0 0 6 0 2
1873 ATH n 52 254 53 101 0 36 .398 .409 .449 9 2 5 1 0 0 0 0 0
1874 ATH n 55 260 51 87 0 37 .335 .345 .388 8 3 4 1 0 0 6 0 0
1875 ATH n 69 326 84 106 0 58 .325 .333 .390 15 3 4 2 0 0 0 0 0
1876 CHI N 66 309 63 110 2 59 .356 .380 .450 9 7 12 8 0 0 0 0 0
1877 CHI N 59 255 52 86 0 32 .337 .360 .420 19 1 9 3 0 0 0 0 0
1878 CHI N 60 261 55 89 0 40 .341 .372 .402 12 2 13 1 0 0 0 0 0
1879 CHI N 51 227 40 72 0 34 .317 .323 .414 20 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 0
1880 CHI N 86 356 54 120 1 74 .337 .362 .419 24 1 14 12 0 0 0 0 0
1881 CHI N 84 343 67 137 1 82 .399 .442 .510 21 7 26 4 0 0 0 0 0
1882 CHI N 82 348 69 126 1 83 .362 .397 .500 29 8 20 7 0 0 0 0 0
1883 CHI N 98 413 70 127 0 68 .308 .336 .419 36 5 18 9 0 0 0 0 0
1884 CHI N 112 475 108 159 21 102 .335 .373 .543 30 3 29 13 0 0 0 0 0
1885 CHI N 112 464 100 144 7 108 .310 .357 .461 35 7 34 13 0 0 0 0 0
1886 CHI N 125 504 117 187 10 147 .371 .433 .544 35 11 55 19 0 0 29 0 0
1887 CHI N 122 472 107 164 7 102 .347 .422 .517 33 13 60 18 1 0 27 0 0
1888 CHI N 134 515 101 177 12 84 .344 .400 .499 20 12 47 24 1 0 28 0 0
1889 CHI N 134 518 100 161 7 117 .311 .414 .440 32 7 86 19 5 0 27 0 0
1890 CHI N 139 504 95 157 7 107 .312 .443 .401 14 5 113 23 6 0 29 0 0
1891 CHI N 136 540 81 157 8 120 .291 .378 .409 24 8 75 29 1 0 17 0 0
1892 CHI N 146 559 62 152 1 74 .272 .354 .354 25 9 67 30 4 0 13 0 0
1893 CHI N 103 398 70 125 0 91 .314 .415 .384 24 2 68 12 1 0 13 0 0
1894 CHI N 83 340 82 132 5 99 .388 .457 .538 28 4 40 15 3 7 17 0 0
1895 CHI N 122 474 87 159 2 91 .335 .408 .422 23 6 55 23 3 13 12 0 0
1896 CHI N 108 402 72 133 2 90 .331 .407 .400 18 2 49 10 3 5 24 0 0
1897 CHI N 114 424 67 121 3 75 .285 .379 .361 17 3 60 0 4 9 11 0 0
Total NL 2276 9101 1719 2995 97 1879 .329 .395 .446 528 124 952 294 32 34 247 0 0
Total NA 247 1177 277 423 0 197 .359 .376 .435 53 18 31 8 0 0 18 0 2
Total 2523 10278 1996 3418 97 2076 .333 .393 .445 581 142 983 302 32 34 265 0 2

Fielding Stats

Year Team POS G GS INN PO A ERR DP TP PB SB CS PkO AVG
1871 ROK n C 5 0 0 10 0 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 .556
1871 ROK n 1B 1 0 0 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1871 ROK n 2B 2 0 0 3 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .875
1871 ROK n 3B 20 0 0 38 52 28 2 0 0 0 0 0 .763
1871 ROK n OF 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1872 ATH n 3B 46 46 410.1 89 84 57 5 0 0 0 0 0 .752
1873 ATH n 3B 11 0 0 27 16 10 1 0 0 0 0 0 .811
1873 ATH n OF 3 0 0 6 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .875
1873 ATH n C 3 0 0 7 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .889
1873 ATH n 1B 36 0 0 396 9 34 19 0 0 0 0 0 .923
1873 ATH n 2B 3 0 0 4 5 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 .563
1874 ATH n 3B 20 20 168 38 33 21 2 0 0 0 0 0 .772
1874 ATH n SS 6 4 36 5 18 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 .742
1874 ATH n OF 8 0 0 11 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .750
1874 ATH n C 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1874 ATH n 1B 24 23 178 229 5 16 9 0 0 0 0 0 .936
1874 ATH n RF 8 8 61 11 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .750
1875 ATH n OF 25 0 0 40 13 12 5 0 0 0 0 0 .815
1875 ATH n C 13 0 0 41 14 15 1 0 0 0 0 0 .786
1875 ATH n 1B 32 0 0 269 14 24 13 0 0 0 0 0 .922
1875 ATH n 3B 5 0 0 2 8 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 .769
1876 CHI N 3B 66 0 0 135 147 50 8 0 0 0 0 0 .849
1876 CHI N C 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1.000
1877 CHI N C 31 0 0 103 41 22 5 0 26 0 0 0 .867
1877 CHI N 3B 40 0 0 74 77 20 9 0 0 0 0 0 .883
1878 CHI N C 3 0 0 13 5 1 3 0 11 0 0 0 .947
1878 CHI N OF 48 0 0 60 6 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 .825
1878 CHI N 3B 3 0 0 0 5 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .625
1878 CHI N 2B 9 0 0 22 26 7 4 0 0 0 0 0 .873
1879 CHI N 1B 51 0 0 620 8 16 26 0 0 0 0 0 .975
1880 CHI N 1B 81 0 0 866 15 20 28 0 0 0 0 0 .978
1880 CHI N SS 1 0 0 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .750
1880 CHI N 3B 9 0 0 14 14 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 .875
1880 CHI N 2B 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1881 CHI N SS 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1881 CHI N 1B 84 0 0 892 43 24 48 0 0 0 0 0 .975
1881 CHI N C 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1882 CHI N 1B 82 0 0 810 27 45 42 0 0 0 0 0 .949
1882 CHI N C 1 0 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .750
1883 CHI N 1B 98 0 0 1031 41 40 59 0 0 0 0 0 .964
1883 CHI N OF 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1883 CHI N P 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1883 CHI N C 1 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 .500
1884 CHI N C 3 0 0 4 4 3 0 0 2 0 0 0 .727
1884 CHI N P 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1884 CHI N 1B 112 0 0 1211 40 58 86 0 0 0 0 0 .956
1884 CHI N SS 1 0 0 1 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .800
1885 CHI N 1B 112 0 0 1253 39 57 62 0 0 0 0 0 .958
1885 CHI N C 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1.000
1886 CHI N C 12 0 0 32 18 5 1 0 9 0 0 0 .909
1886 CHI N 1B 125 0 0 1188 66 48 69 0 0 0 0 0 .963
1887 CHI N 1B 122 0 0 1232 70 36 75 0 0 0 0 0 .973
1887 CHI N C 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 .500
1888 CHI N 1B 134 0 0 1314 65 20 85 0 0 0 0 0 .986
1889 CHI N 1B 134 0 0 1409 79 27 73 0 0 0 0 0 .982
1890 CHI N C 3 0 0 9 2 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 1.000
1890 CHI N 2B 2 0 0 7 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .923
1890 CHI N 1B 135 0 0 1345 49 31 61 0 0 0 0 0 .978
1891 CHI N C 2 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1891 CHI N 1B 136 0 0 1407 79 29 86 0 0 0 0 0 .981
1892 CHI N 1B 146 0 0 1491 67 44 62 0 0 0 0 0 .973
1893 CHI N 1B 101 0 0 997 44 20 59 0 0 0 0 0 .981
1894 CHI N 1B 82 0 0 739 47 8 52 0 0 0 0 0 .990
1894 CHI N 2B 1 0 0 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1895 CHI N 1B 122 0 0 1176 60 19 82 0 0 0 0 0 .985
1896 CHI N 1B 98 0 0 880 54 16 67 0 0 0 0 0 .983
1896 CHI N C 10 0 0 21 8 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .879
1897 CHI N C 11 0 0 36 13 2 2 0 6 0 0 0 .961
1897 CHI N 1B 103 0 0 933 62 25 67 0 0 0 0 0 .975
Total SS 9 4 36 8 22 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 .750
Total 3B 220 66 578.1 417 436 196 29 0 0 0 0 0 .813
Total P 3 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
Total 1B 2151 23 178 21695 983 657 1230 0 0 0 0 0 .972
Total C 105 0 0 290 107 65 12 0 63 0 0 0 .859
Total RF 8 8 61 11 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .750
Total 2B 18 0 0 40 41 16 5 0 0 0 0 0 .835
Total OF 86 0 0 118 21 31 5 0 0 0 0 0 .818

Pitching Stats

Year Team G GS W L ERA K R ER CG SHO SV IP H HR BB IB WP HBP
1883 CHI N 2 0 0 0 .00 0 1 0 0 0 1 3 1 0 1 0 0 0
1884 CHI N 1 0 0 1 18.00 1 4 2 0 0 0 1 3 2 1 0 0 0
Total 3 0 0 1 4.50 1 5 2 0 0 1 4 4 2 2 0 0 0

Transactions

  • Signed by Chicago White Stockings (1876).

Trivia

See also

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