Bill Dahlen

William Frederick Dahlen (January 5, 1870 – December 5, 1950), nicknamed "Bad Bill" for his ferocious temperament, was an American shortstop and manager in Major League Baseball who played for four National League teams from 1891 to 1911. After twice batting over .350 for the Chicago Colts, he starred on championship teams with the Brooklyn Superbas and the New York Giants. At the end of his career he held the major league record for career games played (2,443); he ranked second in walks (1,064, behind Billy Hamilton's 1,187) and fifth in at bats (9,033), and was among the top ten in runs batted in (1,234), doubles (414) and extra base hits (661). He was also among the NL's top seven players in hits (2,461; some sources list totals up to 2,471), runs (1,589), triples (163) and total bases (3,447). After leading the league in assists four times and double plays three times, he set major league records for career games (2,132), putouts (4,850), assists (7,500), total chances (13,325) and double plays (881) as a shortstop; he still holds the record for total chances, and is second in putouts and fourth in assists. His 42-game hitting streak in 1894 was a record until 1897, and remains the fourth longest in history and the longest by a right-handed NL hitter.

Bill Dahlen
Shortstop / Manager
Born: January 5, 1870
Nelliston, New York
Died: December 5, 1950 (aged 80)
Brooklyn, New York
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 22, 1891, for the Chicago Colts
Last MLB appearance
October 12, 1911, for the Brooklyn Dodgers
MLB statistics
Batting average.272
Home runs84
Runs batted in1,234
Stolen bases548
Managerial record251–355
Winning %414
As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards


Bill Dahlen, Boston Doves, ca. 1910
Baseball card of Bill Dahlen, T206 set.

Dahlen was born in Nelliston, New York at the corner of Berthoud and Dahlen and East Main to a family of German descent.[1] He was a very good hitter and had a good amount of power for the dead-ball era. He began his career with the Colts in 1891, and during his eight years with the team finished among the NL's top ten players in home runs four times and in slugging average three times. He also scored over 100 runs with 10 or more triples in each of his first six seasons; in 1894 he posted the highest batting average to that time by a major league shortstop (various sources state .357 or .362), and he followed with a .352 average in 1896. His 1894 season included a record 42-game hitting streak from June 20 to August 6, surpassing the 33-game streak by George Davis one year earlier. Amazingly, after going 0-for-6 in the next game, a 10-inning contest on August 7, Dahlen pulled off another 28-game streak, ending up having hit in 70 of 71 games. His mark was broken three years later by Willie Keeler, who hit in 44 straight; that NL record was eventually tied by Pete Rose. Only Joe DiMaggio, with his 56-game streak in 1941, has bettered Dahlen's mark among right-handed batters. Dahlen also twice hit three triples in a game, and once he tripled twice in one inning (August 30, 1900).

Prior to the 1899 season, Dahlen was traded by Chicago, and ended up in Brooklyn after another deal. His new team won the NL title in each of his first two seasons, and although his batting average had dropped from that of earlier years, he compensated by continuing to accumulate numerous walks and stolen bases and by playing outstanding defense. In 1902, he finished fourth in the NL with 74 RBI. In 1903 he set an NL record for fielding percentage with a .948 average, breaking George Wright's 1878 mark of .947; Tommy Corcoran broke his record in 1905 with a .952 average.

Bill Dahlen
Bill Dahlen, circa 1908

After the 1903 season, Dahlen was traded to the Giants, the team he'd always strived to play for, in exchange for pitcher Jack Cronin and Charlie Babb. While Cronin and Babb contributed only three bad years to Brooklyn, Dahlen posted great numbers with the Giants, leading the league with 80 RBI in his first year, 1904. In 1905 he was again among the RBI leaders, despite hitting only .242, as the Giants won their first World Series title. Although he was hitless in the five-game Series, he contributed with flawless defense and by drawing three walks and stealing three bases. He was often considered one of the quietest players in the game, keeping to himself most of the time. After the 1907 season, he was traded to the Boston Doves, for whom he played his last two full seasons. In 1909 he broke Jake Beckley's record of 2386 career games; his record was broken in turn by Honus Wagner in 1914. He was named Brooklyn's manager for the 1910 season, but never finished above 6th place in four seasons. His last playing appearances were three games as a pinch-hitter in 1910, and one game at shortstop in 1911.

In a 21-season career, Dahlen batted .272; his 84 home runs were then among the fifteen highest totals in history, and ranked behind only Herman Long (91) among shortstops. His 289 stolen bases after the statistic was redefined in 1898 were then among the ten highest totals, as were his 547 total steals since they were first recorded in 1887. His records for games and putouts at shortstop were broken by Rabbit Maranville, and his mark for assists was surpassed by Luis Aparicio, with his NL record standing until Ozzie Smith broke it in 1993; his record for double plays was broken by Roger Peckinpaugh. Dahlen's 14,566 total chances at all positions have been surpassed by only Maranville (16,091) and Wagner (15,536). In four years as a manager, all for Brooklyn, he posted a 251-355 record for a .414 winning percentage; he earned his nickname with a ferocious arguing style which drew 65 ejections as a manager, still among the top ten in history.


Dahlen died in Brooklyn after a long illness at age 80, and was buried in the Cemetery of the Evergreens, Brooklyn, New York City, New York. As of 2006, his grave remains unmarked.

In August 2008, he was named as one of ten former players who began their careers before 1943 to be considered by the Veterans Committee for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009.

The Nineteenth Century Committee of the Society for American Baseball Research named Dahlen the Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legend for 2012 — a 19th-century player, manager, executive or other baseball personality not yet inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Dahlen was featured in David Pietrusza's 1995 television documentary "Local Heroes" in the segment "Knocking on Cooperstown's Door."

Dahlen was included on the Veterans Committee ballot for 2013 induction to the Hall of Fame. The results were announced on December 3, 2012. Dahlen received 10 out of 16 votes, falling 2 votes short of election, the highest total of any person on the ballot who was not elected and will have to wait until the end of 2015 for election.[2]

See also


  1. ^ [1] "His father, Daniel, was a German immigrant; his mother, Rosina (née Shellhorn), was the daughter of a German immigrant."
  2. ^ "Hank O'Day, Jacob Ruppert, Deacon White Elected to National Baseball Hall of Fame by Pre-Integration Committee". Baseball Hall of Fame. December 3, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
  • Spatz, Lyle (2004), Bad Bill Dahlen: The Rollicking Life and Times of an Early Baseball Star, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, ISBN 0-7864-1978-4.

External links

1899 Brooklyn Superbas season

The 1899 Brooklyn Superbas season was the 16th season of the current-day Dodgers franchise and the 9th season in the National League. The team won the National League pennant with a record of 101–47, 8 games ahead of the Boston Beaneaters, after finishing tenth in 1898.

1901 Brooklyn Superbas season

The 1901 Brooklyn Superbas lost several players to the newly official major league, the American League, and fell to third place.

1902 Brooklyn Superbas season

The 1902 Brooklyn Superbas finished in a distant second place in the National League, 27 and 1/2 games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates.

1903 Brooklyn Superbas season

The 1903 Brooklyn Superbas season was a season in Major League Baseball. The Superbas began their slide from contention in the National League by finishing in fifth place.

1904 Brooklyn Superbas season

The 1904 Brooklyn Superbas finished in sixth place with a 65–97 record.

1904 New York Giants season

The 1904 New York Giants season was the 22nd season in franchise history. They led the National League in both runs scored and fewest runs allowed, on their way to 106 wins and the pennant.

The first modern World Series had been played the previous year, but manager John McGraw and owner John T. Brush refused to play the American League champion Boston Americans in a 1904 World Series. They would change their position the following year.

1905 New York Giants season

The 1905 New York Giants season was the franchise's 23rd season, and the team won their second consecutive National League pennant. They beat the Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series.

1905 World Series

The 1905 World Series matched the National League (NL) champion New York Giants against the American League (AL) champion Philadelphia Athletics, with the Giants winning four games to one. Four of the five games featured duels between future Hall of Fame pitchers.

Each of the five games was a shutout. Three of those, over a six-day span, were pitched and won by Christy Mathewson.

1907 New York Giants season

The 1907 New York Giants season was the franchise's 25th season. The team finished in fourth place in the National League with an 82-71 record, 25½ games behind the Chicago Cubs.

1910 Brooklyn Superbas season

The 1910 Brooklyn Superbas hired Bill Dahlen as the new manager, but still finished in a dismal sixth place in the National League.

1911 Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers season

With the 1911 season, the Superbas changed the team name to the Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers. However, the team still struggled, finishing in seventh place.

1912 Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers season

The 1912 Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers finished in seventh place with a 65–76 record.

1913 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1913 team saw the team named shortened to the Brooklyn Dodgers and the team moved into the new stadium at Ebbets Field. Jake Daubert won the Chalmers Award as the leagues Most Valuable Player but the team finished only in sixth place.

Dahlen (surname)

Dahlen is a Low German surname variation of Dahl originating in medieval Westphalia. The oldest record of the name appears in Austria. Dahlen is also a common Scandinavian surname. The Swedish language spelling replaces the e with é, indicator of an integrated loan word. Dahlen is uncommon as a given name. Notable people with the surname include:

Andreas Dahlén, Swedish footballer

Bill Dahlen (1870–1950), American baseball player

Carl Dahlén (1770–1851), Swedish ballet dancer and choreographer

Jonathan Dahlen (born 1997), Swedish ice hockey player

Neal Dahlen, American National Football League general manager

Ulf Dahlén (born 1967), Swedish ice hockey player

Hermann, Freiherr Dahlen von Orlaburg (1828–1887), Austrian governor of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Error (baseball)

In baseball statistics, an error is an act, in the judgment of the official scorer, of a fielder misplaying a ball in a manner that allows a batter or baserunner to advance one or more bases or allows an at bat to continue after the batter should have been put out. The term error can also refer to the play during which an error was committed.

List of Chicago Cubs team records

The following lists statistical records and all-time leaders as well as awards and major accomplishments for the Chicago Cubs professional baseball club of Major League Baseball. The records list the top 5 players in each category since the inception of the Cubs.

Players that are still active with the Cubs are denoted in bold.

Records updated as of August 5, 2011.

List of Major League Baseball career assists leaders

In baseball, an assist (denoted by A) is a defensive statistic, baseball being one of the few sports in which the defensive team controls the ball. An assist is credited to every defensive player who fields or touches the ball (after it has been hit by the batter) prior to the recording of a putout, even if the contact was unintentional. For example, if a ball strikes a player's leg and bounces off him to another fielder, who tags the baserunner, the first player is credited with an assist. A fielder can receive a maximum of one assist per out recorded. An assist is also credited if a putout would have occurred, had another fielder not committed an error. For example, a shortstop might field a ground ball cleanly, but the first baseman might drop his throw. In this case, an error would be charged to the first baseman, and the shortstop would be credited with an assist.

Rabbit Maranville is the all-time leader with 8,967 career assists. Ozzie Smith (8,375), Cal Ripken Jr. (8,214), Bill Dahlen (8,138), Omar Vizquel (8,050), and Luis Aparicio (8,016) are the only other players to record more than 8,000 career assists.

List of Major League Baseball career fielding errors as a shortstop leaders

In baseball statistics, an error is an act, in the judgment of the official scorer, of a fielder misplaying a ball in a manner that allows a batter or baserunner to advance one or more bases or allows an at bat to continue after the batter should have been put out.

Shortstop, abbreviated SS, is the baseball or softball fielding position between second and third base, which is considered to be among the most demanding defensive positions. The position is mostly filled by defensive specialists, so shortstops are generally relatively poor batters who bat later in the batting order, with some exceptions. In the numbering system used by scorers to record defensive plays, the shortstop is assigned the number 6.

Herman Long is the all-time leader in errors committed as a shortstop with 1,070. Long is the only shortstop to commit over 1,000 career errors. Bill Dahlen (975), Germany Smith (973), Tommy Corcoran (961) are the only other shortstops to commit over 900 career errors.

List of Major League Baseball career fielding errors leaders

In baseball statistics, an error is an act, in the judgment of the official scorer, of a fielder misplaying a ball in a manner that allows a batter or baserunner to advance one or more bases or allows an at bat to continue after the batter should have been put out.

Herman Long is the all-time leader in errors, committing 1,096 in his career. Bill Dahlen (1,080), Deacon White (1,018), and Germany Smith (1,009) are the only other players to commit over 1,000 career errors. Tommy Corcoran (992), Fred Pfeffer (980), Cap Anson (976), and John Montgomery Ward (952) are the only other players to commit over 900 career errors.

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