Robert Lincoln Lowe (July 10, 1865 – December 8, 1951), nicknamed "Link", was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) player, coach and scout. He played for the Boston Beaneaters (1890–1901), Chicago Cubs (1902–1903), Pittsburgh Pirates (1904), and Detroit Tigers (1904–1907). Lowe was the first player in Major League history to hit four home runs in a game, a feat which he accomplished in May 1894. He also tied or set Major League records with 17 total bases in a single game and six hits in a single game. Lowe was a versatile player who played at every position but was principally known as a second baseman. When he retired in 1907, his career fielding average of .953 at second base was the highest in Major League history.
Lowe also worked as a baseball manager, coach and scout. He was the player-manager of the Detroit Tigers during the last half of the 1904 season. He was also a player-manager for the Grand Rapids Wolverines in 1908, and coached college baseball in 1907 for the University of Michigan and from 1909 to 1910 for Washington & Jefferson College. Lowe was a scout for the Detroit Tigers in 1911 and 1912.
|Second baseman / Manager|
|Born: July 10, 1865|
|Died: December 8, 1951 (aged 86)|
|April 19, 1890, for the Boston Beaneaters|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 6, 1907, for the Detroit Tigers|
|Runs batted in||984|
|Career highlights and awards|
Lowe was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in July 1865, two months after the end of the American Civil War and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. His middle name "Lincoln" likely derives from the historic circumstances immediately preceding his birth. Lowe's father, Robert L. Lowe, was a Pennsylvania native and a railroad engineer. His mother, Jane (or Jennie) Lowe was an immigrant from Ireland. At the time of the 1870 U.S. Census, at age five, he was living with his parents and four siblings Mary, Eliza (or Lida), John Charles and Olive B., in Union Township, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, approximately 50 miles north of Pittsburgh, a township adjoining the city of New Castle. By 1880, Lowe's father had died and at age 15 he was living with his mother and three siblings in Union Township.
In 1881, Lowe was working as an "office devil" at the Newcastle Courant, a newspaper in New Castle, Pennsylvania. In the summer of 1881, at age 16, he played in a baseball game between the printers and the doctors of New Castle. Charley Powers, who played minor league baseball, was working as a compositor at the Courant and was selected as the captain of the printers. Lowe pleaded for a place on the team, and Powers stationed him in right field. He later recalled that "the kid carried off the honors both in the field and at the bat. I saw at once that he was a born ballplayer."
In 1882, Lowe played with the Archie Reeds, an amateur baseball club in New Castle. He left his job with the Courant in 1883 and, at age 18, took a job as a machinist at Witherow & Co., the largest manufacturing establishment in New Castle. He was the sole support at the time for his mother and youngest sister, Olive, and gave up baseball for several years. Some accounts indicate he also played for Witherow's plant baseball team and for the Neshannocks of New Castle.
In 1886, Charley Powers organized a baseball club in New Castle and persuaded Lowe's employer to allow him to play with the club occasionally. He played catcher and third base for New Castle in 1886 and led the team in batting and baserunning.
Powers and Lowe both signed to play with the Eau Claire, Wisconsin team in the Northwestern League during the summer of 1887. Powers later recalled that the manager of the Eau Claire club, Abe Devine, ran a saloon and refused to use Lowe because he refused to patronize his saloon. Devine sent him back to New Castle, declaring, "That boy can't play ball," but brought him back to Eau Claire after the team's starting third baseman, Charlie Levis, was injured. Lowe was put into the lineup in a game against Milwaukee and drew cheers from the crowd for his defensive play at third base. In his first at bat, he hit a long home run off Varney Anderson that "sailed far over the center field fence." He appeared in 108 games for Eau Claire in 1887, batting .294 with 47 extra base hits, 61 stolen bases, 100 runs scored and 240 total bases. He also demonstrated his versatility in the field, playing 51 games in left field, 21 games at shortstop, 17 games in right field, 11 games at third base, 6 games as catcher and 5 games in center field.
After the 1889 baseball season, the Boston Beaneaters purchased Lowe from the Milwaukee Brewers for $700 in a deal that has been described as "one of baseball's biggest bargains." He made his Major League Baseball debut with the Beaneaters on April 19, 1890, and remained with the Beaneaters for 12 years through 1901.
During his years in Boston, Lowe developed a reputation both as a hitter and a fielder. Listed at 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m), 150 pounds (68 kg), he hit right-handed and was considered one of the best second baseman of the 19th century. He was one of only three (along with Kid Nichols and Herman Long) to play on all five of the Beaneaters teams that won pennants in the 1890s.
In 1891, Lowe tied a then major league record with six hits (four singles, a double and a home run) in six at bats. Having played mostly in the outfield in 1891 and 1892, he replaced Joe Quinn at second base in 1893 and was the Beaneaters' starting second baseman for eight straight years, from 1893 to 1900.
On May 30, 1894, Lowe became the first major leaguer to hit four home runs in one game, including two home runs in the third inning. He accomplished the feat in front of a Decoration Day crowd of 8,500 spectators against Elton "Ice Box" Chamberlain of the Cincinnati Reds at Boston's Congress Street Grounds. The Boston Daily Globe reported on the game as follows:
"Bobby Lowe broke all league records with four home runs in succession, and then tied the record for total bases by adding a single, making a total of 17 bases. The hitting of Lowe has never been surpassed in a game. His home runs were on line drives far over the fence, and would be good for four bases on an open prairie. The crowd cheered Bobby every time he came up, and when he responded with a home run even the visitors had to join in the good-natured smile."
After the game, fans "showered $160 worth of silver on the plate for Lowe." In 1894, he led the National League with 613 at bats and was among the leaders in fielding and particularly in batting, with 319 total bases (2nd in the league), 17 home runs (2nd in the league), 345 putouts as a second baseman (2nd in the league), 212 hits (4th in the league), 402 assists as a second baseman (4th in the league), and 158 runs scored (5th in the league).
He was part of a Beaneater infield that included Fred Tenney at first base, Lowe at second base, Herman Long at shortstop and Jimmy Collins at third base, and has been rated by some as "the greatest infield of all time." John McGraw reportedly called Lowe and Long the greatest double play combination he had seen.
In December 1895, the Boston Daily Globe published a lengthy biography of Lowe, whom the paper described as Boston's "quiet, unassuming but phenomenal second baseman." The Globe noted that the ease with which Lowe played the game led many to understate his value to the club:
"For a grand player, Lowe is seldom given the credit often dished out to his inferiors. His work does not appeal to the bleachers and grandstand like the less natural and clumsy player who is often seen floundering around like a fish out of water, while the crowd enjoy the effort and go home to tell what great playing they saw. 'He is a hard worker,' you will hear them say. Bobby Lowe is not only a hard worker but a conscientious player and an artist of the first magnitude."
His annual salary while playing for Boston never exceeded $3,000.
On December 16, 1901, Lowe was purchased by the Chicago Orphans from the Beaneaters. In April 1902, manager Frank Selee named him team captain. He played for the Orphans, renamed the Cubs later that season, for two years. He was the starting second baseman in 1902. Although his batting statistics declined that year (.248 batting average), his .956 fielding percentage, 328 putouts, and 412 assists each ranked second among National League second basemen. In 1903, he became a backup to Johnny Evers at second base, appearing in only 32 games for the Cubs. He was paid a salary of $3,500 per year for his two years in Chicago.
On April 20, 1904, Lowe was purchased by the Pittsburgh Pirates from the Cubs. He appeared in only one game for the Pirates before being sold to the Detroit Tigers on April 30. He was the Tigers' starting second baseman in 140 games that season. His .964 fielding percentage and 328 assists in 1904 were the second highest among American League second basemen. Halfway through the season, he also became the manager. In 74 games as a player-manager, he led the Tigers to a 30-44 record. Despite solid fielding in 1904, Lowe's offensive output continued to decline as his batting average dropped to .207, 66 points below his career average of .273.
In 1905, Bill Armour took over as Tiger manager and Lowe stayed on as a part-time player. He was a utility player for the next three seasons, playing all four infield positions and in the outfield. In August 1906, he sustained a broken nose and a fractured jaw after being struck by a foul tip from his own bat during a game in Philadelphia. After the injury, Lowe missed the remainder of the 1906 season and appeared in only 17 games (with 37 at bats) in 1907, his final year in the major leagues. After that season, The Detroit News wrote that Lowe at age 42 "has not lost his batting eye nor his speed. His arm is just as good as ever and he is a much stronger ball player than many who held down regular jobs in the league this past season."
At the time of his retirement, his career fielding average of .953 was the highest for a second baseman, and his totals of 3,336 putouts and 4,171 assists also ranked among the top ten of all-time among second baseman.
In 1911, Fred Tenney wrote a series of articles for The New York Times selecting the greatest player in baseball history at each position. Having picked Johnny Evers at second base, Tenney chose Lowe as the best utility player of all time. He wrote: "Lowe of Boston was one of those baseball phenomeons [sic] who could play any position on the team in first-class style."
In 1932, syndicated sports writer Whitney Martin wrote a column arguing that Lowe ranked with Bobby Doerr, Joe Gordon, Nap Lajoie and Eddie Collins as the greatest second basemen of all time. Martin argued that Lowe's accomplishments were overlooked because he played "at a time when the ball had more turtle in it than rabbit." He catalogued a number of Lowe's accomplishments to support the argument:
Lowe also won a reputation as gentleman in an era of rough play. Whitney Martin noted that, in his 18-year career, Lowe "never once was fined or thumbed out of a game." At the conclusion of his playing career, The Detroit News wrote: "Lowe was one of the greatest and is today one of the most popular ball players ever in the game. There is no better type of the gentleman in baseball and no one ever heard ought but words of praise for him."
In 1936, the Baseball Hall of Fame appointed a Veteran's Committee to consider candidates from baseball's early years. Lowe ranked 34th in the voting by the Veteran's Committee, trailing Nap Lajoie and Dan Brouthers by a half vote. Of the 33 players who finished ahead of him in the voting, 24 have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, and several players who finished behind Lowe in the voting (including Bobby Wallace, Jesse Burkett, Jake Beckley, Tommy McCarthy, Tim Keefe and Candy Cummings) have also been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
In addition to his having been the manager of the Tigers for the last half of the 1904 season, Lowe also coached baseball at the college and minor league level. In 1907, he was hired as the baseball coach for the University of Michigan Wolverines baseball team. In April 1907, a newspaper reported: "Mr. Lowe is the idol of the students at the university and has received the highest possible praise from the college for the excellent manner in which he handles the team." Lowe led the Wolverines to a record of 11-4-1 in 1907.
After his career as a Major League player ended in 1907, Lowe was actively pursued by several minor league teams for coaching positions. He ultimately signed with Grand Rapids Wolverines of the Central League. In March 1908, Lowe expressed optimism that "there is more interest being taken in baseball in different league towns than ever before."
After retiring as a player and coach, Lowe continued his affiliation with the game as a scout for the Detroit Tigers in the early 1910s. In February 1912, a syndicated newspaper story reported that Lowe had traveled 20,000 miles as a scout during the prior year, and noted that his itinerary "reads like a cross between a railroad guide and an atlas." Lowe's destinations in 1911 included Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Macon, Georgia, Yazoo City, Mississippi, Montgomery, Alabama, New Orleans, Chicago, Memphis, Atlanta, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Hannibal, Missouri, Denver, Butte, Montana, Boise, Idaho, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Waterloo, Iowa, Green Bay, Wisconsin, Calgary, and Moose Jaw.
Lowe was married to Harriet Hughes, whose father operated the Leslie Hotel in New Castle. They had no children. After retiring from baseball, Lowe remained in Detroit. In 1920, he was living with his wife and was employed as a "dealer" in real estate. Later, he became an inspector for the City of Detroit Department of Public Works. In 1930, he was living with his wife at the Case De Vine Apartments and was employed as an inspector for the City of Detroit.
Lowe remained "a student and ardent patron of baseball." In 1922, he returned to Boston to play in a veterans baseball game to benefit Boston Children's Hospital. After Lou Gehrig hit four home runs in a game in 1932, Lowe, wearing his old Beaneaters uniform, posed with Gehrig. Lowe said, "I feel complimented to share the record with so grand a boy." He was 38 years older than Gehrig, but outlived him by 10 years. Two days before his seventy-sixth birthday Lowe attended the 1941 All Star game in Briggs Stadium, Detroit. 
| Batters with 4 home runs in one game
May 30, 1894
The 1890 Boston Beaneaters season was the 20th season of the franchise.1891 Boston Beaneaters season
The 1891 Boston Beaneaters season was the 21st season of the franchise.1897 Boston Beaneaters season
The 1897 Boston Beaneaters season was the 27th season of the franchise. The Beaneaters won the National League pennant, their fourth of the decade and their seventh overall. After the season, the Beaneaters played in the Temple Cup for the first time. They lost the series to the second-place Baltimore Orioles, 4 games to 1.1898 Boston Beaneaters season
The 1898 Boston Beaneaters season was the 28th season of the franchise. The Beaneaters won their second straight National League pennant and their eighth overall. It was also their fifth, and last, of the decade. This team has been cited (along with the 1880s St. Louis Browns and the 1890s Baltimore Orioles) as one of the greatest of the 19th century. This was the end of a tremendous run of success for the team, which won four straight National Association titles (1872–1875) and eight National League pennants (1877-78, 1883, 1891-93, 1897-98).
The starting line-up featured three Hall of Famers: third baseman Jimmy Collins and outfielders Billy Hamilton and Hugh Duffy. Collins led the league with 15 home runs, and Hamilton hit .369 with 54 stolen bases. The pitching staff was led by Hall of Famers Kid Nichols and Vic Willis. Nichols led the NL with 31 wins and had an ERA of 2.13.1902 Chicago Orphans season
The 1902 Chicago Orphans season was the 31st season of the Chicago Orphans franchise, the 27th in the National League and the 10th at West Side Park. The Orphans finished fifth in the National League with a record of 68–69.1903 Chicago Cubs season
The 1903 Chicago Cubs season was the 32nd season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 28th in the National League and the 11th at West Side Park. The Cubs finished third in the National League with a record of 82–56.1904 Detroit Tigers season
1904 was the fourth year for the Detroit Tigers in the American League. The team finished in seventh place with a record of 62–90 (.408), 32 games behind the Boston Americans. They played ten tie games, which is the major-league record. The 1904 Tigers were outscored by their opponents 627 to 505. The team's attendance at Bennett Park was 177,796, seventh out of the eight teams in the AL. In the year before Ty Cobb's arrival, pitcher George Mullin had a higher batting average than any of the team's regulars at .290.1904 Major League Baseball season
The 1904 Major League Baseball season. No World Series was held this season.
The St. Louis Browns played eleven consecutive games against the Detroit Tigers at Bennett Park in Detroit — the longest regular season homestand in Major League history.1904 Pittsburgh Pirates season
The 1904 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 23rd season of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise; the 18th in the National League. The Pirates finished fourth in the National League with a record of 87–66.1905 Detroit Tigers season
1905 was the fifth year for the Detroit Tigers in the American League. The team finished in third place with a record of 79–74 (.516), 15½ games behind the Philadelphia Athletics.1906 Detroit Tigers season
1906 was the sixth year for the Detroit Tigers in the American League. The team finished in sixth place with a record of 71–78 (.477), 21 games behind the Chicago White Sox.Bobby Lowe (karateka)
Edward 'Bobby' Lowe (August 23, 1929 – September 14, 2011) was a prominent Chinese American master of Kyokushin karate. He was the first uchi deshi (live-in student) of Masutatsu Oyama, founder of Kyokushin karate, and established the first Kyokushin school outside Japan. Lowe held the title of "Shihan" and was the Senior Instructor and an International Committee Chairman of the International Karate Organization founded by Oyama.Boston Reds (1890–91)
The Boston Reds were a 19th-century baseball team located in Boston, Massachusetts that played in the Players' League in 1890 and in the American Association in 1891. They played in the Congress Street Grounds in the 1890s. The team took its name from the successful Boston club of the National Association and National League formerly known as the (Boston) Red Stockings, who had changed their name to the Beaneaters in 1883. The club lasted only two seasons, but in those two seasons they were league champions.
In 1890 the Reds won the Players' League pennant when they finished first ahead of the New York Giants, and then won the American Association pennant when they finished first ahead of the St. Louis Browns (now the Cardinals). The Boston Reds are one of two major league teams to win back-to-back pennants spanning two different leagues. The Brooklyn Dodgers did it also, winning the AA pennant in 1889 and the NL pennant in 1890.
At the conclusion of the 1891 season, the National League pressed for the consolidation of the American Association with the National League. Part of the posturing included the National League directing its champion Boston Beaneaters not to play the Reds in a World Series. The leagues settled, adding four AA clubs to a combined circuit. As part of the settlement, the owners of the four clubs not joining the combined circuit, including the Reds, were paid $135,000 and their players dispersed to the surviving clubs.
Their abandoned ballpark was revived for use by the National League club in 1894, during the weeks that South End Grounds was being rebuilt following a fire. The Congress Street Grounds, with its close left field foul line, quickly gained some more history, as Bobby Lowe hit four home runs in one game there, the first player to accomplish that feat.Congress Street Grounds
Congress Street Grounds is a former baseball ground located in Boston, Massachusetts. The ballpark, as the name implies, was along Congress Street, near the intersection of Thompson Place, and not far from the Fort Point Channel on South Boston Flats, a newly filled in piece of land on Boston Harbor. The ground was home to the Boston Reds, that played in the Players' League in 1890 and the American Association in 1891.Although a short-lived facility, the ballpark witnessed some significant history. First, its occupants won league pennants in their two years of existence. Despite its success, the club was dropped during the NL-AA merger of 1892, as there was already an NL entry in Boston.
Then, between May and June 1894, Congress Street Grounds was the home to the Boston Beaneaters while their home grounds, the South End Grounds, were being rebuilt after the Great Roxbury Fire of May 15, 1894. It had a close left field fence, which benefited Boston's Bobby Lowe just a couple of weeks later, on May 30, 1894, as he became the first batter to hit four home runs in a single game, all of them down the line in left field.
The location is now occupied by several office buildings, and the alley behind them, which would go through the area of the outfield, was used in the 2006 film The Departed, in a key scene where Martin Sheen's character is pushed off a roof.Joe Hughes (baseball)
Joseph Thompson Hughes (February 21, 1880 – March 13, 1951) was a Major League Baseball outfielder for the Chicago Orphans in 1902. He went to college at Geneva College. According to Sporting Life correspondent A.R. Cratty, due to injuries to the Orphans, Hughes shared time in right field during a series against the Pittsburgh Pirates with Hillebrand, who also played his only Major League game the previous day. Cratty suggested that Hughes may have been the brother-in-law of long time Major League infielder Bobby Lowe, who was playing for the Orphans that season.List of Atlanta Braves team records
The Atlanta Braves are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Atlanta. The Braves formed in 1876 as the Boston Red Stockings. After moving to Milwaukee for 12 years, the Braves relocated to Atlanta in 1966. Through 2010, the Braves have played 20,053 games, winning 9,945, losing 9,954, and tying 154, for a winning percentage of approximately .500. This list documents the superlative records and accomplishments of team members during their tenures in MLB.
Hank Aaron holds the most franchise records as of the end of the 2010 season, with ten, including most career hits, doubles, and the best career on-base plus slugging percentage. Aaron also held the career home runs record from April 8, 1974 until August 8, 2007. He is followed by Hugh Duffy, who holds eight records, including best single-season batting average and the best single-season slugging percentage record.Four Braves players currently hold Major League Baseball records. Duffy holds the best single-season batting average record, accumulating an average of .440 in 1890. Bob Horner and Bobby Lowe are tied with 13 others for the most home runs in a game, with four, which they recorded on May 30, 1890, and July 6, 1986, respectively. Red Barrett, a Brave for six years, holds the record for fewest pitches by a single pitcher in a complete game, with 58, which he achieved on August 10, 1944.List of Major League Baseball single-game home run leaders
Writers of Sporting News described hitting four home runs in a single Major League Baseball (MLB) game as "baseball's greatest single-game accomplishment". Eighteen players have accomplished the feat to date, the most recent being J. D. Martinez with the Arizona Diamondbacks against the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 4, 2017. No player has done this more than once in his career and no player has ever hit more than four in a game. Bobby Lowe was the first to hit four home runs in a single game, doing so on May 30, 1894. Fans were reportedly so excited that they threw $160 in silver coins ($4,600 today) onto the field after his fourth home run.These games have resulted in other MLB single-game records due to the extreme offensive performance. Mark Whiten, for example, tied Jim Bottomley for the most runs batted in in a single game with 12 in his four-homer game. Shawn Green hit a double and a single along with his four home runs for 19 total bases, an MLB record. It surpassed Joe Adcock's mark of 18, which also came from a four-homer game.Chuck Klein, Pat Seerey, and Mike Schmidt each hit their four in a game that went into extra innings. Scooter Gennett and Mark Whiten hit a grand slam as one of their four homers. Four home runs generate significant offense that generally allows a team to win, although Ed Delahanty's and Bob Horner's teams lost their respective milestone games. In fact, in all but three of those games, two being the aforementioned players' games, the player's team scored ten or more runs.
Carlos Delgado is the only player to hit four home runs in a game in which he made only four plate appearances. No player has ever hit four home runs in a postseason game; that record is three, first accomplished by Babe Ruth in Game 4 of the 1926 World Series.Warren Spahn pitched the ball which Gil Hodges hit for the first of his four, the only Hall of Fame pitcher faced during a four-home-run game. Hodges, Adcock, and Martinez are the only players to hit home runs against four different pitchers in one game. Lowe and Delahanty, on the other hand, are the only players to hit four home runs in one game against just one pitcher: Ice Box Chamberlain and Adonis Terry, respectively.
Mike Cameron hit his four on May 2, 2002, and Green matched the total 21 days later on May 23, 2002, the shortest span between such games. Lowe and Seerey each hit fewer than 100 career home runs, while Willie Mays, with 660, hit more than any other player in this group. Both Mays and Schmidt are also members of the 500 home run club.
Of the 14 players eligible for the Hall of Fame who have hit four home runs in a game, five have been elected. Players are eligible for the Hall of Fame if they have played in at least 10 major league seasons and have been either retired for five seasons or deceased for at least six months. These requirements leave three players ineligible who are living and have played in the past five seasons and one (Seerey) who did not play 10 seasons in MLB.R. E. Hillebrand
R. E. Hillebrand was an American baseball player. He played one game in Major League Baseball as a right fielder for the Chicago Orphans on August 29, 1902. He went hitless in four at bats, while scoring one run after walk. The Chicago Inter Ocean described his debut as follows:
Manager Selee was on the mysterious lay today. In right field he had a young man who sailed under the name 'Hillebrand,' but wears a different title at home. The boy was so nervous that he could not stand still, but showed some good traits at the bat. There was nothing by which to gauge his ability as a fielder.
According to Sporting Life correspondent A.R. Cratty, due to injuries to the Orphans, Hillebrand shared time in right field during a series against the Pittsburgh Pirates with Joe Hughes, who also played his only Major League game the following day. W.A Phelon reported that after playing his one Major League game, Hillebrand was told that "while he had done no real hurt he need not stay." Cratty suggested that Hillebrand may have been the brother-in-law of long time Major League infielder Bobby Lowe, who was playing for the Orphans that season.Robert Lowe (disambiguation)
Robert Lowe (1811–1892) was a British statesman.
Robert Lowe may also refer to:
Rob Lowe (born 1964), American actor
Robert Lowe (athlete) (born 1945), British Paralympian
Robert Lowe (musician), American singer of the bands Solitude Aeturnus and Candlemass
Robert Lowe (footballer), English footballer
Robert Daniel Lowe (born 1985), English stage, television and film actor
Bobby Lowe (1865–1951), American baseball player around the turn of the 20th century
Bobby Lowe (karateka) (1929–2011), US Kyokushin karate practitioner