Chief Wilson

John Owen "Chief" Wilson (August 21, 1883 – February 22, 1954) was an American professional baseball right fielder in Major League Baseball from 1908 to 1916. He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and St. Louis Cardinals.

Wilson played minor league baseball for three teams until the end of 1907, when he signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates. After spending six seasons with the organization, Wilson was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals, where he spent the last three seasons of his major league career and with whom he played his last game on October 1, 1916. Wilson is best known for setting the single-season record for triples in 1912 with 36, a record that still stands.

Chief Wilson
1912 Chief Wilson.jpeg
Born: August 21, 1883
Austin, Texas
Died: February 22, 1954 (aged 70)
Bertram, Texas
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 15, 1908, for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last MLB appearance
October 1, 1916, for the St. Louis Cardinals
MLB statistics
Batting average.269
Home runs59
Runs batted in571
Career highlights and awards

Personal life

Wilson was born on August 21, 1883, in Austin, Texas.[1] He grew up at a ranch owned by his family located approximately 50 miles north of Austin in Bertram.[2] He was known for his introverted nature; his Pirates teammate and roommate Bobby Byrne recounted how Wilson "wouldn't say two words all day."[2] Wilson started his baseball career playing on several teams in independent leagues, before joining the Austin Senators in 1905.[2][3]

After he retired from baseball, Wilson returned to his family ranch in Bertram, where he became a stock farmer and held various positions in service to the community.[4] He died on October 24, 1954, at the age of 70 and was interred at Austin Memorial Park.[1][2] On March 31, 2007, the Bertram Little League Sports Complex was dedicated to and named after Wilson.[4]

Origins of nickname

Contrary to popular belief, Wilson was not of Native American descent.[5] He was nicknamed "Chief" because his Pittsburgh teammates and manager Fred Clarke thought Wilson, a native Texan with a towering height of 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m),[6] resembled a "Chief of the Texas Rangers."[2]

Professional career

Minor leagues

In 1905, Wilson signed with the Austin Senators, a minor league baseball team in the Texas League.[3] However, the team disbanded in the middle of the season on June 6 and Wilson joined the Fort Worth Panthers, playing for them until he was promoted to the Des Moines Champs of the Western League in 1907. He performed well, posting a batting average of .323 in 56 games.[2][3] It was during his first (and only) season with the Champs that Wilson was spotted by Denver Grizzlies' pitcher Babe Adams, who had signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates at the end of 1907. Adams informed Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss of Wilson's "tremendous arm" and his ability "not only as a hitter but as a fielder."[2] This prompted Dreyfuss to sign Wilson to the Pirates as their right fielder.[2] Wilson made his major league debut for the Pirates on April 15, 1908, at the age of 24,[1] in a 3–1 Opening Day win against the St. Louis Cardinals.[7]

Pittsburgh Pirates (1908–1913)

1912 T207 Chief Wilson
A 1912 T207 baseball card depicting Wilson.

During his 1908 rookie season, Wilson had a relatively disappointing year,[2][5] batting .227, slugging .285 and finished sixth in the National League (NL) in strikeouts with 66. Out of his 120 hits that season, only 18 were extra base hits.[1][2] As a result of his offensive woes, Pirates fans booed him on a constant basis.[2] Wilson greatly improved his batting in the following season, raising his batting average to .272, playing all 154 games in the season and finishing fifth in the NL in triples with 12.[1] This success culminated in the Pirates winning the World Series at the conclusion of that season.[8] In the Opening Day game of the 1910 season, Wilson got injured and had to sit out for seven games, with Vin Campbell taking his place in the lineup.[9] On July 3, against the Cincinnati Reds, he hit for the cycle.[10] He finished the season with similar statistics as the previous year,[2] batting .276 and hitting 13 triples.[1]

The 1911 season was a breakout year for Wilson. He posted a batting average of .300, finished third in the NL in doubles (34), fifth in home runs (12) and sixth in slugging (.472) and drove in 107 runs batted in (RBI), thus becoming the league's RBI champion.[1] The 12 home runs he hit that season marked a Pirates team record he held until 1925.[2]

In 1912, Wilson recorded the same batting average as the year before and came second in the league in slugging (.513) and games played (152), third in home runs (11), fourth in RBI (95) and seventh in hits (175).[1] Furthermore, he set the single-season record for triples, hitting 36 in total that year.[2] However, his record received almost no press coverage whatsoever. Baseball sportswriter Ernest Lanigan suggested that this was because a record book erroneously attributed Nap Lajoie with having 44 triples in 1903, when he hit only 11 that year.[2] As a result, several newspapers—most notably the Pittsburgh Press—were under the belief that Lajoie held the record.[11]

Wilson's record still stands today and is currently the third oldest single-season record, behind Lajoie's .426 batting average in 1901 and Jack Chesbro's 41 wins in 1904.[12] It is considered one of baseball's most unbreakable records,[13] as only Sam Crawford (1914) and Kiki Cuyler (1925) have come the closest to breaking the record; both players hit 26 triples.[14] Wilson's record also accounted for part of the 129 triples amassed by the Pirates that year, setting a single-season for most triples by a team since 1900.[2][15] Due to his stellar and record-breaking performance, Wilson finished eighth in that season's voting for the Chalmers Award, the precursor to the MLB Most Valuable Player Award.[16]

St. Louis Cardinals (1914–1916)

See also



  • "36 Triples by Chief Wilson in a Single Season". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved October 28, 2012.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Chief Wilson Statistics and History". Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Armour, Mark. "Chief Wilson". The Baseball Biography Project. Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "Chief Wilson Minor League Statistics and History". Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Hail to the Chief". The Burnet Bulletin. March 28, 2007. p. 1A, 4A. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  5. ^ a b Finoli, David; Rainer, Bill (April 1, 2003). Pittsburgh Pirates Encyclopedia. Sports Publishing LLC. p. 336. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  6. ^ Holtzman, Jerome (December 18, 1996). "'Chief' A Pirate Who Tripled His Pleasure". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
  7. ^ "1908 Pittsburgh Pirates Schedule, Box Scores and Splits". Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  8. ^ "1909 World Series (4-3): Pittsburgh Pirates (110-42) over Detroit Tigers (98-54)". Retrieved October 23, 2012.
  9. ^ "Pirates Scheduled to Open Season Today". The Gazette Times. Pittsburgh. April 20, 1911. p. 9. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
  10. ^ "Cycles". Retrosheet. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  11. ^ O'Connor, W.J. (September 8, 1912). "Chief Wilson Poles His Thirty-Fourth Three-Bagger Of The Season". The Pittsburgh Press. p. 2 (Sporting section). Retrieved October 28, 2012. Only a phenomenal burst of long swats will give the Texan a chance to equal Lajoie's season mark of 44 three-base knocks...the wonderful record once made by Lajoie.
  12. ^ Egan, Timothy (October 2, 2004). "Baseball; Swift and Sharp, Suzuki Sets Mark For Hits in Season". The New York Times. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
  13. ^ Ballou, Bill (July 17, 1994). "Hitters Continuing Pursuit Of Records \ Some Marks Untouchable". Telegram & Gazette. Worcester. p. D8. Retrieved October 24, 2012. (subscription required)
  14. ^ "Single-Season Leaders & Records for Triples". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
  15. ^ Gustines, Elena (April 29, 2009). "Mets Are Good at Something". The New York Times. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  16. ^ "Baseball Awards Voting for 1912". Retrieved October 27, 2012.

Further reading

External links

Preceded by
Heinie Reitz
Single-season triple record holder
1912 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Otis Clymer
Hitting for the cycle
July 3, 1910
Succeeded by
Danny Murphy
1908 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1908 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 27th season for the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise. The team finished tied for second place in the National League with the New York Giants, one game behind the Chicago Cubs. The Pirates spent 46 days in first place, and were on top on October 3. However, they lost their last game to the Cubs, which set up a replay of the infamous "Merkle" game between the Cubs and the Giants. The Cubs took it to win the pennant. Pittsburgh finished tied for second place with the Giants, just one game back. It was one of the closest races in baseball history.

Shortstop Honus Wagner had one of the most dominating hitting performances of all-time. The "Flying Dutchman" led the majors in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs batted in, and stolen bases. He missed the triple crown by two home runs. For his efforts, Wagner was paid $5,000, possibly the most on the team.

1909 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 28th season for the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise, during which they won the National League pennant with a record of 110–42 and their first World Series over the Detroit Tigers. Led by shortstop Honus Wagner and outfielder-manager Fred Clarke, the Pirates scored the most runs in the majors. Wagner led the league in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and runs batted in. Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss opened the Pirates' new ballpark, named Forbes Field, on June 30, 1909.The Pirates' 110 wins remain a team record, a record they set in the last game of the season by beating the Cincinnati Reds 7–4 in muddy conditions on October 5. It is in fact the best regular season win percentage by any World Series winning team.

1910 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1910 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 29th season of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise; the 24th in the National League. The defending World Series champion Pirates finished third in the National League with a record of 86–67.

1911 Major League Baseball season

The 1911 Major League Baseball season was the last season in which none of the current 30 MLB stadiums were in use. The oldest current ballpark is Fenway Park, opened in 1912.

1911 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1911 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 30th season of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise; the 25th in the National League. The Pirates finished third in the league standings with a record of 85–69.

1912 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1912 Pittsburgh Pirates season was a season in American baseball, the 31st in franchise history. The team finished second in the National League with a record of 93–58, 10 games behind the New York Giants.

During the season, Chief Wilson set a major league record by hitting 36 triples in a single season. After 118 games, Chief Wilson already had 33 triples and was on pace to get 43 triples.

1913 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1913 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 32nd season of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise; the 27th in the National League. The Pirates finished fourth in the league standings with a record of 78–71.

1914 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1914 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 33rd season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 23rd season in the National League. The Cardinals went 81–72 during the season and finished 3rd in the National League.

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First Man into Space starred Marshall Thompson, Marla Landi, Bill Edwards and Robert Ayres, and was distributed by MGM. The plot was developed from a script that had been pitched to and rejected by AIP.

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The frame and forks of the Prince were revived in 1933 and used with V-twin engines to form the Motoplane and the Pony Scout.

List of Major League Baseball single-season records

This is a list of single-season records in Major League Baseball.

List of Pittsburgh Pirates team records

The Pittsburgh Pirates are a professional baseball team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They compete in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's (MLB) National League (NL). Founded in 1882 as Allegheny, the club played in the American Association before moving to the National League in 1887. The list below documents players and teams that hold particular club records.

In 134 seasons from 1882 through 2015, the team has won over 10,000 games and five World Series championships. The team has appeared in 18 postseasons and has won nine league pennants. Roberto Clemente owns the most career batting records with five. Ralph Kiner, Arky Vaughan and Paul Waner each own three single-season batting records. Bob Friend owns the most career pitching records and Ed Morris the most single-season pitching records, both with six.

In their history, the Pittsburgh Pirates have set three Major League Baseball records. In 1912, Chief Wilson hit an MLB-record 36 triples and, on May 30, 1925, the team collectively hit a major league-record eight triples in a single game. In addition, six no-hitters have been thrown in the history of the franchise, with the most recent on July 12, 1997. The Pirates also hold the MLB—and North American professional sports—record for most consecutive losing seasons with 20. The stretch began with the 1993 season and concluded with the 2012 season, at which point the Pirates recorded a winning record and a playoff berth in the 2013 season.

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The Okanogan Steamboat Company was a shipping company that ran steamboats on the Columbia River above Wenatchee from the late 19th century to 1915. Steamboats owned by the company included Pringle, Chelan, and North Star.

Steamboats of Grays Harbor and Chehalis and Hoquiam Rivers

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Steamboats of Willapa Bay

Willapa Bay is a large shallow body of water near the Pacific Ocean in southwestern Washington. For a number of years before modern roads were built in Pacific County, Washington, the bay was used as the means of travel around the county, by powered and unpowered craft. This article discusses steamboat navigation on Willapa Bay.

The Animal

The Animal is a 2001 American comedy film, starring Rob Schneider, Colleen Haskell, Michael Caton, and John C. McGinley.

Schneider plays Marvin Mange, a man who is critically injured but unknown to him he is put back together by a mad scientist who transplants animal parts, resulting in strange permanent changes to his behavior.

Triple (baseball)

In baseball, a triple is the act of a batter safely reaching third base after hitting the ball, with neither the benefit of a fielder's misplay (see error) nor another runner being put out on a fielder's choice. A triple is sometimes called a "three-bagger" or "three-base hit". For statistical and scorekeeping purposes it is denoted by 3B.Triples have become somewhat rare in Major League Baseball. It often requires a ball hit to a distant part of the field, or the ball taking an unusual bounce in the outfield. It also usually requires that the batter hit the ball solidly, and be a speedy runner. It also often requires that the batter's team have a good strategic reason for wanting the batter on third base, as a double will already put the batter in scoring position and there will often be little strategic advantage to taking the risk of trying to stretch a double into a triple. (The inside-the-park home run is much rarer than a triple). The trend for modern ballparks is to have smaller outfields (often increasing the number of home runs); it has ensured that the career and season triples leaders mostly consist of those who played early in Major League Baseball history, generally in the dead-ball era.

A walk-off triple (one that ends a game) occurs very infrequently. For example, the 2016 MLB season saw only three walk-off triples, excluding one play that was actually a triple plus an error.

Warren Gill

Warren Darst Gill (December 21, 1878 in Ladoga, Indiana – November 26, 1952 in Laguna Beach, California), nicknamed "Doc", was a professional baseball player who played first base for the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 1908 Major League season.

Gill is best known for failing to touch second base in a game against the Chicago Cubs on September 4, 1908. With the game tied at 0 in the bottom of the 10th, Chief Wilson stroked a two-out single that scored the winning run. However, Johnny Evers saw that Gill did not touch second base. Umpire Hank O'Day, the only umpire working the game that day, said he did not see it and called the game over with a Pirates victory.

Three weeks later on September 23, 1908, New York Giants player Fred Merkle repeated Gill's error during a game against the Cubs. The Cubs' capitalization of this error was followed by a losing streak which became known as the curse of Fred Merkle.

Wilson Carlile

Wilson Carlile, CH (1847–1942) was an English evangelist who founded the Church Army, and was Prebendary of St Paul's Cathedral. Known as "The Chief," Wilson Carlile has inspired generations of evangelists.

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