Fred Tenney

Frederick Tenney (November 26, 1871 – July 3, 1952) was an American professional baseball player whose career spanned 20 seasons, 17 of which were spent with the Major League Baseball (MLB) Boston Beaneaters/Doves/Rustlers (1894–1907, 1911) and the New York Giants (1908–1909). Described as "one of the best defensive first basemen of all time", Tenney is credited with originating the 3-6-3 double play and originating the style of playing off the first base foul line and deep, as modern first basemen do.[1][2] Over his career, Tenney compiled a batting average of .294, 1,278 runs scored, 2,231 hits, 22 home runs, and 688 runs batted in (RBI) in 1,994 games played.

Born in Georgetown, Massachusetts, Tenney was one of the first players to enter the league after graduating college, where he served as a left-handed catcher for Brown University. Signing with the Beaneaters, Tenney spent the next 14 seasons with the team, including a three-year managerial stint from 1905–1907. In December 1907 Tenney was traded to the Giants as a part of an eight-man deal; after two years playing for New York, he re-signed with the Boston club, where he played for and managed the team in 1911. After retiring from baseball, Tenney worked for the Equitable Life Insurance Society before his death in Boston on July 3, 1952.

Fred Tenney
Tenney, Fred
First baseman / Manager
Born: November 26, 1871
Georgetown, Massachusetts
Died: July 3, 1952 (aged 80)
Boston, Massachusetts
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
June 16, 1894, for the Boston Beaneaters
Last MLB appearance
October 7, 1911, for the Boston Rustlers
MLB statistics
Batting average.294
Home runs22
Runs batted in688
Managerial record202–402
Winning %.334
As player

As manager

Early life

Tenney was born in Georgetown, Massachusetts, the third of five children to Charles William and Sarah Lambert (née DeBacon) Tenney.[3] Charles Tenney attended Dummer Academy from 1850 to 1853, and served for the 50th Massachusetts Regiment in the Civil War, where he nearly died due to "intense suffering".[3] Growing up, Fred led his class in drawing and sketching.[4] He reportedly started playing baseball around 1880.[5]


Brown University

In 1892, Tenney played his first professional game for the Binghamton Bingos of the Eastern League, going 1 for 4 with a single.[6] He played as Brown University's catcher for the 1893 and 1894 seasons. In 1894, the team had a 23–8 record and were selected as national champions by Harper's Weekly.[7] The night of his senior dinner, Tenney received a telephone message from Frank Selee, the manager of the Beaneaters, asking him to play a game for the team at catcher, due to the injuries of other players.[7][8]


Boston Beaneaters infield
Fred Tenney (top) with infielders Herman Long (right), Bobby Lowe (left), and Jimmy Collins (bottom) (1900)

In his MLB debut on June 16, 1894, Tenney had to be removed from the game in the fifth inning due to a fractured finger on his throwing hand from a foul tip. After Tenney had his finger addressed, James Billings, an owner of the Beaneaters, offered him a contract worth US$300 a month from that day.[9] Tenney, later writing about the day, stated:

I thought they were trying to have a little joke with me, and I concluded that I could do a little kidding myself. So I thought I would call their bluff by asking for some advance money. I screwed up my courage and asked Mr. Billings whether, if I signed the contract at once, I could get some advance money. He asked how much I wanted, and I thought I would mention a big sum in order to call their bluff good and strong. So I said $150. He consulted with Mr. Conant, another Director, and said that I could have the money all right, and asked me how I would like to have it– cash or check. [...] I replied that I would take half cash and then half in check, and immediately he wrote out a check for $75, counted out $75 in cash, shoved the contract over to me to sign, laying the cash and check beside it.

— Fred Tenney, The New York Times[9]

He returned to the team a month later, and finished the year batting .395 in 27 games.[8] The following season, Tenney moved to the outfield due to an erratic throwing arm behind the plate, according to manager Selee.[8] For the season, he hit .272 in 49 games, while also playing minor league baseball for the New Bedford Whalers. In 1896, Tenney again caught and played outfield; offensively, however, Tenney hit .336 in nearly double the games from the previous year (88) despite playing in the minors for the Springfield Ponies.[10]

In 1897, Tenney moved to first base to replace the aging Tom Tucker. According to Alfred Henry Spink, within two weeks of the move it was evident that Tenney had become "one of the finest first sackers that the game [had] ever seen."[11] On June 14, 1897, in a game against the Cincinnati Reds, Tenney turned the first 3-6-3 double play in MLB history.[12] Offensively, Tenney led MLB in plate appearances (646) and tied Duff Cooley, Gene DeMontreville, and George Van Haltren for the lead in at bats (566) as the Boston club became National League (NL) champions with a 93–39 record.[13][14]

Boston again won the NL in 1898 while Tenney hit .328 with 62 RBIs. In 1899 he collected 209 hits, fifth most in MLB, and recorded 17 triples, good for fourth best in MLB.[15] In 1900 Tenney, at age 28, batted .279 over 112 games played.[16] He began a streak of seven consecutive seasons where he led the NL in assists in 1901; he holds the record for most seasons leading a league in assists, with eight, including one in 1899.[1] He was suspended for ten games for fighting Pittsburgh Pirates manager Fred Clarke in May 1902,[8][17] and finished the 1902 season with the second most sacrifice hits (29) in the majors, to go along with a .315 average.[10][18] Throughout the 1901–1902 seasons, Tenney received contract offers worth up to $7,000 ($206,248 in 2017) from St. Louis, Cleveland, and Detroit;[8] Tenney, however, decided to remain in Boston, and was named captain of the club in 1903.[1] For the season, he hit .313, with 41 RBIs and three home runs, as he led his team in walks (70) and had the best on-base percentage mark (.415) on the squad.[19] In 1904, Tenney again led his team in walks and on-base percentage, as he tied for the team lead in runs with Ed Abbaticchio.[20]

He was named manager of the team in 1905, but did not receive additional pay; he was, however, offered a bonus if the team didn't lose money.[8] In 1905, Tenney tried to sign William Clarence Matthews, an African-American middle infielder from Harvard University, to a contract. Tenney later retracted his offer due to pressure from MLB players.[21] Defensively, he led the majors in errors committed by a first baseman and finished second in most putouts for any position.[22] Tenney led the 1906 Beaneaters to a 49–102 record. For the second straight year, the Boston team lost more than 100 games.[23]

After a 158–295 record as manager, on December 3, 1907, Tenney was traded to the Giants, along with Al Bridwell and Tom Needham, for Frank Bowerman, George Browne, Bill Dahlen, Cecil Ferguson and Dan McGann;[10] the trade was called "one of the biggest deals in the history of National League baseball".[24]

New York Giants

In his first season with the Giants, Tenney led MLB with 684 plate appearances and finished third in runs scored, with 101.[25] In a game against the Chicago Cubs on September 23, Tenney could not play due to an attack of lumbago; it was the only game he did not play in during the season.[26] Rookie Fred Merkle took his spot at first base. The game was at a 1–1 tie in the bottom of the ninth. Merkle, after hitting a single, was at first, and Moose McCormick was at third, with two outs. Al Bridwell singled to center field, but Hank O'Day called Merkle out because Merkle had not touched second base.[26] O'Day ruled the game a 1–1 tie due to darkness.[26] With both teams finishing the season at a 98–55 record, a replay game had to be played to determine who would win the National League pennant. The game was held on October 8, with the Cubs winning, 4–2.[26]

After batting a career low .235 in 1909, Tenney was released by the Giants.[8][27] He spent the 1910 season as a player–manager for the minor league Lowell Tigers, leading the team to a 65–57 record, good for fourth (out of eight teams) in the New England League.[28]

Return to Boston

On December 19, 1910, Tenney signed a two-year contract with the Boston Rustlers. For the 1911 season, Tenney hit .263 over 102 games.[10] He was released by the Braves on March 20, 1912, after 44–107 record in one season; Tenney was paid not to manage for the second year on his contract.[8]

In 1916, he bought the Newark Indians of the International League with James R. Price for $25,000 ($527,450 in 2012).[29][30] Mayor Thomas Lynch Raymond declared April 27 a "half-holiday" for the city of Newark for the Indians' Opening Day.[31] Tenney played in 16 games for the Indians, hitting .318 with seven hits over 22 at-bats, and managed the team to a 52–87 record.[32][33]

Personal life and death

Tenney married a Georgetown girl, Bessie Farnham Berry, on October 21, 1895. The couple had two children together; Barbara, born July 4, 1899, and Ruth, born December 8, 1901.[3] Early in his career, he refused to play baseball on Sundays due to his religion,[3] although he later changed his mind.[34] Tenney was known as the "Soiled Collegian" at the major league level because it was unpopular for college players to become professional.[35] Tenney served as a journalist for The Boston Post, Baseball Magazine, and The New York Times.[8] He painted and sketched during the winter.[4]

After retiring from baseball, Tenney worked for the Equitable Life Insurance Society and continued writing for The New York Times. In 1912, he was vice-president of the Usher–Stoughton shoe manufacturing company in Lynn, Massachusetts; later, he formed the Tenney–Spinney Shoe Company in partnership with Henry Spinney.[36][37] He was balloted for the National Baseball Hall of Fame from 1936–1942 and again in 1946, but never received more than eight votes, receiving eight (3.1% of total ballots cast) during the Baseball Hall of Fame balloting in 1938.[10] Tenney died on July 3, 1952 at Massachusetts General Hospital after a long illness.[8][35] He was interred at Harmony Chapel and Cemetery in Georgetown.[10]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Caruso, Gary. Braves Encyclopedia. Temple University Press. pp. 30, 245. ISBN 978-1-56639-384-3.
  2. ^ Porter, David L. G. (2000). Biographical Dictionary of American Sports: Q–Z. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 1528. ISBN 978-0-313-31176-5.
  3. ^ a b c d Tenney, Jonathan; Tenney, Martha Jane (1904). The Tenney family, or, The descendants of Thomas Tenney of Rowley, Massachusetts, 1638–1904. Rumford Press. pp. 539–540, 613–614.
  4. ^ a b "Fred Tenney is an Artist; The Famous ball player is a Clever Painter and Sketcher". The Pittsburg Press. March 31, 1905. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  5. ^ Hern, Gary (1951). "Tenney, Edison of the First Sack". Baseball Digest. Lakeside Publishing Company. 10 (3): 43–45.
  6. ^ "1892 Binghamton Bingos". Retrieved May 19, 2012.
  7. ^ a b Harris, Rick (2012). Brown University Baseball: A Legacy of the Game. The History Press. pp. 66–69. ISBN 978-1-60949-501-5.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Sternman, Mark. "Fred Tenney". The Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
  9. ^ a b Tenney, Fred (March 21, 1910). "How Tenney Broke into Baseball; Thought Boston Managers Were Joking When They Offered Him Money to Play" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Fred Tenney". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
  11. ^ Spink, Alfred Henry (1911). The National Game. Southern Illinois University Press. p. 187. ISBN 978-0-8093-2304-3.
  12. ^ Morris, Peter (2010). A Game of Inches: The Stories Behind the Innovations That Shaped Baseball. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 176. ISBN 978-1-56663-853-1.
  13. ^ "1897 Major League Baseball Batting Leaders". Retrieved May 19, 2012.
  14. ^ "1897 Boston Beaneaters". Retrieved May 19, 2012.
  15. ^ "1899 Major League Baseball Batting Leaders". Retrieved May 20, 2012.
  16. ^ "1900 Boston Beaneaters". Retrieved July 1, 2012.
  17. ^ "Players Punished" (PDF). Sporting Life. 39 (10). May 24, 1902. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
  18. ^ "1902 Major League Baseball Batting Leaders". Retrieved May 20, 2012.
  19. ^ "1903 Boston Beaneaters". Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  20. ^ "1904 Boston Beaneaters". Retrieved July 1, 2012.
  21. ^ Tierney, John P. (2008). Jack Coombs: A Life in Baseball. McFarland. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-7864-3959-1.
  22. ^ "1905 Major League Baseball Fielding Leaders". Retrieved July 1, 2012.
  23. ^ "Atlanta Braves Team History and Encyclopedia". Retrieved July 1, 2012.
  24. ^ Fleming, Gordon H. (2006). The Unforgettable Season. University of Nebraska Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-8032-6922-4.
  25. ^ "1908 Major League Baseball Batting Leaders". Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  26. ^ a b c d Girsch, George (1958). "Was it really Bonehead Merkle– or Bonehead O'Day?". Baseball Digest. Lakeside Publishing Company. 17 (9): 41–48.
  27. ^ "Fred Tenney Handed his Unconditional Release". The Sunday Tribune. May 10, 1910. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  28. ^ "New Bedford Wins Pennant" (PDF). The New York Times. September 11, 1910. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
  29. ^ Chadwick, Henry; Foster, John Buckingham; White, Charles D. (1916). Spalding's official base ball record. American Sports Publishing Co. p. 5.
  30. ^ "Jersey City Club Sold: James R. Price and Fred Tenney Buy International Franchise" (PDF). The New York Times. February 19, 1916. Retrieved June 30, 2012.
  31. ^ "Tenney's Men Start Today: Mayor of Newark Declares Half-Holiday for Opening" (PDF). The New York Times. April 27, 1916. Retrieved June 30, 2012.
  32. ^ "1916 Newark Indians". Retrieved June 30, 2012.
  33. ^ Wright, Marshall D. (1998). The International League: year-by-year statistics, 1884–1953. McFarland. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-7864-0458-2.
  34. ^ "Tenney to play Sunday ball". The Pittsburgh Press. December 23, 1906. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  35. ^ a b "Fred Tenney, Creater of 6-3-6 Double Play, Taken by Death". Lewiston Morning Tribune. July 4, 1952. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  36. ^ "Fred Tenney in Shoe Business" (PDF). The New York Times. June 1, 1912. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  37. ^ American shoemaking, Volume 51. Mcleish Communications. 1914. p. 595.

External links

1884 Washington Nationals (UA) season

The 1884 Washington Nationals finished with a 47–65 record in the Union Association, finishing in seventh place. This was the only season the team existed, and indeed the only season the Union Association existed.

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 Boston Beaneaters season

The 1902 Boston Beaneaters season was the 32nd season of the franchise.

1903 Boston Beaneaters season

The 1903 Boston Beaneaters season was the 33rd season of the franchise. The team finished sixth in the National League with a record of 58–80, 32 games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates.

1904 Boston Beaneaters season

The 1904 Boston Beaneaters season was the 34th season of the franchise.

1905 Boston Beaneaters season

The 1905 Boston Beaneaters season was the 35th season of the franchise. The Beaneaters finished seventh in the National League with a record of 51 wins and 103 losses.

1905 Major League Baseball season

The 1905 Major League Baseball season, had the second modern World Series. The New York Giants defeated the Philadelphia Athletics to win the World Series.

1906 Boston Beaneaters season

The 1906 Boston Beaneaters season was the 36th season of the franchise. The Beaneaters finished eighth in the National League with a record of 49 wins and 102 losses.

1907 Boston Doves season

The 1907 Boston Doves season was the 37th season of the franchise. Before the season, longtime Boston Beaneaters owner Arthur Soden sold the team to the Dovey Brothers. The team quickly became known as the Boston Doves, after the brothers. One bright spot during a 90-loss season came on May 8, when Big Jeff Pfeffer pitched a no-hitter in a 6–0 home win over the Cincinnati Reds.

1907 Major League Baseball season

The 1907 Major League Baseball season. The Chicago Cubs defeated the Detroit Tigers 4–0–1 to win the World Series.

The Philadelphia Phillies set a Major League record for the fewest at bats by a team in a season – 4,725.

1908 New York Giants season

The 1908 New York Giants season was the franchise's 26th season. The team finished in second place in the National League with a 98–56 record, one game behind the Chicago Cubs.

Paced by Turkey Mike Donlin, the offense scored the most runs in the league. Donlin led the team in nearly all batting categories and was second in batting to Honus Wagner.

Future Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson earned the pitching triple crown with 37 wins, 259 strikeouts, and a 1.43 ERA. However, he lost the last game of the season to Three Finger Brown of the Chicago Cubs, and the Giants finished one game back in the pennant race.

That one-game playoff became necessary after Giants rookie Fred Merkle failed to touch second base at the end of a previous contest, costing them a win. In addition, they were beaten by another rookie, Phillies pitcher Harry Coveleski, three times in five days late in the season. Coveleski was subsequently nicknamed "The Giant Killer".

1909 New York Giants season

The 1909 New York Giants season was the franchise's 27th season. The team finished in third place in the National League with a 92–61 record, 18½ games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates.

1911 Boston Rustlers season

The 1911 Boston Rustlers season was the 41st season of the franchise. With George Dovey having died in 1909, John Dovey and his business partner John Harris sold the Boston Doves team after the 1910 season to William Hepburn Russell, who changed the team name to the Boston Rustlers and brought back former manager Fred Tenney. Tenney's retirement at the end of the season marked the end of an era, as he was the last player to have been a part of the 1890s dynasty teams. In spite of their 44-107 record, four regular players managed to hit over .300 for the season, led by Doc Miller, who hit .333.

Bobby Lowe

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.

Fred Tenney (outfielder)

Fred Clay Tenney (July 9, 1859 – June 15, 1919) was a professional baseball player whose career spanned two seasons, one of which was spent with the Union Association (UA) Washington Nationals, Boston Reds, and Wilmington Quicksteps. He also played one season of minor league baseball for the Hartford Babies. Tenney spent the majority of his professional career as an outfielder, but also served as a first baseman and as a pitcher. He played collegiate ball at Brown University.

After retiring from baseball, Tenney became a lawyer and the superintendent of schools for Holliston, Massachusetts, before his death on June 15, 1919.

List of Atlanta Braves managers

The Atlanta Braves are a professional baseball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves are members of the National League (NL) East division in Major League Baseball (MLB). Since the franchise started as the Boston Red Stockings (no relationship to the current Boston Red Sox team) in 1871, the team has changed its name several times and relocated twice. The Braves were a charter member of the NL in 1876 as the Boston Red Caps, and are one of the NL's two remaining charter franchises (the other being the Chicago Cubs). In baseball, the head coach of a team is called the manager, or more formally, the field manager. The duties of the team manager include team strategy and leadership on and off the field. The Braves franchise has employed 45 managers.The franchise's first manager was Hall of Famer Harry Wright, who managed the team for eleven seasons. Frank Selee was the next manager to have managed the team for eleven seasons, with a total of twelve with the formerly named Boston Beaneaters. The formerly named Boston Braves made their first postseason appearance under George Stallings in 1914, winning the World Series that year. Several other managers spent long tenures with the Braves. Bill McKechnie managed the Braves from 1930 to 1937, while Casey Stengel managed the team from 1938 to 1942. The franchise was known as the Boston Bees from 1936 to 1940, and was again named the Boston Braves until 1952. Stengel also managed the Braves in 1943.From 1943 to 1989, no managerial term lasted as long as five complete seasons. The Braves were managed by Billy Southworth from 1946 to 1949, and again from 1950 to 1951. Southworth led the team into the 1948 World Series, which ended the Braves' 34-year postseason drought; the World Series ended in a losing result for the Braves. In 1953, the team moved from Boston to Milwaukee, where it was known as the Milwaukee Braves. Its first manager in Milwaukee was Charlie Grimm, who managed the team from mid-season of 1952 to mid-season of 1956. Fred Haney took over the managerial position after Grimm, and led the team to the World Series in 1957, defeating the New York Yankees in a game seven to win the series.In 1966, the team moved from Milwaukee to its current location, Atlanta. Its first manager in Atlanta was Bobby Bragan, who managed the team for three seasons earlier in Milwaukee. Lum Harris was the first manager to have managed the team in Atlanta for more than four seasons. Harris led the team into the NL Championship Series (NLCS) in 1969, but failed to advance into the World Series. Joe Torre was the next manager to manage the Braves into the postseason, but like Harris, led the team into the NLCS with a losing result. Bobby Cox was the manager of the Braves from 1990 till 2010. Under his leadership the Braves made the postseason 15 times, winning five National League championships and one World Series title in 1995. Cox has the most regular season wins, regular season losses, postseason appearances, postseason wins and postseason losses of any Braves manager. He was named NL Manager of the Year three times, in 1991, 2004 and 2005.After Cox retired upon the conclusion of the 2010 season, Fredi González was hired to take over as manager.

Several managers have had multiple tenures with the Braves. John Morrill served three terms in the 1880s as the Braves manager, while Fred Tenney, Stengel, Bob Coleman, Southworth, Dave Bristol and Cox each served two terms. Ted Turner and Vern Benson's term each lasted only a single game, as they were both interim managers between Bristol's tenures.

List of Major League Baseball annual putouts leaders

The following is a list of annual leaders in putouts in Major League Baseball (MLB), with separate lists for the American League and the National League. The list also includes several professional leagues and associations that were never part of MLB.

In baseball statistics, a putout (denoted by PO or fly out when appropriate) is given to a defensive player who records an out by a Tagging a runner with the ball when he is not touching a base (a tagout), catching a batted or thrown ball and tagging a base to put out a batter or runner (a Force out), catching a thrown ball and tagging a base to record an out on an appeal play, catching a third strike (a strikeout), catching a batted ball on the fly (a flyout), or being positioned closest to a runner called out for interference.

Jake Beckley is the all-time leader in career putouts with 23,743. Jiggs Donahue holds the record for most putouts in a season with 1,846 in 1907. Frank McCormick, Steve Garvey, Bill Terry, and Ernie Banks have all led the league in putouts 5 times. Albert Pujols is the active leader in putouts and has led the league 4 times.

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