Lip Pike

Lipman Emanuel "Lip" Pike (May 25, 1845 – October 10, 1893)[1] the "Iron Batter",[2] was one of the stars of 19th-century baseball in the United States.[2][3] He was one of the first professional players,[4][5] as well as the first Jewish one.[6] His brother, Israel Pike, played briefly for the Hartford Dark Blues during the 1877 season.

Pike was one of the premier players of his day. He was a great slugger and one of the best home run hitters, so much so that stories about balls he hit were told for quite some time after he stopped playing.

Lip Pike
Lip Pike Baseball
Born: May 25, 1845
New York City, New York
Died: October 10, 1893 (aged 48)
Brooklyn, New York
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
May 9, 1871, for the Troy Haymakers
Last MLB appearance
July 28, 1887, for the New York Metropolitans
MLB statistics
Batting average.322
Home runs21
Runs batted in332
  National Association of Base Ball Players
  League player
Troy Haymakers (1871)
Baltimore Canaries (18721873)
Hartford Dark Blues (1874)
St. Louis Brown Stockings (NA) (1875)
St. Louis Brown Stockings (NL) (1876)
Cincinnati Reds (18771878)
Providence Grays (1878)
Worcester Ruby Legs (1881)
New York Metropolitans (1887)
  League manager
Troy Haymakers (1871)
Hartford Dark Blues (1874)
Cincinnati Reds (1877)
Career highlights and awards

Early and personal life

Pike was born in New York into a Jewish Dutch family, and grew up in Brooklyn.[2] His father Emanuel was a haberdasher.[7] His mother was Jane, his brothers were Boaz, Israel, and Jacob, and he had a sister Julia.[8] His family moved to Brooklyn when he was very young.[8]

Baseball career

Pike began in baseball when he was 13.[9] Pike first rose to prominence playing for the Philadelphia Athletics (1860–76), whom he joined in 1866.[3] He brought an impressive blend of power and speed to the team, hitting many home runs as well as being one of the fastest players around. On one occasion he hit 6 home runs in one game.[2]

However, it was soon brought to light that he and two other Philadelphia players were being given $20 ($340 in current dollar terms) a week to play.[3][5] Since all baseball players were ostensibly amateurs (though many were, like Pike, accepting money under the table), a hearing was set up by the sport's governing body, the National Association of Base Ball Players. In the end, no one showed up to the hearing, and the matter was dropped. By 1869, the Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first openly professional team, and Pike's hearing, farcical as it seems to have been, paved the way for Harry Wright's professionalization of baseball. The Athletics were very successful, but Pike was dropped from the team in 1867, because he was from New York, and thus a 'foreigner,' calling his loyalty into question.

He moved on to the Irvington, New Jersey club and later in 1867 to the New York Mutuals, always a leading team, where he returned for 1868, having caught the eye of Boss Tweed. In 1869 he moved to the Brooklyn Atlantics, another perennial leader, where he hit .610. In 1870, the Atlantics, with Pike manning second base, finally ended Cincinnati's 93-game winning streak.

National Association

In 1871, the National Association was formed as the first professional baseball league, and Pike joined the Troy Haymakers for its inaugural season. He was their star and for 4 games was the captain and manager,[3] batting .377 (6th best in the league) and hitting a league-leading 4 home runs.[10] He also led the league in extra base hits (21), and was 2nd in slugging percentage (.654) and doubles (10), 4th in RBIs (39), 5th in triples (7), 6th in on-base percentage (.400), 9th in hits (49), and 10th in runs (43).[10] The Haymakers only finished 6th, though, and the team's captaincy switched to Bill Craver.

The Haymakers revamped their roster for the 1872 season, and Pike headed for Baltimore, where he played for the Baltimore Canaries. Pike had another excellent season, leading the league in home runs again (with 6), RBIs (60), and games (56), and coming in 2nd in total bases (127) and extra base hits (26), 3rd in at bats (288), 5th in doubles (15) and triples (5), 9th in slugging percentage (.441) and stolen bases (8), and 10th in hits (84).[10]

In 1873, Pike led the league in home runs for the 3rd consecutive season, hitting 4, and was 2nd in triples (8), 4th in total bases (132), stolen bases (8), and extra base hits (26), 7th in slugging percentage (.462), 8th in doubles (14), RBIs (50), and at bats (286), 9th in hits (90), and 10th in games (56).[10]

Pike was also one of the fastest players in the league. He would occasionally race any challenger for a cash prize, routinely coming out the winner.[11] On August 16, 1873, he raced a fast trotting horse named "Clarence" in a 100-yard sprint at Baltimore's Newington Park, and won by four yards with a time of 10 seconds flat, earning $250 ($5,200 today).[3]

Baltimore went bankrupt after the season, so Pike headed off to captain the Hartford Dark Blues for the 1874 season. The Dark Blues were a poor team, but Pike had another fine season, slugging .574 to lead the league, and coming in 2nd with an on-base percentage of .368.[10]

Pike abandoned the weak Hartford team after a single season, switching to the St. Louis Brown Stockings.[10] For the first time in his professional career, Pike failed to hit a home run, although he stole 25 bases.[10] He also hit 12 triples and 22 doubles (leading the league) in what was probably his finest offensive season.[10]

In all, Lip Pike has the National Association career home run (15) and extra base hits (135) records.

National League

In 1876, when the National League replaced the National Association, Pike stuck with St. Louis. The Brown Stockings turned in a very good season, finishing a solid 2nd to the Chicago White Stockings. Pike continued to produce offensively, notching totals of 133 total bases (5th in the league) and 34 extra-base hits (2nd).[10]

Seemingly never content to stay with a team very long, Pike headed to the Cincinnati Reds for the 1877 season. The Reds finished last. Pike was still a top-quality player, leading the league in home runs for the 4th time in the 1870s.[9] However, age was starting to catch up with the 32-year-old Pike. He began the season as the 8th-oldest player in the league, and was the 4th-oldest player of the 1878 season. The 1878 Reds played very well, though. They finished 2nd, but Pike was replaced by Buttercup Dickerson halfway through the season and forced to look elsewhere for a team. He ended up playing a few games for the Providence Grays, and spent the next two years playing for minor league teams.

Sporting Life subsequently named him an outfielder on its 1870–80 All-Star team.[2]

Pike got a brief call-up in 1881 to play for the Worcester Ruby Legs,[12] but the 36-year-old Pike could no longer play effectively, hitting .111 and not managing a single extra base hit in 18 at-bats over 5 games.[10] His play was so poor as to arouse suspicions, and Pike found himself banned from the National League that September. He was added to the National League blacklist in 1881. He turned to haberdashery,[12] the vocation of his father, and spent another 6 years playing only amateur baseball. He was reinstated in 1883.

American Association

In 1887, the New York Metropolitans of the American Association gave Pike another chance. At 42, he was the oldest player in baseball. The only game he played was more of a sending off than a new start, though, and Pike headed back to his haberdashery once more.


Pike died suddenly of heart disease at the age of 48 in 1893.[2] The Brooklyn Eagle reported that "Many wealthy Hebrews and men high in political and old time baseball circles attended the funeral service".[13] He was interred in the Salem Fields Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.


In 1936, decades after he died, Pike received a vote in the elections for the Baseball Hall of Fame.[2]

Pike was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1985.[8]

Pike was inducted into the New York State Baseball Hall of Fame - Class of 2016

As of 2018, Pike has been one of seven Jewish managers in MLB history.[14] The others have been Gabe Kapler, Bob Melvin, Brad Ausmus, Jeff Newman, Norm Sherry, and Lou Boudreau.[14]

See also


  1. ^ "Baseball Almanac". United Press International. October 9, 1986. Retrieved March 7, 2010. Lip Pike, who led the National League with four homers in 1877 and was the first player to earn money for his services on the diamond, died in 1893.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Jews and Baseball: Entering the American mainstream, 1871–1948. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e Jewish sports legends: the International Jewish Hall of Fame. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  4. ^ Jewish heroes of America. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  5. ^ a b The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  6. ^ "RED SMITH; Baseball's Forgotten Centennial". The New York Times. December 10, 1980. Retrieved March 7, 2010. Jim Mutrie had been a shortstop of no great distinction in New England. He persuaded John B. Day, a prosperous tobacconist in Maiden Lane, to organize the New York Metropolitans, the original Mets. They played their first game September 29, 1880, beating the Nationals of Washington before 2,500 customers who paid 25 cents each. In center field for New York was Lip Pike, the first Jewish professional. One-Arm Hugh Daily pitched and won a two-hitter, and Steve Brady, who became a favorite with the fans, was at second base.
  7. ^ Cardinals Encyclopedia. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  8. ^ a b c Lip Pike | Society for American Baseball Research
  9. ^ a b The complete history of the home run. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Lip Pike Stats |
  11. ^ Major League Baseball in Gilded Age Connecticut: The Rise and Fall of the Middletown, New Haven and Hartford Clubs. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  12. ^ a b Jewish heroes & heroines of America: 151 true stories of Jewish American heroism. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  13. ^ Long before the Dodgers: baseball in Brooklyn, 1855–1884. 2002. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  14. ^ a b Ryan Lawrence (October 31, 2017). "Who is Gabe Kapler? A Dozen Fun Facts about the new Phillies manager," PhillyVoice.

Further reading

External links

Preceded by
Career home run record holder
shared with
Levi Meyerle & Fred Treacey

Succeeded by
Preceded by
shared with
Levi Meyerle & Fred Treacey
Career home run record holder
Succeeded by
Charley Jones
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Charlie Gould
Cincinnati Reds (1876–1880) Managers
Succeeded by
Bob Addy
1871 Troy Haymakers season

The Troy Haymakers played their first season in 1871 as a charter member of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players. They finished sixth in the league with a record of 13–15.

1872 Baltimore Canaries season

The Baltimore Canaries played their first season in 1872 as a member of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players. They finished second in the league with a record of 35-19. Outfielder Lip Pike led the NA in home runs, with 7, and runs batted in, with 60. Pitcher Bobby Mathews paced the circuit in strikeouts. Baltimore's other pitcher, Cherokee Fisher, led in earned run average.

1872 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 1872 throughout the world.

1873 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 1873 throughout the world.

1874 Hartford Dark Blues season

The Hartford Dark Blues were formed by Morgan Bulkeley and joined the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players for the 1874 season. They finished in seventh place in their debut.

1877 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1877 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished sixth and last in the National League with a record of 15–42, 25½ games behind the Boston Red Caps.

1878 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1878 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished second in the National League with a record of 37–23, four games behind the Boston Red Caps.

1893 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 1893 throughout the world.

23rd Street Grounds

23rd Street Grounds, also known as State Street Grounds and 23rd Street Park, and sometimes spelled out as Twenty-third Street Grounds, was a ballpark in Chicago. In it, the Chicago White Stockings played baseball from 1874 to 1877, the first two years in the National Association and the latter two in the National League.

The 1871 Great Chicago Fire had put the original White Stockings club out of business, and its best players scattered to other National Association clubs. For 1872, the Chicago Base Ball Association was formed, with the intention of eventually fielding a new Chicago ball club, which it finally did in 1874. Until then, they staged some games figuring to get good attendance and some revenue. In early May, the organization built a new grounds "on 23rd Street near State Street", with the inaugural game coming on May 29, Baltimore defeating Cleveland 5-2. The land was owned by Charles Follansbee23rd Street hosted a total of eight National Association games during 1872–1873, along with other contests. The Cleveland and Troy clubs played two and four home games there, respectively, in 1872, when they were struggling economically (both eventually went out of business). The Boston Red Stockings played one in August of 1873 when they were flourishing. Their opponent was the Philadelphia club, and the two clubs played there again a few days later, swapping "home" and "visitor" roles.

The grounds occupied a city block well south and east of the 1871 fire's origin on DeKoven Street. It was bounded by 23rd Street, State Street, 22nd Street (now Cermak Road) and what is now Federal Street. No illustration is known to survive, but contemporary newspaper descriptions imply that the diamond was in the north end of the block; a line drawn from home plate through the pitcher's mound and second base would have pointed south. If so, fair territory would probably have been shaped like a modern five-sided "home plate". (Home plate was square in shape at that time.) It has been discussed in Green Cathedrals, Philip J. Lowry's book on American baseball venues.

The final game played at this park was on Saturday, October 6, 1877. Chicago defeated Louisville 4-0 behind a shutout effort from hurler Laurie Reis. The final home run at the grounds was hit four days earlier by Lip Pike of Cincinnati.

Baltimore Canaries

The Baltimore Canaries were a professional baseball club in the National Association from 1872 to 1874.

Bob Addy

Robert Edward "Bob" Addy (February 1845 – April 9, 1910), nicknamed "The Magnet", was an American right fielder and second baseman in Major League Baseball, whose professional career spanned from 1871 in the National Association to 1877 in the National League. He is credited as the first player to introduce the slide in an organized game, and later attempted to create a game of baseball that would have been played on ice.

Cincinnati Reds (1876–79)

The Cincinnati Reds, also known as the Cincinnati Red Stockings, were a professional baseball team based in Cincinnati, Ohio that played from 1875–1879. The club predated the National League of which it became a charter member.

Hartford Dark Blues

The Hartford Dark Blues were a 19th-century baseball team. The team was based in Hartford, Connecticut.

Hartford Dark Blues all-time roster

The Hartford Dark Blues were a Major League Baseball club in the 1870s, based in Hartford, Connecticut for three seasons and in Brooklyn, New York for one. Hartford was a member of the National Association (NA), 1874–1875 and a founding member of the National League (NL) in 1876, when it played home games at the Hartford Ball Club Grounds. During 1877 the team played home games at the Union Grounds in Brooklyn and was sometimes called the Brooklyn Hartfords.The team's owner, Morgan Bulkeley, who later became the first president of the NL in 1876, established the franchise in 1874; he gave the on-field captain duties to Lip Pike, who was also the starting center fielder. Among the other players signed by Hartford were pitcher Cherokee Fisher, who had led the NA in earned run average the two previous seasons, second baseman Bob Addy, and Scott Hastings.After placing seventh among the league's eight teams, the team's roster was purged and captain duties were handed over to third baseman Bob Ferguson, who stayed in the role for the remaining three seasons of the franchise's existence. The change in personnel, which included the pitching additions of future Hall of Famer Candy Cummings and Tommy Bond, improved the team's results. With the team's pitching rotation stable, and the hitting of Tom Carey, Tom York, Dick Higham, and Jack Burdock, the franchise enjoyed second-place finishes in 1875 and 1876.Following the departure of their pitching stars, Cummings and Bond, the team had to rely on Terry Larkin in 1877, who shouldered most of the pitching duties. The Dark Blues finished in third place, despite the hitting of John Cassidy, who batted .378. When Bulkeley moved his team to Brooklyn in 1877, he expected that he would make a better profit than he had in Hartford. The larger population of Brooklyn did not, however, respond in kind, and the Hartfords' fan base did not increase. He became disenchanted with his involvement in baseball, and with his interest in running the day-to-day operations of the team. Because of this and the lack of fan support, the team disbanded after the 1877 season.

Levi Meyerle

Levi Samuel Meyerle (July 1849 – November 4, 1921) was an American Major League Baseball player who played for eight seasons in organized professional league play. During his career he played for the Philadelphia Athletics of the National Association, Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Stockings of the National League and Keystones of Philadelphia of the Union Association. Known as "Long Levi" during his playing days, Meyerle was one of the first Jewish professional baseball stars, along with Lip Pike.

Lon Knight

Alonzo P. "Lon" Knight, born Alonzo P. Letti (June 16, 1853 – April 23, 1932), was an American right fielder, right-handed pitcher and manager in Major League Baseball. He threw the first pitch in the first game played in the new National League on April 22, 1876.

Born in Philadelphia and a graduate of Girard College, he began playing with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1875 when the team was in the National Association, then stayed with them when they joined the National League in 1876. When the team folded after the 1876 season, he did not play in the major leagues again until 1880, when he joined the Worcester Ruby Legs of the NL for one season, and the Detroit Wolverines for two. In 1883, he was named the manager of the Philadelphia Athletics of the American Association, and the team won the league pennant with Knight also playing right field. In 1884 the team fell back to seventh place in a 13-team league. He finished his career in 1885 when he split the season between the Athletics and the Providence Grays.On May 21, 1880, he was playing right field at Riverside Park in Albany, New York when Lip Pike hit a ball over the fence and into the river. Few parks at the time had ground rules concerning balls hit over the fence. It was not an automatic home run, so Knight pursued the ball in a boat, eventually giving up.After Knight's playing career ended, he was an umpire for several seasons; his most active year was 1890, when he officiated 123 games in the Players' League. He umpired a total of 212 major league games.Knight died of poisoning at age 78 in Philadelphia when his gas line sprung a leak. He is interred at Laurel Hill Cemetery in an unmarked grave in Section H, Lot 63-64.

Mike Campbell (first baseman)

Mathew "Mike" Campbell (1850 – January 12, 1926) was an American baseball player at the beginning of the professional era, primarily with teams in northern New Jersey. He was born in Ireland.

1866. Mike and his older brother Hugh Campbell joined the Irvington club of Irvington, New Jersey, for the 1866 season. The Irvingtons were a new member of the National Association of Base Ball Players, and a "country club" in that Irvington was still outside the growing metropolis. (Irvington is in Essex County, closer to Newark and the Hudson River than to the western boundary.) In one sense most of the Association was new; membership boomed to 98 clubs for 1866, up from merely 30 including 22 in Greater New York. Hugh Campbell and at least two Irvington teammates had played for the Newark club in 1865.

In their first match of the season on June 14, Irvington shocked the champion Brooklyn Atlantics 23 to 17, who were undefeated for two seasons. Irvington would take the championship from Atlantic if it could schedule a rematch or two and win at least one of them before any other club beat the champions in two of three.

Location helped Irvington get two rematches but they did not get the one win. Atlantic won 28–11 in September and 12–6 in ten innings on October 29.Sixteen-year-old Mike Campbell played 13 of 17 team games on record and he was the regular at first base. He made more than an equal share of outs and scored less than an equal share of runs. Hugh Campbell played 17 games on record, primarily at center field. The best players were pitcher Rynie Wolters and catcher Andy Leonard.

1867. All nine regular players returned to the Irvingtons for 1867 and they were joined by Lip Pike for part of the season. Pike had moved from New York to play for the 1866 Athletics, presumably for some compensation; his subsequent move to the Irvingtons suggests compensation too. They were again one of the stronger teams in the association, winning 16 of 23 matches on record; in June and July they won two close ones from Union of Morrisania, who would take the crown in October.

Pitcher Wolters was against the team's outstanding batter, measured by runs scored and hands lost. Otherwise the attack was balanced and Mike Campbell at seventeen was one among equals. He played 21 matches, tie for the lead.

1868. The New York Mutuals acquired Lip Pike during the 1867 season and two more of the Irvingtons for 1868, shortstop Mahlon Stockman and the great Wolters. At the same time Andy Leonard and Charlie Sweasy moved to the Buckeyes, an ambitious club in Cincinnati. Although five regular players remained, the team was much weakened and no longer adequately covered in the known records. Mike Campbell may have been the best remaining batter-runner. In 10 matches he scored 24 runs with 22 hands lost (times put out), the highest ratio on the team.

Troy Haymakers

The Troy Haymakers were an American professional baseball team.

Worcester Worcesters all-time roster

The Worcester Worcesters, sometimes referred to as the Brown Stockings or the Ruby Legs, were a Major League Baseball team based in Worcester, Massachusetts. Though the team's alternate names appear in many modern sources, no contemporary records from the time exist that support the use of names other than "Worcester". They existed in the National League (NL) from 1880 to 1882, and played their home games at the Worcester Agricultural Fairgrounds.The team was organized in 1879 as the Worcester Baseball Association, and joined the minor league National Association. The team was profitable, successful against rival teams, and did well against NL teams in exhibition games. After the season, team management turned their attention on the NL, and pursued the slot vacated by the departing Syracuse Stars. The team was voted into the NL by a majority of the owners, and in 1880, the team began their first season. The manager of the team, Frank Bancroft, and many of the players stayed with the team when it joined the NL, including pitchers Lee Richmond and Tricky Nichols, and position players Arthur Irwin, Doc Bushong, Charlie Bennett, and Chub Sullivan. On June 12, Richmond threw the first perfect game in major league history, against the Cleveland Blues. Harry Stovey, in his first major league season, led the league in triples and home runs. However, the Ruby Legs were, in turn, no-hit on August 20 by Pud Galvin of the Buffalo Bisons, becoming the first team to be no-hit at home. They played 85 games in their first season, and had a win–loss record of 40 wins, 43 losses, with 2 ties, finishing fifth in the league.Before the 1881 season, the Worcester team experienced several setbacks. Bancroft departed as their manager, and many of the players also left the team. Mike Dorgan replaced Bancroft and served as player-manager, while Hick Carpenter and Pete Hotaling were brought in as player replacements. Further complications arose during the season: the popular Sullivan was sick with tuberculosis, and on August 19, shortstop Irwin broke his leg. This presented a problem for that day's game, because his backup, Buttercup Dickerson, was also injured at the time. As a solution, local sports equipment dealer Martin "Flip" Flaherty was used to help field a full team. Matters did not improve the following month: Lip Pike was accused of conspiring to throw baseball games, and was later expelled by the NL, and Sullivan succumbed to tuberculosis. To commemorate their teammate, the team wore a black crape on their sleeve, which began baseball's tradition of honoring the recently deceased in this manner. Dorgan departed the team before the season ended, and Stovey took over the on-field managerial duties, while also continuing his playing role. The team finished with a record of 32 wins, 50 losses, with 1 tie, finishing last among the eight teams in the league.In 1882, the team's decline continued, and the pitchers began to complain of exhaustion and accused management of overuse. A second consecutive last-place finish, along with declining talent, their fans stopped attending home games, with attendance numbers averaging 50 paid spectators. John Clarkson, who went on to win 328 games in a 12-season career, and was the only Hall of Famer to have played for the franchise, began his career for the 1881 Ruby Legs. When the season ended, the NL decided to drop the team from the league, replacing them with the Philadelphia Quakers, who later became the Phillies.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.