Ross Barnes

Charles Roscoe Barnes[1] (May 8, 1850 – February 5, 1915) was one of the stars of baseball's National Association (1871–75) and the early National League (1876–81), playing second base and shortstop. He played for the dominant Boston Red Stockings teams of the early 1870s, along with Albert Spalding, Cal McVey, George Wright, Harry Wright, Jim O'Rourke, and Deacon White. Despite playing for these star-studded teams, many claim that Ross was the most valuable to his teams.

Ross Barnes
Ross Barnes 1872
Second baseman / Shortstop
Born: May 8, 1850
Mount Morris, New York, United States
Died: February 5, 1915 (aged 64)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 5, 1871, for the Boston Red Stockings
Last MLB appearance
September 21, 1881, for the Boston Red Stockings
MLB statistics
Batting average.360
Runs scored698
Runs batted in346
Teams
  National Association of Base Ball Players
Rockford Forest Citys (1866–1870)
  League Player

Chicago cubs

Boston Red Stockings (1871–1875)
Chicago White Stockings (1876–1877)
Cincinnati Reds (1879)
Boston Red Stockings (1881)
Career highlights and awards

Career

From 1868 to 1870, Ross starred for the Rockford Forest Citys, along with Albert Spalding, attaining professional status in the second year. When the National Association was formed in 1871, Harry Wright signed both men to his new team in Boston. Barnes' major league career thus started when he was 21. He split time between second base and shortstop for the Boston Red Stockings of the new National Association. Barnes led the league with 66 runs scored and 91 total bases, finishing second in batting average at .401.

In 1872, he led the Association with a .432 batting average, a .585 slugging percentage, 99 base hits, 134 total bases, and 28 doubles. The Red Stockings began a four-year dominance of the Association, with Barnes a key player each year. Barnes again led the Association in 1873, hitting .425, as well as leading in on-base percentage (.456), slugging percentage (.584), base hits (137), runs scored (125), total bases (188), doubles (29), bases on balls (28), and stolen bases (13). His .340 BA in 1874 was good enough for eighth in the league, while his .364 was good for second in 1875, while leading again in runs scored (115), base hits (143) and on-base percentage (.375).

Before the 1875 season ended, Barnes and four other Boston players signed contracts with the Chicago White Stockings. When word leaked out in Boston before the end of the season, Barnes and his teammates were reviled by Boston fans, being called "seceders", a strong epithet just a decade after the Civil War. It was likely that the National Association would void the signing, but Chicago owner William Hulbert preempted the move by forming the National League and causing the NA to disband.

Barnes' new team finished first in the NL's first season with a 55–12 record, while Boston fell to fourth. Ross led the National League batting (.429), on-base percentage (.462), slugging (.562), runs (126), hits (138), bases (190), doubles (21), triples (14), and walks (20). In the 1876 season, Barnes also established the single-season record for runs per game (1.91), a mark which still stands. Barnes also has the distinction of having hit the first home run in National League history, on May 2, 1876.[2]

In 1877, Barnes fell ill with what was then only described as an "ague", played only 22 games, and did not play well when he was in the lineup. The illness robbed Barnes of much of his strength and agility, and shortened his career. Though some have blamed a rule change regarding foul balls for Barnes's decline, Nate Silver argues that the illness was likely the primary factor that hurt Barnes's career.[3]

The remainder of his career was an effort to return to glory ending in mediocrity. He played for the Tecumseh team in the International Association (arguably baseball's first minor league) in 1878, returned to the National League with the Cincinnati club in 1879, sat out all of 1880, and finished his professional career in 1881, playing his last season in Boston, the site of his former glory. After 1876, he never hit better than .272, and his other totals were barely half of those from his glory days. He retired at age 31. He finished his career with 859 hits, 698 runs, and a .359 average, in only 499 games played and 2392 at bats. His 1.4 runs per game played remains the best of all time.

Barnes briefly returned to professional baseball in 1890, serving as an umpire for the Players' League.[4]

Evaluation

Barnes holds the career NA records in runs (459), hits (530), doubles (99), walks (55), stolen bases (73), total bases (695), times on base (585), runs produced (694), batting average (.390), on-base percentage (.413), and slugging percentage (.511).

During the late 19th and early 20th century, Barnes was highly regarded by many baseball observers. In 1903, sportswriter Tim Murnane wrote that Barnes was the “king of second baseman, as well as the finest batsman and run-getter of all time.” However, the memory of Barnes's accomplishments waned as the 20th century progressed.[4]

In the 21st century, Barnes has received some retroactive recognition by baseball writers. In 2007, Nate Silver wrote that Barnes was "arguably the single most dominant player in Major League history."[3]

Personal life

Barnes held a variety of white-collar jobs in the Chicago area after his baseball career ended until his death from heart disease in 1915. A bachelor for most of his life, Barnes married Ellen Welsh in 1900.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Ross Barnes Stats - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com.
  2. ^ The Chronology – 1876 | BaseballLibrary.com Archived 2011-06-04 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b Silver, Nate (20 September 2007). "Lies, Damned Lies: The Best Player in Baseball, Part One". Baseball Prospectus. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b Wolf, Gregory H. "Ross Barnes". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  • "The National League's First Batting Champ", Baseball Research Journal, John Duxbury, Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) (1976)
  • "Roscoe Conkling Barnes", Nineteenth Century Stars, Frank V. Phelps, SABR (1989) ISBN 0-910137-35-8
  • Blackguards and Red Stockings, William J. Ryczek, Colebrook Press (1992) ISBN 0-9673718-0-5
  • National Association of Base Ball Players, Marshall D. Wright, McFarland Publishing (2000) ISBN 0-7864-0779-4
  • "The Lost Art of Fair-Foul Hitting", The National Pastime, Robert H. Schaefer, SABR (2000)

External links

1871 Boston Red Stockings season

The 1871 Boston Red Stockings season was the inaugural season of the franchise. They were formed in 1871 by Boston businessman and Ashburnham native Ivers Whitney Adams. The team was composed of former players of the defunct Cincinnati Red Stockings franchise, who were brought to Boston and kept the name with them. Led and managed by baseball pioneer Harry Wright, the new Boston team would join the newly formed National Association of Professional Base Ball Players for the 1871 season and finish the year in third place with a record of 20–10.

Pitcher Al Spalding started all 31 of the Red Stockings' games and led the NA with 19 wins. Catcher Cal McVey finished second in the league batting race with a .431 average. From this team, Harry Wright, Al Spalding, and shortstop George Wright have all been elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

1872 Boston Red Stockings season

The 1872 Boston Red Stockings season was the second season of the franchise. They won the National Association championship.

Managed by Harry Wright, Boston finished with a record of 39–8 to win the pennant by 7.5 games. Pitcher Al Spalding started all 48 of the Red Stockings' games and led the NA with 38 wins. Second baseman Ross Barnes won the league batting title with a .430 batting average. Harry Wright, Al Spalding, and shortstop George Wright have all been elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

1873 Boston Red Stockings season

The 1873 Boston Red Stockings season was the third season of the franchise. They won their second consecutive National Association championship.

Managed by Harry Wright, Boston finished with a record of 43–16 to win the pennant by 4 games. Pitcher Al Spalding started 54 of the Red Stockings' games and led the NA with 41 wins. Second baseman Ross Barnes won the league batting title with a .431 batting average, and catcher Deacon White topped the circuit with 77 runs batted in.

Harry Wright, Al Spalding, first baseman Jim O'Rourke, and shortstop George Wright have all been elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

1874 Boston Red Stockings season

The 1874 Boston Red Stockings season was the fourth season of the franchise. They won their third consecutive National Association championship.

Managed by Harry Wright, Boston finished with a record of 52–18 to win the pennant by 7.5 games. Pitcher Al Spalding started 69 of the Red Stockings' games and led the NA with 52 wins. Outfielder Cal McVey led the league with 71 runs batted in, and he paced the Boston offense which scored more runs than any other team.

Harry Wright, Al Spalding, first baseman Jim O'Rourke, catcher Deacon White, and shortstop George Wright have all been elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

1875 Boston Red Stockings season

The 1875 Boston Red Stockings season was the fifth season of the Boston Red Stockings franchise. They won their fourth consecutive National Association championship.

Managed by Harry Wright, Boston finished with a record of 71–8 to win the pennant by 15 games. Pitcher Al Spalding started 62 of the Red Stockings' games and led the NA with 54 wins. Catcher Deacon White (.367), second baseman Ross Barnes (.364), and first baseman Cal McVey (.355) finished 1–2–3 in the league's batting race. McVey paced the circuit with 87 runs batted in, and outfielder Jim O'Rourke had the most home runs, with 6. The Boston offense scored more runs than any other team in the NA. According to the FiveThirtyEight ELO rating system, they are the greatest team of all time. [1]

Harry Wright, Al Spalding, Jim O'Rourke, and shortstop George Wright have all been elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

This was the last season of the Association, which dissolved at the end of the year. The Red Stockings club would join the new National League in 1876.

1876 Chicago White Stockings season

The 1876 Chicago White Stockings season was the 5th season of the Chicago White Stockings franchise, the 1st in the National League and the 3rd at 23rd Street Grounds. The White Stockings, as one of the founding members of the new National League, won the NL's initial championship during this season with a record of 52–14.

1877 Chicago White Stockings season

The 1877 Chicago White Stockings season was the 6th season of the Chicago White Stockings franchise, the 2nd in the National League and the 4th at 23rd Street Grounds. The White Stockings finished fifth in the National League with a record of 26–33.

1879 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1879 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fifth in the National League with a record of 43–37, 14 games behind the Providence Grays.

1881 Boston Red Caps season

The 1881 Boston Red Caps season was the eleventh season of the franchise.

Cherokee Fisher

William Charles "Cherokee" Fisher (November 1844 – September 26, 1912), was an American baseball pitcher.

Fisher was a pitcher during organized baseball's formative years, from about 1867 to the end of his career. He was known for his fastball on the field and his heavy drinking off it. William J. Ryczek wrote: "There appeared to be a connection between a predilection for alcohol and the tendency to revolve [i.e., change teams frequently]... Cherokee Fisher, whose meandering will be detailed later, was another case which strengthens this connection. A heavy consumer of alcohol would logically be much more susceptible to the overtures of other clubs, as well as more likely to be in need of money." He played for the West Philadelphias in 1867, the Cincinnati Buckeyes in 1868, the Troy Haymakers in 1869 and 1870, and the Chicago Dreadnaughts in 1870 as well.He was part of Major League Baseball from 1871 to 1878. Fisher played for the Rockford Forest Citys, Baltimore Canaries, Athletic of Philadelphia, Hartford Dark Blues, Philadelphia White Stockings, Cincinnati Reds, and Providence Grays. With the Baltimore Canaries in 1871, Fisher had ten wins, one loss, and a league-leading 1.80 earned run average. On May 2, 1876, he gave up the first home run in National League history to Chicago White Stockings star Ross Barnes. After retiring he served for many years in the Chicago Fire Department.

Cincinnati Reds (1876–1879) all-time roster

The following is a list of players and who appeared in at least one game for the Cincinnati Reds franchise, which played in the National League from 1876–1879. For players from the current Cincinnati Reds, see Cincinnati Reds all-time roster.

John Peters (shortstop)

John Phillip Peters (April 8, 1850 – January 4, 1924) was a shortstop who played in Major League Baseball with four clubs from 1874 through 1884. Peters batted and threw right-handed.

List of Major League Baseball annual doubles leaders

Major League Baseball recognizes doubles champions in the American League and National League each season.

List of Major League Baseball annual runs scored leaders

Major League Baseball recognizes runs scored leaders in the American League and National League each season. In baseball, a run is scored when a player advances safely around first, second and third base and returns safely to home plate, touching the bases in that order, before three outs are recorded. A player may score by hitting a home run or by any combination of plays that puts him safely "on base" (that is, on first, second, or third) as a runner and subsequently brings him home. The object of the game is for a team to score more runs than its opponent.

In baseball statistics, a player who advances around all the bases to score is credited with a run (R), sometimes referred to as a "run scored." While runs scored is considered an important individual batting statistic, it is regarded as less significant than runs batted in (RBIs)—superiority in the latter, for instance, is one of the elements of the exceptional batting achievement known as the Triple Crown. Both individual runs scored and runs batted in are heavily context-dependent; for a more sophisticated assessment of a player's contribution toward producing runs for his team, see runs created.

List of Major League Baseball annual triples leaders

In baseball, a triple is recorded when the ball is hit so that the batter is able to advance all the way to third base, scoring any runners who were already on base, with no errors by the defensive team on the play. In Major League Baseball (MLB), a player in each league is recognized for leading the league in triples. Only triples hit in a particular league count toward that league's seasonal lead.

The first triples champion in the National League was Ross Barnes; in the league's inaugural 1876 season, Barnes hit fourteen triples for the Chicago White Stockings. In 1901, the American League was established and led by two members of the Baltimore Orioles: Bill Keister and Jimmy Williams each had 21.

List of Major League Baseball batting champions

In baseball, batting average (AVG) is a measure of a batter's success rate in achieving a hit during an at bat. In Major League Baseball (MLB), it is calculated by dividing a player's hits by his at bats (AB). In MLB, a player in each league wins the "batting title" each season for having the highest batting average that year. The American League (AL) winner is known as the "Rod Carew American League Batting Champion", while the National League (NL) leader is designated the "Tony Gwynn National League Batting Champion". Under current rules, a player must have 3.1 plate appearances (PA) per team game (for a total of 502 over the current 162-game season) to qualify for the batting title. However, if a player's lead in AVG is sufficiently large that enough hitless at bats can be added to reach this requirement and the player still would have the highest batting average, he wins the title. Tony Gwynn, for example, had 159 hits in 451 ABs in 1996 (.353 average) but only 498 PAs. Gwynn's batting average would have dropped to .349 (159 hits in 455 ABs) with four hitless ABs added to reach the 502 PA requirement, but this would still have been higher than the next-highest eligible player (.344 average), so he was awarded the 1996 NL batting title.The first batting average champion in the NL was Ross Barnes; in the league's inaugural 1876 season, Barnes batted .429 for the Chicago White Stockings. The AL was established in 1901, and Hall of Fame second baseman Nap Lajoie led that league with a .426 average for the Philadelphia Athletics. Ty Cobb of the Detroit Tigers, who also holds the highest career batting average of .366, led the AL in average in 11 (or 12) seasons. Honus Wagner and Gwynn are tied for the second-most titles, with eight apiece in the NL. It is unclear whether Lajoie or Cobb won the 1910 AL title, with some sources attributing the title to each man. If Cobb is credited with the 1910 title, he won 9 consecutive titles from 1907 to 1915 and 12 total titles for his career. Otherwise, Rogers Hornsby won the most consecutive titles, with six from 1920 to 1925. Without the 1910 title, Cobb still led the league in five consecutive seasons from 1911 to 1915. Cobb holds the record for highest average in two and three consecutive seasons (.414 from 1911 to 1912 and .408 from 1911 to 1913), but Hornsby holds the record for four and five consecutive seasons (.404 from 1922 to 1925 and .402 from 1921 to 1925). Wagner, Rod Carew, Wade Boggs, and Gwynn have each won four consecutive titles. Lajoie also had a streak of four league-leading seasons from 1901 to 1904 if he is credited with the contested AL title in 1902. At the 2016 MLB All-Star Game in San Diego, MLB announced that the AL and NL batting champions would henceforth be named in honor of Carew and Gwynn, respectively. Gwynn won all eight titles in the NL with the San Diego Padres, while Carew was a seven-time AL batting champion.Barnes' initial NL-leading average of .4286 in 1876 set the single-season record which stood for a decade. Tip O'Neill topped this total with a .4352 average in 1887 (that batting average had to be calculated without counting walks as hits, because of the walk-as-base-hit rule being in effect that year only), and Hugh Duffy set the current record mark in 1894 by posting a .4397 batting average. Under the current 3.1 PA qualification, players have posted a .400 batting average for a season 28 times. Ted Williams' .4057 in 1941 is the most recent such season, one of 13 to occur since 1900. George Brett in 1980 is the only player to maintain a .400 average into September since 1941. Additionally, only Brett and John Olerud in 1993 maintained such an average into August. With the modern scarcity of .400 hitters, recent players who have been above .400 early in the season, such as Chipper Jones in 2008, have drawn significant attention in the media. Brett's .390 in 1980 and Gwynn's .394 in 1994 are the only seasons in which a player reached .390 since 1941. Carl Yastrzemski's .301 in the 1968 American League was the lowest batting average ever to lead a league. Willie Keeler's 1897 and Zack Wheat's 1918 are the only two title seasons in which the winner hit no home runs. Joe Mauer's 2006 title made him the first catcher to ever win an AL batting title, and his third title in 2009 surpassed Ernie Lombardi's previous record of two titles for a catcher in any league.The closest finish in a batting race came in 1945 when Snuffy Stirnweiss batted .309, topping Tony Cuccinello's .308 average for the American League title by .00008. George Kell beat out Williams in 1949 by .00015. The closest race in the National League came in 2003 when Albert Pujols held off Todd Helton on the last day of the season by .00022. The closest National League race before that was in 1931 with Chick Hafey edging out Bill Terry by .00028. Lajoie's .426 average in 1901 was 86 points higher than runner-up Mike Donlin's .340, the largest margin of victory for a batting champion. Cap Anson's .399 in 1881 was 71 points higher than Joe Start in 1881, the widest margin in the National League. No player has definitively won batting titles in both the American and National Leagues. However, Ed Delahanty has if he is credited with the disputed 1902 American League title, as he was also the 1899 National League champion. The only other player to win titles in multiple leagues was Pete Browning, who won American Association titles in 1882 and 1885, along with the lone Players' League championship in 1890. Barnes and Deacon White each won National Association and National League titles, but the National Association is not regarded as an official league.In 1990, Willie McGee posted a .335 average over 542 at-bats in the NL before being traded to the AL on August 29. Although McGee finished the season in the AL, he had enough PA's in the NL to qualify for the NL batting title, which he won narrowly over Eddie Murray's .330. However, McGee batted .274 that season in the AL, bringing down his overall average to .324 and allowing Murray to lead the majors in batting average.

List of Major League Baseball players with a .400 batting average in a season

In baseball, batting average (AVG) is a measure of a batter's success rate in achieving a hit during an at bat, and is calculated by dividing a player's hits by his at bats. The achievement of a .400 batting average in a season is recognized as "the standard of hitting excellence", in light of how batting .300 in a season is already regarded as solid. Twenty players have recorded a batting average of at least .400 in a single Major League Baseball (MLB) season as of 2018, the last being Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox in 1941. Three players – Ed Delahanty, Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby – have accomplished the feat in three different seasons, and no player has ever hit over .440, a single-season record established by Hugh Duffy in 1894. Ross Barnes was the first player to bat .400 in a season, posting a .429 batting average in the National League's inaugural 1876 season.In total, 20 players have reached the .400 mark in MLB history and five have done so more than once. Of these, ten were right-handed batters, nine were left-handed, and one was a switch hitter, meaning he could bat from either side of the plate. Two of these players (Terry and Williams) played for only one major league team. The Philadelphia Phillies are the only franchise to have four players reach the milestone while on their roster: Delahanty, Billy Hamilton, Sam Thompson, and Tuck Turner, all of whom attained a batting average over .400 during the 1894 season. Three players won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in the same year as their .400 season. Tip O'Neill, Nap Lajoie, and Hornsby are the only players to have earned the Triple Crown alongside achieving a .400 batting average, leading their respective leagues in batting average, home runs and runs batted in (RBI). Although Shoeless Joe Jackson's .408 batting average in 1911 did not earn him the American League's batting title, it established a major league record for a rookie that stands to this day. Fred Dunlap has the lowest career batting average among players who have batted .400 in a season with .292, while Cobb – with .366 – recorded the highest career average in major league history.Due to the 75 years that have elapsed since Williams became the last player to achieve the feat and the integral changes to the way the game of baseball is played since then – such as the increased utilization of specialized relief pitchers – a writer for The Washington Post called the mark "both mystical and unattainable". Consequently, modern day attempts to reach the hallowed mark by Rod Carew (.388 in 1977), George Brett (.390 in 1980) and Tony Gwynn (.394 in the strike-shortened 1994 season) have generated considerable hype among fans and in the media. Of the seventeen players eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame who have batted .400 in a season, fourteen have been elected and two were elected on the first ballot. Players are eligible for the Hall of Fame if they have played in at least 10 MLB seasons, and have either been retired for five seasons or deceased for at least six months. These requirements leave two players ineligible – Barnes and Turner – who did not play in at least 10 seasons. Shoeless Joe Jackson is ineligible for the Hall of Fame because he was permanently banned from baseball in 1921 for his involvement in the Black Sox Scandal.

National Association of Professional Base Ball Players

The National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (NAPBBP), or known simply as the National Association (NA), was founded in 1871 and continued through the 1875 season. It succeeded and incorporated several professional clubs from the previous National Association of Base Ball Players (NABBP) of 1857-1870, sometimes called "the amateur association"; in turn several of its clubs created the succeeding National League of Professional Baseball Clubs. Later shortened simply to be called the National League, it was founded 1876, the earliest one half of modern Major League Baseball (MLB) in America, with the later competing American League of Professional Base Ball Clubs in 1901, known too as the American League.

On-base plus slugging

On-base plus slugging (OPS) is a sabermetric baseball statistic calculated as the sum of a player's on-base percentage and slugging percentage. The ability of a player both to get on base and to hit for power, two important offensive skills, are represented. An OPS of .900 or higher in Major League Baseball puts the player in the upper echelon of hitters. Typically, the league leader in OPS will score near, and sometimes above, the 1.000 mark.

1876–1899
1900–1941

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