Tim Murnane

Timothy Hayes Murnane (June 4, 1851 – February 7, 1917) was an American sportswriter specializing in baseball, regarded as the leading baseball writer at The Boston Globe for about thirty years until his death. At the same time, he organized and led professional sports leagues and helped govern the baseball industry. He had been a professional baseball player, and played several seasons in the major leagues as a first baseman and center fielder.

Tim Murnane
Tim Murnane
First baseman/Outfielder
Born: June 4, 1851
Naugatuck, Connecticut
Died: February 7, 1917 (aged 65)
Boston, Massachusetts
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 26, 1872, for the Middletown Mansfields
Last MLB appearance
October 19, 1884, for the Boston Reds
MLB statistics
Batting average.258
Runs batted in63
As player

As manager


Born in Naugatuck, Connecticut he acquired his Irish brogue from his father, an Irish immigrant. Little is known about his childhood; he mentioned in one of his Boston Globe columns that he attended school in a one-room rural schoolhouse.[1] While some sources say Murnane attended Holy Cross prep school in Worcester, Massachusetts, this is doubtful; searches in the school's archives show there was another man with the same name who attended, but he was from Fitchburg MA, and Murnane was playing baseball in Connecticut during the years he was said to be at Holy Cross. During Murnane's early years in baseball, he played as a catcher for the Stratford, Connecticut club in 1869; some old-timers of that era said this club was called the Savannah Seniors.[2] Murnane remained at catcher for two seasons with the Savannah Seniors, but moved to center field while with the Middletown Mansfields club of Middletown, Connecticut, halfway through the 1871 season. The Mansfields entered the professional National Association for 1872, which begins Murnane's major league career in records that count the NA as a major league.[3] He was the Mansfields' regular first basemen; that would be his most common fielding position but he played only a few full seasons "every day".

Following the 1872 Mansfields, Murnane played in the majors for the Philadelphia Athletics (1873–74), Philadelphia White Stockings (1875), Boston Red Caps (1876–77), Providence Grays (1878)—as the first player signed by a new club—and finally the Boston Reds (1884), whom he also managed.

During eight seasons in the major leagues Murnane batted .261 with five home runs and 127 runs batted in. Highlights of his playing days would include finishing fifth in the National Association batting race with an average of .359 in 1872, and leading the NA with 30 stolen bases in 1875.

While Providence won the championship in its second season, the 27-year-old Murnane was no longer on the team or in the league. In 1879 and 1880, he played part-time for Capital City (in Albany, New York), Rochester, and Albany, before retiring "to open a saloon and billard hall in Boston".[4]

Murnane returned to baseball and the major leagues for one year when the Union Association challenged the newly organized baseball industry, placing one of its eight clubs in Boston, backed by George Wright with Murnane one minor investor. Only 32, he served as recruiter, captain, and first baseman of the Boston Reds and guided them to a fifth-place finish with a record of 58–51. They did not threaten the National League in Boston, home to the NL's champion team and one of its anchor franchises. Rather, the Reds or "Unions" were a welcome but decidedly lesser attraction when the Beaneaters were out of town.

After his career in uniform, Murnane served as president of the minor league New England League and Eastern League, and went on to a 30-year career as a sportswriter and baseball editor with The Boston Globe.

Murnane died in 1917 at age 65 of a heart attack while attending the opera at Schubert Theatre in Boston. He was originally buried in Old Dorchester Burial Ground, Boston. Hundreds attended Murnane’s funeral. The pallbearers included Mayor James Michael Curley of Boston and Congressman James Gallivan; former Red Sox owner John I. Taylor was an usher. Many ballplayers attended, including Babe Ruth, then a pitcher for the Red Sox. Murnane was initially buried in the Old Catholic Burial Grounds in Dorchester, but was moved to the Old Calvary Cemetery in Roslindale.

Murnane had left little to care for his widow and four children from his second marriage, so the American League and the Baseball Writers’ Association of America established a memorial fund for his family and held a benefit game on September 27, 1917 at Fenway Park. More than 17,000 people attended. The Red Sox, with Babe Ruth pitching, defeated an all-star team that include Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, and Shoeless Joe Jackson in the outfield. More than 17,000 people attended, generating $13,000 for the Murnane family. The memorial fund purchased a gravestone for Murnane.[5]

In 1946 the Baseball Hall of Fame established the Honor Rolls of Baseball and named Murnane one of twelve writers to be honored. He was selected as recipient of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award for excellence in baseball journalism in 1978.

See also

Further reading

  • Murnane, T. H. (1903) How to play base ball. New York: American Sports Publishing Co.
  • Murnane, T. H. (March 14, 1905). "With 18 Men. Collins Begins Practice at Macon, Ga". The Boston Globe. p. 5. Retrieved November 11, 2018 – via newspapers.com.
  • Murnane, T. H. (March 12, 1906). "Get First Practice". The Boston Globe. p. 9. Retrieved November 11, 2018 – via newspapers.com.


  1. ^ Murnane, Tim (December 25, 1904). "King of Naugatuck Valley". Boston Globe. p. SM3.
  2. ^ Lamar, Charles A. (August 10, 1913). "The Old Time Fan Delves into Mutuals v. Savannah Baseball of Early Seventies". Atlanta Constitution. p. 11.
  3. ^ For those who do not count the NA, he recorded the first stolen base in major league history, with Boston in 1876
  4. ^ Ellard, 1996
  5. ^ https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/b2017f67
  • Eldred, Rich (1996). "Timothy Hayes Murnane". Baseball's First Stars. Edited by Frederick Ivor-Campbell, et al. Cleveland, Ohio: SABR. ISBN 0-910137-58-7
  • Retrosheet. "Tim Murnane". Retrieved 2006-09-05.

External links

1872 Middletown Mansfields season

The Middletown Mansfields played their first and only season in 1872 as a member of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players. They finished eighth in the league with a record of 5-19.

1873 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1873 Athletic Baseball Club of Philadelphia finished in fifth place in the National Association with a record of 28-23. First baseman Cap Anson batted .398 and was second in the league batting race.

1874 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1874 Philadelphia Athletics finished in third place in the National Association with a record of 33-22. Dick McBride pitched all of the team's innings and led the league with a 1.64 earned run average.

1875 Philadelphia White Stockings season

The Philadelphia White Stockings played in 1875 as a member of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players. The press of that time generally referred to them as the Philadelphia Whites, or the Philadelphia Club. The team finished fifth in the league in 1875, with a record of 37-31. Among their players that season was Tim Murnane, spelled "Murnan" by many newspapers (for example, "...yesterday the Whites won the toss and placed their men in position, with the Philadelphias represented by Murnan at the bat." "Sporting News," Chicago Inter Ocean, June 23, 1875, p. 5). The team and league folded at the conclusion of the season.

1876 Boston Red Caps season

The 1876 Boston Red Caps season was the sixth season of the franchise. With the dissolution of the National Association, the Boston team joined the brand new National League. The team name was changed to the Boston Red Caps to avoid confusion with the new Cincinnati Red Stockings team. Some of the players from the previous year's team defected to other ballclubs, so the team finished further down in the standings this season.

1877 Boston Red Caps season

The 1877 Boston Red Caps season was the seventh season of the franchise. Arthur Soden became the new owner of the franchise, who won their first ever National League pennant.

1878 Providence Grays season

The Providence Grays were a new franchise that joined the National League for the 1878 baseball season. They finished in third place.

1884 Boston Reds season

The 1884 Boston Reds finished with a 58–51 record in the Union Association, finishing in fifth place (fourth among teams that played a full schedule). This was the only season the team existed, and indeed the only season the Union Association existed.

Boston Reds (1884)

The Boston Reds (called the Boston Unions in some sources) of 1884 were a member of the short-lived Union Association. One of the last teams to join the Union Association, the Reds were owned by George Wright, whose long association with professional baseball (including the first major league team in Boston, the Red Stockings) lent sorely-needed credibility to the fledgling league. The team was managed by Tim Murnane, who was also their regular first baseman.

The club played their home games at the Dartmouth Street Grounds, also known as the Union Athletic Grounds or Union Grounds. A diagram in the Boston Globe on April 3, 1884, around the start of construction, indicated the layout as follows: Huntington Avenue (to the north, some distance back from the main stands and home plate); Boston and Albany Railroad tracks (northeast - home plate and third base); Dartmouth Street (southeast - left and center fields); Boston and Providence Railroad tracks (south - center and right fields); Irvington Street (west, right field and third base - approximately corresponds to Yarmouth Street). The field was to be encircled by a bicycle track, as a number of ballparks were in those days, owing to the growing popularity of cycling. The property once used by the Boston Unions is now occupied by Copley Place.

In their one season of existence, the Reds finished with the fifth-best record in the league at 58-51. Of the teams that played the full season, they finished fourth (the Milwaukee Brewers, a late-season addition, finished with the second-best record at 8-4). Their top-hitting regular was outfielder Ed Crane, who batted .285 with 12 home runs, and their best pitcher was Dupee Shaw, who was 21-15 with an ERA of 1.77. Shaw struck out 18 St. Louis Maroons in a game on July 19.

Boston Reds (1884) all-time roster

The following is a list of players who appeared in at least one game for the Boston Reds franchise, which played in the Union Association in 1884.

β= indicates Baseball Hall of Famer.

$= indicates that this player was also a manager.

*= indicates that no other information is known on this player.

Eastern League (1916)

Not to be confused with the Eastern League (1884), which functioned from 1884 until 1887 or the current Eastern League (baseball)The Eastern League of 1916 through the mid-season of 1932 was an American minor baseball league and the third of four circuits to use the "Eastern League" name since the 19th century. The successor to an early 20th-century edition of the New England League, it is not related to the current Eastern League, which formed in 1938 from the former New York–Pennsylvania League, or the current International League, which was known as the Eastern League from 1892 through 1911.

The Eastern League of 1916–32 was a mid- to higher classification league, beginning in 1916 as a Class B circuit and upgraded to Class A in 1919. Its president, Tim Murnane, a former sportswriter, and many of its original member clubs were inherited from the New England League, which ceased operation in 1915. While most of its teams were centered in New England and upstate New York, in its later years the Eastern League admitted teams from Pennsylvania and Virginia. The league consisted of eight teams annually during its existence. The New Haven franchise, owned and operated by George Weiss from 1919–29, won four of its 17 championships — though under multiple nicknames. Weiss would go on to a Baseball Hall of Fame career as a top executive with the New York Yankees.

This edition of the Eastern League collapsed during the nadir of the Great Depression on July 17, 1932.

Herman Long (baseball)

Herman C. Long (April 13, 1866 – September 16, 1909) was an American shortstop in Major League Baseball (MLB) who played for the Kansas City Cowboys, Boston Beaneaters, New York Highlanders, Detroit Tigers, and Philadelphia Phillies. Long was known for his great fielding range as a shortstop, but he also holds the MLB record for career errors.

Ina Eloise Young

Ina Eloise Young (February 22, 1881, Brownwood, Texas – May, 1947, Arlington, Virginia) is widely regarded to have been the first American woman sports editor when she started working as 'sporting editor' for The Chronicle-News of Trinidad, Colorado in 1906. In 1908, she became the first woman to cover the World Series which was then known as the World's Championship Games.

Jack Ryan (pitcher)

Jack Ryan (September 19, 1884 – October 16, 1949) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball between 1908 and 1911.

Ryan was involved in a trade on February 16, 1909, in which he, Charlie Chech, and $12,500 went from the Cleveland Naps to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for future Hall of Fame pitcher Cy Young. After his playing career, Ryan was a pitching coach for the Red Sox from 1923 to 1927.

Jimmy Ryan (baseball)

James Edward Ryan (February 11, 1863 – October 29, 1923), nicknamed "Pony", was an American center fielder in Major League Baseball who played eighteen seasons between 1885 and 1903, primarily for the Chicago White Stockings/Colts/Orphans (1885–89, 1891–1900). He held the major league record for career assists by an outfielder (375) from 1900 to 1924.

A native of Clinton, Massachusetts, Ryan enjoyed his best season in 1888, leading the National League (NL) in home runs (16), hits (182), doubles (33), total bases (283) and slugging percentage (.515), and also was second in batting average (.332), runs (115) and extra base hits (59). In that season, he also hit for the cycle on July 28. Ryan also appeared in that game as a pitcher, becoming the only player in major league history to hit for the cycle and pitch in the same game. The White Stockings beat the Detroit Wolverines 21–17.

Ryan switched to the Chicago Pirates in 1890, the only season of the Players' League, and ended his career with the Washington Senators (1902–03) in the American League. In 1900, his final season in Chicago, he broke Tom Brown's record of 348 career assists by an outfielder; Tris Speaker broke his record in 1924. Ryan was a .308 career hitter with 118 home runs and 1093 runs batted in in 2012 games. As a pitcher, he compiled a 6–1 record with 43 strikeouts and a 3.62 Earned run average in 117 innings.

On the tough side, Ryan was one of the few players to punch a reporter at least twice. After his first episode, in 1887, Charlie Seymour of the Chicago Herald wrote, "Ryan slugged the magnificent Chicago reporter in Pittsburg [sic] (Pittsburg was spelled without the H in the 19th century) the other day." In the other, in 1892, he took exception to George Beachel of the Chicago Daily News. In the clubhouse after a game, Ryan "picked a quarrel with [Beachel], and then attacked him, using him up pretty badly. No arrests have been made." In 1896, he punched a train conductor after losing his place and his teammates had gone to bed. A conductor who intervened was "called down by Mr. Ryan, who got in one upper cut before [his longtime-captain manager Cap] Anson stopped the fun", wrote Tim Murnane of the Boston Globe.Ryan, in an article under his byline in 1905, advised against baseball as a profession, because few players last long enough in the big leagues to make money: "Baseball is not a permanent business. Look in the newspapers and you will see that a baseball player 35 years of age is considered an old man."

Ryan died in Chicago at age 60.

List of Major League Baseball career fielding errors as a first baseman leaders

In baseball statistics, an error is an act, in the judgment of the official scorer, of a fielder misplaying a ball in a manner that allows a batter or baserunner to advance one or more bases or allows an at bat to continue after the batter should have been put out.

First base, or 1B, is the first of four stations on a baseball diamond which must be touched in succession by a baserunner in order to score a run for that player's team. A first baseman is the player on the team playing defense who fields the area nearest first base, and is responsible for the majority of plays made at that base.

Cap Anson is the all-time leader in errors as a first baseman with 658 career. Anson is the only first baseman to commit over 600 career errors. Dan Brouthers is second all-time with 513 career errors and the only other first baseman to commit more than 500 errors.


Murnane is a surname, and may refer to:

Dylan Murnane (born 1995), Australian footballer

Gerald Murnane (born 1939), Australian writer

Margaret Murnane

Peter Murnane

Richard Murnane

Tim Murnane (1852-1917), American baseball player & manager

Philadelphia Athletics (1871–1876) all-time roster

The Philadelphia Athletics baseball club, established 1860, played five seasons in the National Association, 1871–1875, and one in the National League, 1876. Here is a list of all their players in regular season games beginning 1871.

See also Category:Philadelphia Athletics (NABBP) players† Bold names identify members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Spalding (company)

Spalding is an American sporting goods company founded by Albert Spalding in Chicago, Illinois in 1876. It is now headquartered in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The company specializes in the production of balls for many sports, but is best known for its basketballs. Spalding also makes a range of other products for baseball, soccer, softball, volleyball, and American football.

Veterans Committee
J. G. Taylor Spink Award
Ford C. Frick Award

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