On this day in 1847, original Red Stocking George Wright was born in Yonkers, NY. He was one of the best players in the National Association from the day the first professional league started play in 1871. You have to squint to see his dominance though. The seasons were so short and the scoring so high in the early days of professional baseball that our perspective is distorted. In 1875, for instance, he scored 106 runs with 20 doubles and 61 RBI, but he only walked twice. Then you look some more and you notice that played only 79 games and led the league in plate appearances. How can you make sense of that? I certainly can't. They were playing baseball, but in the same way that high schools now play baseball: The scoring environment was wildly different, the talent pool sparse and lacking in diversity, and there was little standardization. Can you decipher high school sports statistics? I know I can't.
Wright went on to pursue many other activities after leaving the game of baseball. He excelled at cricket, tennis, and golf. Wright also owned a sporting goods store for a time.
On this day in 1891, former Red Bill Doak was born in Pittsburgh.
On this day in 1914, the Reds lost outfielder Al Wickland when he jumped to the Chicago Chi-Feds of the Federal League. He led the Federal League with 81 walks in 1914. Wickland was a very good player though he appeared in fewer than 500 major league games (including Federal League contests). He did not have an extensive career in the minors either so I am a bit curious as to why he played such little baseball. His small stature (5' 7", 155 pounds) could have scared off some teams, I suppose.
On this day in 1983, former Red Elizardo Ramirez was born in Villa Mella, Dominican Republic.
On this day in 1993, former Red Vern Kennedy died in Mendon, MO at the age of 85. During his one season with the team, Kennedy went five and 12 with a 4.00 ERA (94 ERA+) in nearly 160 innings.
On this day in 2000, Cincinnati signed righty Mark Wohlers. He would make 50 appearances for the Reds over the next two seasons.
On this day in 2013, the Reds signed third baseman Matt Mangini. He didn't play a game for the Reds' organization, or any other professional organization for that matter, in 2013.
Kevin Mitchell is Batman and kcgard2 each earned a point last time.
In 1890, George Wright designed America's first public one of these in Boston. What did he design? Hint: There are now many thousand of these across the country.