Given Name: William
C-1B-OF 1880-1897 Trojans, Giants, Spiders, Reds
Manager in 1890, 95-1900 Reds, Giants
- Led League in hr 83
- Hall Of Fame in 1939
When the doors of the Baseball Hall of Fame were first opened, in 1939, Buck Ewing's plaque was ready to go up on the wall. Elected by the Committee on Baseball Veterans, Ewing had simply been baseball's best catcher and, according to his contemporaries, was unequaled as an all-around player in the 19th century. Until Mickey Cochrane, Bill Dickey, and Gabby Hartnett came along, Ewing was listed as the catcher on virtually everyone's all-time team.
A lifetime .303 hitter with a high of .344 in 1893, Ewing was also a dead-ball-era NL home run champ, hitting 10 for New York in 1883. He topped the NL with 20 triples in 1884, and hit 15 triples four other times. In a June 9, 1883 game, he hit three triples. When stolen bases started being tallied, Ewing averaged 37 a season, with a high of 53 for the 1888 Giants.
Ewing played during a time when catchers did not catch every day. He never caught more than 97 games a season, and only once caught more than 80. He was said to have been a master at throwing out baserunners; he led NL catchers in assists three times in the 1880s, and in double plays twice. He spent few games behind the plate after 1890. Instead, he was stationed mostly in the outfield and at first base. He also pitched 47 innings.
Buck's brother John, a pitcher, compiled a 53-63 career record. He pitched for Buck in the 1890 Players' League, when Buck caught for and managed New York. John led the NL with a .724 winning percentage (21-8) and a 2.27 ERA as Buck's batterymate with the 1891 Giants. John then retired, and Buck went on to Cleveland in 1893. Buck returned to his hometown of Cincinnati as a first baseman-manager in 1895, and played one final game in 1897. Managing the Reds through 1899, he never finished higher than third. He piloted the Giants for part of 1900, and died six years later. (JK)
Contribute your recollections of Buck Ewing by clicking here.
|FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY|
|» January 15, 1888:
In San Francisco, George Van Haltran, pitching for the Giants, tosses a no-hitter against the St. Louis Browns in an exhibition game. The only solidly hit ball is a Tip O'Neill line drive caught by 1B Buck Ewing. |
» September 26, 1889: After Buck Ewing hurts his thumb, Giants sub catcher Willard Brown makes a critical throwing error as New York loses to Chicago, 4–3. New York is now tied with Boston for the National League lead.
» February 17, 1890: New York National League officials fail in an effort to woo star player and Brotherhood officer Buck Ewing to rejoin the Giants. Although he has rejected an offer reported at $33,000 for three years, Ewing is later accused by some players of spying for the NL.
» February 6, 1891: The New York Giants' salary list is leaked to the press. It shows a total player payroll of $54,600 with Buck Ewing's $5,500 salary topping the scale.
» December 4, 1899: Buck Ewing, Cincinnati manager for five years, is released.
» March 9, 1900: Popular Buck Ewing, a .303 hitter in his 18-year career (and the only 19th-century catcher in the Hall of Fame), is named bench manager of the Giants. He'll last until July 13th when he quits the team and George Kelly takes over.
» July 13, 1900:
Buck Ewing resigns as manager of the last-place Giants and is replaced by SS George Davis. The Giants respond, as it seems they do with each managerial change, with a win over Brooklyn, 14–1.
» August 22, 1908: At League Park, veteran Joe McGinnity, in relief of Red Ames who walks the first two batters, stops the Reds, 5-1, beating Buck Ewing. Earlier in the day, the Reds turned down John McGraw's offer for McGinnity.
» January 10, 1918:
Acknowledging that Ty Cobb, Speaker, and Collins are all good ball players, Cap Anson picks his all-time team, leaving them off. In the current issue of TSN, Anson selects, C–Buck Ewing and King Kelly; P–Amos Rusie, John Clarkson, Jim McCormick; 1B-himself; 2B–Fred Pfeffer; 3B–Ed Williamson; SS–Ross Barnes; OF–Bill Lange, George Gore, Jimmy Ryan, and Hugh Duffy.
» August 22, 2000:
Two position players take the mound in mop up rolls. Catcher Brent Mayne is called upon after the Rockies use nine pitchers through 11 innings against the Braves. Mayne starts the 12th—setting a NL record for most pitchers in a game–and allows a walk but no hits in a scoreless inning. Mayne, who never pitched at any level, gets Chipper Jones on a ground out to end the frame. The Rockies score to win 7–6 in 12 innings on rookie Adam Melhuse's 1st career hit. Mayne is the first position player to win since Rocky Colavito on August 25, 1968 and the first catcher to win a game since Buck Ewing, in 1889. Todd Helton is 1-for-4 and finishes the game hitting .39690.