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They Played
the Game
ADRIAN (CAP) ANSON

Nickname: "Pop"
Born: April 11, 1852 (Marshalltown, Iowa)
ML Debut: May 6, 1871
Final Game: October 3, 1897
Bats: Right      Throws: Right
6'   207
Hall of Fame: 1939 (Veterans Committee)
Played for Rockford Forest Citys (1871), Philadelphia Athletics (1872-1875), Chicago White Stockings/Colts (1876-1897).
Managed Philadelphia Athletics (1875), Chicago White Stockings/Colts (1879-1897), New York Giants (1898).
For most of the 27 years that Cap Anson played baseball he was first baseman for the Chicago White Stockings (Colts). During 20 of those seasons he batted over .200, and collected over 3,000 hits.*  When retired he held the records for games played, at bats, hits, doubles, and runs. Charles Comiskey said of him: "He was the greatest batter that ever walked up to hit a baseball .... I played against him, and I know." His best season was 1881 when he led the league in batting (.399), hits (137), total bases (175), RBIs (82), OBP (.442), and OPS (.952). He was the first player to hit three consecutive home runs, five homers in two consecutive games, four doubles in a game, and perform two unassisted double plays in a game. He scored six runs in a game played August 24, 1886.
After a year at Notre Dame, Anson started playing for Rockford in the National Association (NA), then spent four years with the Philadelphia Athletics. During his five years in the NA he batted .350 four times. He was one of the players Chicago White Stockings President William Hulbert negotiated with during the 1875 season, which violated NA rules and, ultimately, led Hulbert to found the National League. Anson was named captain-manager of the White Stockings in 1879 and Chicago went on to win pennants in 1980, 1981, 1982, 1985 and 1986.
In 1888 he signed a 10-year contract to manage the White Stockings/Colts. He was fired after the 1897 season, having failed to win another pennant. In 1898 the Colts called themselves the Orphans to reflect Anson's departure. That year Anson briefly managed the New York Giants (in June and July), then retired. He was made president of the short-lived American Association, became city clerk of Chicago in 1905, and in later years did a stint in vaudeville. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1939. Though a century has passed since Anson played, he still holds several Chicago Cubs franchise records, including runs and career hits.
Anson is credited with developing such tactics as the "hit and run" and pitcher rotation. He and Chicago President Al Spalding were innovators in taking players to points south for spring training. Despite being a proponent of segregated baseball and having a combative personality on the field, Anson excelled as an ambassador of the game both at home and abroad, making baseball a more popular sport.
-- Jason Manning
"Cap seemingly swallowed from a fountain of youth, and at times it looked as though he would go on forever." -- Fred Lieb (sportswriter)

Won two batting titles (1881, 1888)
Led the league in RBIs seven times (1880-82, 1884-86, 1888)
Finished career with a .333 batting average, 7th all-time, and 2,076 RBI, 3rd all-time

* "There is much controversy as to whether he became the first player ever to make 3,000 hits in a major league career; for many years, recognized statistics credited him with precisely that total, but researchers in the 1990s argued that he was incorrectly credited with 20 extra hits in 1879, dropping him to 2,995 according to statistics officially recognized by Major League Baseball. However, if one counts his 423 earlier hits in the NA, the major leagues' predecessor (which Major League Baseball does not) he is well over the mark. He was, by any standard, the first player to make 3,000 hits in his professional career."
-- Wikipedia

"When he retired, [Anson] would take with him statistics providing a strong case for his qualification as not only the greatest player of the last century but of all time. Playing his prime years in a period when the season schedule called for less than 100 games, Anson still managed to accumulate over 3,000 hits and 1,700 RBIs. Projecting his career totals over the 154-game wschedule that did not come into existence until after he retired would bring him within easy range of almost every major batting record."
-- David Nemec
The Ulitimate Baseball Book
Major League Batting Record
Year
Team
G
AB
H
R
2B
3B
HR
RBI
SB
BB
SO
BA
OBP
SLG
1876
CHC
66
309
110
63
9
7
2
59
0
12
8
.356
.380
.450
1877
CHC
59
255
86
52
19
1
0
32
0
9
3
.337
.360
.420
1878
CHC
60
261
89
55
12
2
0
40
0
13
1
.341
.372
.402
1879
CHC
51
227
72
40
20
1
0
34
0
2
2
.317
.323
.414
1880
CHC
86
356
120
54
24
1
1
74
0
14
12
.337
.362
.419
1881
CHC
84
343
137
67
21
7
1
82
0
26
4
.399
.442
.510
1882
CHC
82
348
126
69
29
8
1
83
0
20
7
.362
.397
.500
1883
CHC
98
413
127
70
36
5
0
68
0
18
9
.308
.336
.419
1884
CHC
112
475
159
108
30
3
21
102
0
29
13
.335
.373
.543
1885
CHC
112
464
144
100
35
7
7
108
0
34
13
.310
.357
.461
1886
CHC
125
504
187
117
35
11
10
147
29
55
19
.371
.433
.544
1887
CHC
122
472
164
107
33
13
7
102
27
60
18
.347
.422
.517
1888
CHC
134
515
177
101
20
12
12
84
28
47
24
.344
.400
.499
1889
CHC
134
518
161
100
32
7
7
117
27
86
19
.311
.414
.440
1890
CHC
139
504
157
95
14
5
7
107
29
113
23
.312
.443
.401
1891
CHC
136
540
157
81
24
8
8
120
17
75
29
.291
.378
.409
1892
CHC
146
559
152
62
25
9
1
74
12
67
30
.272
.354
.354
1893
CHC
103
398
125
70
24
2
0
91
12
68
12
.314
.415
.384
1894
CHC
83
340
132
82
28
4
5
99
17
40
15
.388
.457
.538
1895
CHC
122
474
159
87
23
6
2
91
12
55
23
.335
.408
.422
1896
CHC
108
402
133
72
18
2
2
90
24
49
10
.331
.407
.400
1897
CHC
114
424
121
67
17
3
3
75
11
60
0
.285
.379
.361
TOTALS
2276
9101
2995
1719
528
124
97
1879
247
952
294
.329
.395
.446

Major League Fielding Record
Pos.
G
PO
A
E
DP
FP
1B
2151
21695
983
657
1230
.972
3B
220
417
436
196
29
.813
C
105
290
107
65
12
.859
OF
86
118
21
35
5
.818
2B
18
40
41
16
5
.835
SS
9
8
22
10
0
.750
P
3
0
2
0
0
1.000
2592
22568
1612
975
1281
.961