Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The First Home Runs by Team

In celebration of the April 23, 1902 anniversary of the first games played in the American Association (not to be confused with the major league American Association which died out a decade earlier) I’m posting a listing of the first home runs hit by each of the Association’s eight teams, as gleaned from records in Sporting Life. Here is a cursory listing of those home runs, with more details to be added at a later date and posted on my website at www.almanacfield.com.

First Home Runs in American Association Franchise History:

Columbus Senators: shortstop Billy Nattress against Minneapolis in a 12-2 win at Neil Park in Columbus, Ohio, April 26, 1902.

Indianapolis Indians: center fielder Cy Coulter against St. Paul, May 2 in an 8-5 win at East Washington Street Park in Indianapolis, Indiana. Catcher Mike Heydon homered in the same inning (4th) of the same game on May 2, 1902.

Kansas City Blues: right fielder Elmer “Mike” Smith against Louisville in a 16-6 win at Eclipse Park in Louisville, Kentucky, April 23, 1902.

Louisville Colonels: center fielder Bill Gannon against Kansas City in a 13-0 win at Eclipse Park in Louisville, Kentucky, April 24, 1902.

Milwaukee Brewers: left fielder Bill Hallman against Indianapolis in a 5-4 win at East Washington Street Park in Indianapolis, Indiana, April 23, 1902.

Minneapolis Millers: first baseman Perry “Moose” Werden against Columbus in a 15-6 loss at Nicollet Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 19, 1902.

St. Paul Saints: second baseman/shortstop Phil Geier against Columbus in a 10-7 win at St. Paul’s Lexington Park in St. Paul, Minnesota, April 27, 1902.

Toledo Mud Hens: catcher Red Kleinow against St. Paul in an 8-7 win at Toledo’s Armory Park in Toledo, Ohio, April 23, 1902. Kleinow’s home run was of the heroic “walk-off” variety, a solo shot in the 11th-inning with two out.

Notes

  • Three of the eight players listed above were named Bill
  •  Only one home run came against the winning team
  •  In two of the eight instances the home run proved decisive: Hallman's for Milwaukee and  Kleinow's for Toledo
  •  Four of the eight players were outfielders, four were non-infielders, an even split.
  •  Six of the eight teams garnered their first home run upon their home grounds
  •  Only two of the eight teams received their first home run during the Season Opener, April 23
  •  Perry Werden was the oldest of the eight players at 40
  •  Billy Nattress was the youngest at 22
  •  Of the eight players listed, Hallman, Kleinow and Smith went on to compile the greatest number of home runs with six (the league high was eight by Harry Lumley of St. Paul)
  •  Coulter’s home run was his only one that year
  •  There were two players at the time named Bill Hallman. The player with Milwaukee in 1902 was William Harry Hallman, not William Wilson Hallman; the former was the nephew of the latter.


sources:

baseball-reference.com
Wright, Marshall. The American Associaiton Year-by-Year Statistics (1997)
The St. Paul (MN) Globe
Sporting Life

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