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 William “Buck” Ewing

William “Buck” Ewing

Birth
Hoagland, Highland County, Ohio, USA
Death 20 Oct 1906 (aged 47)
Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, USA
Burial Mount Washington, Hamilton County, Ohio, USA
Memorial ID 5793 · View Source
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Hall of Fame Major League Baseball Player. Considered by his contemporaries, such as manager/owner Connie Mack, to be the greatest all-around player of the 19th century. His powerful arm and quick release amazed opponents, and allowed him to be the first catcher to stay in a full crouch behind the plate. He averaged .303, with 178 triples, and 354 steals over 18 seasons. Born in Hoagland, Ohio, he made his major league debut at age 20. At age 23, he became the first catcher to lead a major league in home runs. In 1885, Buck Ewing was one of the 9 New York Giants who founded the first union for athletes, the Brotherhood of Professional Baseball Players. He was also one of the first players to obtain incentive clauses in his contract. Despite the severe rigors of catching with the minimal equipment available then, he was fast enough to often bat lead off. In 1888, he stole 53 bases, as he led New York to its first World Championship. A famous full-page lithograph in Harper's depicts him stealing second, third, then home - after supposedly announcing he would do so. His leadership as the Giants' captain, then equivalent to a modern-day manager, brought a second World Championship in 1889. A turning point in the union's drive to launch their own major league in 1890 was Buck Ewing winning a lawsuit designed to prevent him from being manager/part-owner for the Players' League version of the Giants. His off-season job as a carpenter came in handy in the club's race to build a new Polo Grounds as its park. As the Players' League dissolved at season's end, he drew heavy fire from sportswriters and union stalwarts, including his long-time teammate, union President John Montgomery Ward, for consorting with the owners. He returned to the National League Giants for 1891 and 1892. When Ward became the Giants' manager in 1893, he made one of the most controversial trades of all time, when he dealt the popular, but sore-armed Buck Ewing to Cleveland. For him, Ward received a little-known 22 year old player named George Davis, who became a Hall of Fame shortstop. Buck Ewing never caught again, but proved himself at first base and in rightfield. In 1893, he had 122 RBI and 47 steals. As manager of Cincinnati (1895-1899), and the Giants (1900), he kept teams loose, and his flattering umpires proved effective. His managerial record was 489-395. After retirement, he returned to Cincinnati, and became well-off from real estate holdings. He died in 1906. In 1939 he was named to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Bio by: David Stevens


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 30 Jun 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5793
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William “Buck” Ewing (17 Oct 1859–20 Oct 1906), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5793, citing Mount Washington Cemetery, Mount Washington, Hamilton County, Ohio, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .