The next “founders” of the Major Leagues is Doug Allison, former catcher who’s career spanned the pre-N.A. Days through to the inaugural decade of the Major Leagues:
Allison began his career with the Geary of Philadelphia squad in 1868
before becoming one of the legendary members of the Cincinnati Red
Stockings in 1869, who went undefeated and put baseball on the map as
the burgeoning sport of America.
An innovator of the sport, he is the first known player to use a glove,
in his case buckskin mittens in 1870, and is credited as being the first
catcher to stand right behind the batter to help prevent base runners
from stealing a base.
He played all five of the National Association seasons, with no less
than SIX organizations, before ending up with the Hartford team in 1875,
a team he’d play for the next three seasons, the latter two being the
first two years of the newly formed Major League.
His professional career would span 1869 through 1883 (not playing
1880-1882), and would retire with a .271 lifetime average over 318