Friday, June 21, 2024


Up on the blog today, the next custom card from my early set, "19th Century Base Ball Champions", featuring the game's best players from the 1800's, this time giving the spotlight to Billy Hamilton, Hall of Fame outfielder:

If you're not familiar with this incredible player, do yourself a favor and check out his career and get ready to have your mind blown!
Over his 14-year Major League career, Hamilton hit a blistering .344 while scoring 1697 runs in 1594 games. You read that correctly! The man averaged more than a run per game over 14 years!
In 1894 he set what is STILL the Major League record for runs scored in a season when he made it home 198 times in only 132 games!
This was a season when he hit .403 for Philadelphia with an on-base-percentage of .521, with 100 stolen bases, 225 hits and 90 runs batted in.
A career that is heavily marked up in the "black ink", he stole over 100 bases four times, hit over .350 five times, won two batting titles, and scored 100+ runs in a season eleven times.
His numbers upon retirement in addition to those mentioned earlier: 2164 hits, 914 stolen bases and a .455 on-base-percentage.
Incredibly, in 1894 with the Phillies, he formed a .400-hitting outfield alongside Hall of Famers Ed Delahanty (.405) and Sam Thompson (.415), while even the UTILITY outfielder Tuck Turner hit .418 over 382 plate appearances!
Get this: as a TEAM, that Phillies team hit .350 that year. Absolutely insane.
In 1961 Hamilton was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans committee, and he also got renewed fame later in the 1970's when Lou Brock was chasing the all-time stolen base title.
A somewhat forgotten all-time great that helped set the game on its path as the sport we have today.



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