Friday, February 04, 2005

 

February 4th, 1909

John Clarkson Dies

John Clarkson was a star in the 1800s, in the 50 foot mound era actually, during which time he won 328 games in just twelve seasons. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1963, more than half a century since he died and almost seventy years since he had last played a professional game.

The Hall of Fame has, including the 2005 elections of Wade Boggs and Ryne Sandberg--both good choices by the way--260 members elected as players, managers and executives. Until I looked him up, I knew absolutely nothing about Clarkson. Not which position he played, not for which teams, nothing. At most I could've guessed he was probably a player (there are so few managers and executives in the Hall of Fame that most of them are familiar names) and might've taken a wild guess that he played prior to World War I, since the post Great War players are also more familiar. I decided to take a look through the Hall of Fame's complete list of members (it can be found here) and see how many of them I could provide bare bones biographies for, and attempt to fill in the blanks.

Presented in alphabetical order:

So there it is. Every Hall of Famer that I couldn't provide at least a bare minimum of detail for. All said it comes to twenty-five plus Clarkson for an even twenty-six out of two-hundred and sixty, or exactly ten percent. What have we learned? There are umpires in the Hall of Fame, the waxed mustache is coming back and I really need to get out more.




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