Tim Jordan (Trading Card DB)

Tim Jordan

This article was written by Douglas Jordan

Tim Jordan (Trading Card DB)The Los Angeles Dodgers moved to the West Coast in 1958, but the franchise was established in Brooklyn, New York, in 1884. Although the team has produced some of the most renowned pitchers in baseball history, the franchise has also had its share of power hitters. Matt Kemp and Adrián Beltré both led the National League in home runs for the Dodgers in the City of Angels; Duke Snider led the league for the Brooklyn version of the franchise.1 However, there is only one player in Dodger history who led the major leagues in long balls twice. That player was Tim Jordan. Jordan hit a dozen home runs for the Brooklyn Superbas in both 1906 and 1908. He was one of the most feared power hitters of his time.

Timothy Joseph Jordan was born on February 14, 1879, in New York City. His parents, Patrick and Bridgette Jordan, had immigrated from Ireland and settled in New York.2 The family lived in the Yorkville section of Manhattan and Jordan grew up playing sandlot baseball with future New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert.3 Jordan had a brother and a sister, but his mother died while he was young. which forced him into a New York orphanage.4 He was a stonecutter by trade.5 Jordan married Catherine Bollman on February 16, 1904. The couple had two daughters, Alice and Catherine. Jordan was a lifelong New Yorker, living in the city after his playing days were over.

Jordan learned the game on the sandlots of New York and by 1899 he was proficient enough to play on the semipro Senecas in the city. He caught the attention of the newly created Washington Senators in the fledgling American League in 1901 and made his major-league debut as a first baseman with the Senators in August 1901. Jordan collected just four hits in his six games with the team that month, but he competed against some of the best players of the day during that short stint. Napoleon Lajoie (who would win the first Triple Crown in American League history that year) was his opponent in his inaugural game, a 13-0 loss to the Philadelphia Athletics, and he played against future Hall of Famers John McGraw, Roger Bresnahan, and Joe McGinnity in his second game.

Jordan signed with Newark in the Class A Eastern League for 1902.6 He appeared in 42 games and batted .275 before taking a step down to finish the season with Nashua (New Hampshire) of the Class B New England League.  His weakness may have been his defense as he was listed as the poorest fielding first baseman in the Eastern League.7 After joining Nashua, Jordan hit .283 with two home runs. He returned to Nashua in 1903 and raked New England League pitching for a .305 average, with 14 doubles, 14 triples, and one home run in 105 games. This earned him a September call-up where he played two games for the New York Highlanders.

Hughie Jennings, manager of the Baltimore Orioles of the Eastern League, invited him to play for the Orioles in 1904 on the strength of his .305 batting average in 1903. Jordan blossomed under Jennings, batting .282 in 1904 and .312 in 1905. At this point, Jordan was considered one of the top first baseman in the minors. The Brooklyn Superbas of the National League had close ties with the Orioles, so the team “bought” Jordan and four other Oriole players during the fall of 1905. Brooklyn made the so-called purchase to “cover” Jordan, that is, to maintain their rights to him without having to commit to paying him if they had a better alternative at first base. However, Detroit refused Brooklyn’s request to waive Jordan back to Baltimore, forcing Brooklyn to pay him.8

On the eve of the 1906 season the Brooklyn Citizen reported that Jordan was of the “gingery order [a redhead] besides being a first-class ballplayer.”9 He was on the Superbas squad as the backup first baseman to Doc Gessler when fate intervened in the form of an earthquake in San Francisco on April 18. The tragedy prompted the Brooklyn team to host an exhibition game on April 22 with the proceeds going to earthquake relief efforts. Jordan’s performance in that game (two singles, a double, and scoring the winning run) convinced Brooklyn’s manager, Patsy Donovan, that Jordan would be an improvement over Gessler at first base.10 Donovan then felt free to trade Gessler to the Chicago Cubs for pitcher Hub Knolls.

Jordan’s first start at first base was on April 24 at the Polo Grounds against the defending champion New York Giants. Jordan made an auspicious debut under poor weather conditions, going 2-for-5 with a triple and an RBI in an 8-7 loss.11 He struggled at the plate over the next couple of weeks but put his power on display on May 7 in another tilt against the Giants, this time in Brooklyn. In the fifth inning with a man on third, Jordan hit his first major-league home run. The liner “was the cleanest drive seen on the Washington Park grounds this season, the ball going straight as a rifle shot.”12

Three weeks later on May 29, Brooklyn was playing Honus Wagner and the Pirates at Exposition Park III in the finale of a 15-game road trip to Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh. The home team led 6-3 going into the top of the eighth when Jordan came to bat with two men on. His line drive went over center fielder Tommy Leach’s head and rolled all the way to the wall 515 feet from home plate.13  This gave Jordan time to scamper around the diamond for an inside-the-park home run that tied the game. Jordan’s single in the ninth inning drove in the winning run of the contest.

Nine days after his home run in Pittsburgh, Jordan produced a carbon copy against the Cardinals at Washington Park. The left-center field wall at the Brooklyn yard was 500 feet away.14 In the third inning of the tilt Jordan drove a ball to deep center field and he crossed home plate before the ball could be retrieved recording his second inside-the-park home run.15 In the fifth inning Harry Lumley (who led the league in home runs with six at the time) hit a pop up in foul territory near third base. A Brooklyn fan threw his hat at Cardinal third baseman Harry Arndt in an effort to distract Arndt so he couldn’t catch the ball. The attempted distraction failed and was excused by the press because out West fans threw bottles and bricks at opposing players.16 There was no report on the fate of the offending fan.

These two homers were half of the four inside-the-park home runs that Jordan hit that season. He was able to hit that many because ball parks of the time were more spacious than current yards, and balls that made it to the wall more frequently resulted in a complete circuit around the bases for the batter compared to recent years. For example, a century later in 2006, there were a total of 13 inside-the-park home runs in major-league baseball.17 Jordan and his teammate Lumley had eight between them in 1906.

Jordan’s four inside-the-park round trips took place in three different yards. In late July the Superbas played a four-game set against the Cubs at West Side Grounds in Chicago. It was 523 feet to the left-center field wall there.18 According to the Brooklyn Times, “Jordan started the trouble in the second inning by lacing a beauty to center for the circuit.”19 It’s noteworthy that Jordan’s homer helped the Superbas win three of four games against a Cubs team that won 116 games during the season and lost only 36 to finish with the highest winning percentage in modern (post-1900) major league history. Jordan’s final tally of the inside-the-park style home run came about two months later in Brooklyn.

In addition to his four inside-the-park homers Jordan hit eight other balls over the fence in 1906. Although his home run total of 12 was modest by later standards, it was good enough to lead the National League and tie for the major league lead. Lumley, who played behind Jordan in right field, was second in the league with nine homers. Jordan and Lumley (who won the home run title as a rookie in 1904) were the first two of just six rookies who have led the league in home runs.20 Jordan’s 78 runs batted in put him fourth in the league in that category. The heroics of the two sluggers helped the Superbas improve 18 games, from a last-place finish in 1905 to fifth place in 1906. This prompted manager Donovan to predict a flying start and a first division finish for the team in 1907 at a postseason event.21

Donovan wasn’t the only person who was optimistic about the Superbas chances in 1907. On the eve of the season the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “The strong finish made last season, the fact that the team is intact and has the advantage of a year’s experience together…all combine to insure a bid for the championship of 1907.”22 This was a bold prediction given the fact that Brooklyn had finished 50 games behind the Cubs in 1906.

After his sparkling rookie year the 6-foot-1, 170-pound New York City native picked up the nickname “Big City” starting with the 1907 season.23 Meanwhile Lumley did his part to advance the team’s results. His second consecutive season with nine homers (one inside-the-park) was again second in the league. But Jordan didn’t display the power he had the previous campaign. Although his four homers (one of which was inside-the-park) tied for sixth in the league, the total was a far cry from the dozen of the previous year. The Superbas scored 50 fewer runs than in 1906, and once again finished in fifth place.

However, the 1907 campaign was noteworthy for Jordan in one respect. He was the hero of what was later called the greatest game ever played in Brooklyn diamond history. On September 14, the Superbas faced their inter-borough rivals, the Giants, in the first game of a doubleheader. The Giants took the lead several times in the game, “But ‘Big Tim’ had his big black bat working overtime, and every time he came to bat, he uncorked a rousing hit that put the Superbas back in the running, just when things looked gloomy.”24

Down by three runs in the first, Jordan tripled in a run and then scored to cut the deficit to one run. His double off the center field wall in the seventh brought home a run and again cut the Giants’ lead to one run. The Superbas still trailed by a run entering the bottom of the ninth. A walk and a force out brought Jordan to the plate with one out and the potential tying run on first. For the third time that game Jordan came through in the clutch. His second triple of the day drove in the tying run of the game, sending the contest to extra innings. He walked to load the bases in the bottom of the thirteenth inning prior to the game winning hit by John Hummel.25 The Brooklyn Citizen concluded, “It was probably the greatest exhibition of timely hitting in an exciting game that has ever been seen.”26 

There was great excitement in Brooklyn on the eve of the 1908 campaign. Washington Park had undergone a $22,000 renovation during the offseason.27 The players’ clubhouse was doubled in size and the dugouts had been given cement foundations and comfortable benches. The field was newly sodded, and bleachers had been added in center field. The new bleachers reduced the distance to the left-center field wall from 500 feet to 443 feet. And like a year earlier, the team’s performance on the field was expected to improve. The Brooklyn Citizen exclaimed, “Nobody has the hardihood to claim the flag for the Superbas, but there is a deep-seated conviction Pat Donovan’s team will do better than in 1907.”28

Jordan returned to his 1906 form on opening day at Washington Park. During his first at-bat of the season in the second inning he sent one over the right-field fence for the Superbas initial run of the campaign. Brooklyn fans were overjoyed, shouting and throwing their hats in the air as Jordan circled the bases. Fans slapped him on the back as he made his way from third to home, “… and when he made his way to the players’ bench, he was the center of a small triumphal parade.” His young daughter shouted, “Good boy, Tim!” to her father from her seat behind the bench.29 It’s also interesting to note that Jordan had homered off the same Boston hurler, Irv Young, on the last day of the 1907 season.

As in the previous two seasons, Jordan’s home run production increased as the weather warmed up. He didn’t hit another long ball until July, but three of those homers were noteworthy. On July 22, the Superbas were playing the Pirates at Exposition Park in Pittsburgh. Jordan produced the only Brooklyn run of the game with a homer over the center field wall. This was an impressive demonstration of Jordan’s power since the wall allegedly stood over 500 feet from home plate. He was the first player to hit one over that wall since 1899.30

Five days later Jordan had what was arguably the best game of his career against the defending champion Chicago Cubs. The Chicagoans had won the first game of a doubleheader in the Windy City that was necessary due to a rainout two days earlier. Jordan put the Superbas ahead by two in the second game with a home run over the right field wall in the second inning, and he singled in the third. The Cubs had gone ahead 5-2 when Jordan came to bat again in the seventh. For the second time that game, he pounded the ball over the right-field fence. His clout got the Superbas within two runs of the Cubs.

In the eighth, still trailing by two runs, Jordan came to bat with two outs and men on first and second. For the third time that day he hit the ball far enough for a home run, but this shot went just foul. The close call prompted the Cubs to finish the at-bat with an intentional walk that loaded the bases. Pinch hitting, Lumley drove the ball to the wall in right-center field. The first two runners scored easily but Jordan had to slide to avoid the tag in order to score what turned out to be the winning run in the contest.31 Jordan went 3-for-3 with three runs scored and three RBIs. It was the only day of his career where he hit two homers in one game. In an interesting side note, the Cubs built a fire under their bench during the game to drive away mosquitos.32

Less than two weeks after the two-homer outburst, Jordan continued his home run barrage with homers on back-to-back days on August 7 and 8. He was enjoying the best stretch of his career. Over 13 games from July 22 to August 8 Jordan slammed five home runs (all over the fence), crushed four doubles, and had 16 hits. He drove in 13 runs, scored 11 runs, and batted .400 during the interval. The five home runs put him at seven for the season. He was just one behind Honus Wagner’s league leading eight. The race for the National League home run title was on.

Jordan tied Wagner with a long ball on August 25 and went ahead with another on September 5. But the Flying Dutchman’s inside-the-park homer on September 11 knotted the pair at nine homers each. Jordan went ahead again with a blast on the 14th. He increased his lead to two with his only inside-the-park homer of the season on the 17th. His tally was very unusual. Jordan’s drive landed just fair of the right field line and bounced into a box used to hold the scoreboard man’s paraphernalia.33 The right fielder, “tried to get at the ball, but after jumping around for a few minutes gave up the attempt.”34 The irregular homer got Jordan to eleven for the season and was his only home run of the inside-the-park variety during that campaign. Both players added a final home run in October to give Jordan his second league home run title and a total of 12 for the second time.

In spite of Jordan’s display of power, the Superbas regressed to a seventh-place finish and Patsy Donovan was replaced by Harry Lumley as player-manager after the 1908 season.35 Jordan spent some time following the 1908 campaign developing a baseball card game. The game, which consisted of 72 cards, a field, and 12 tokens representing players, went on sale before the 1909 season and Jordan expected it to be a big hit.36 Although the game did become popular, there is no indication that Jordan made significant money from his creation.37

As usual, Jordan did not display much power early in the 1909 campaign. At age 30, his first home run of the season came in late May and he missed almost the whole month of June after he injured his hand in a slide on May 31, Decoration Day.38 He came back from the hand injury in July, his most productive time of the year in his two league-leading home run seasons. He was unable to play first base for much of August due to a knee injury, but he did make some pinch-hitting appearances.39 Jordan didn’t hit his second homer of the season until September. He added one more long ball in October and finished the season with three.

In spite of his lack of power in 1909, Jordan was making consistent contact for hits during most of the year. A career .259 hitter through the 1908 season, Jordan was batting .327 at the end of May in 1909. He maintained that lofty batting average with games like a July 15 contest against the Pirates in Brooklyn. After a double in the first inning, Jordan came to bat in the seventh inning with the score knotted at one run apiece. He singled to lead off the seventh and scored what turned out to be the winning run in the contest.40 Another single in the eighth made him 3-for-4 on the day with a .321 batting average for the season. Jordan was batting .301 at the end of August, but a poor September drove his final 1909 average down to .274.

A confluence of factors contributed to Jordan’s major-league career ending after just five games as a pinch-hitter in April and May 1910. His knee injury prevented him from playing the field at the start of the season and his contract hold out over the off season hurt his relationship with Brooklyn owner Charles Ebbets.41 In addition, the club had a replacement for Jordan at first base so his services were no longer necessary. Rookie Jake Daubert, who would win the National League MVP Award with Brooklyn in 1913, took over first base duties for the Superbas in 1910.  Jordan’s penultimate major-league appearance on April 26 was symbolic of his career in Brooklyn. He was called upon to pinch-hit with the score tied 2-2 and two runners on base in the second inning of a game against the Giants at the Polo Grounds.  Jordan belted a three-run homer to give Brooklyn a lead they would cough up in an eventual 9-8 loss. 

Ebbets announced that Jordan was released to the Toronto Maple Leafs of the Eastern League in May 1910.42 His knee injury kept him out of action for the rest of 1910 season, but he played for Toronto the following five years. Jordan was teammates with Willie Keeler on the 1911 Toronto squad. Fully recovered from his injuries, Jordan appeared in 152 games, batting .330 and leading the league with 20 homers. He followed that with a 19 long ball campaign in 1912 that led the league for the second consecutive season.43

The 35-yearold Jordan had his last good year with Toronto in 1914 when he hit 13 home runs and batted .301. In 1915 he ended the season down in Class B, where he hit .340 in 14 games for Binghamton in the New York State League. Back with Binghamton in 1916, Jordan appeared in 100 games and hit .273. His minor league baseball career ended in 1920.

Professional baseball may have been done with Jordan when he was 41 years old in 1920, but Jordan wasn’t done playing baseball. He went back to the Big Apple and played semipro baseball in the New York area from 1921-1924. The slugger was the captain and first baseman for the Bronx Giants in 1921 where he used his trademark big black bat to good effect.44 He played for a barnstorming team named the All-Nationals from 1922-24.45

When he finished playing for the All-Nationals the former first baseman opened a restaurant in the Bronx called Tim Jordan’s Café.46 He also worked for many years as the house detective at an uptown hotel near Broadway.47 Jordan finished his working life as a special officer [a security guard] for the Hudson and Manhattan railroad at the company’s office building in Manhattan. He retired from that position in 1942 after ten years with the firm.48

Asked how he was doing during the 1939 All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium Jordan replied, “Well, I’m not rich but I’m happy. You can say that. Yes, I get out to games once in a while. But I always pay my own way. I don’t ask for passes from anybody.” He added, “I’m a New Yorker. I was born between First and Second Avenues on Forty-second Street.”49

Tim Jordan died of a coronary thrombosis at his home in the Bronx on September 13, 1949.50 He is buried at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York. That memorial park is also the final resting place of another famous New York slugger. Babe Ruth was interred there about a year before Jordan.



In addition to the sources cited in the Notes, the author also consulted Baseball-reference.com, Retrosheet.com, and material from the Tim Jordan file at the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown, New York.



Many thanks to SABR member Bill Lamb. His careful review of the first draft of this biography and the modifications he suggested significantly improved the final product. Thanks to Cassidy Lent at the Hall of Fame for providing the Hall’s Tim Jordan file and to Richard Tourangeau for his help with information about Jordan’s parents. I learned about the table-top baseball game that Tim Jordan invented from Jason A. Schwartz’s blog post, The Original ERR Jordan.

This biography was also reviewed by Rick Zucker and fact-checked by Don Zminda.

The author is not related to Tim Jordan.



1 Other Brooklyn Dodgers hitters who led the league in home runs were: Thomas Burns (1890), Jimmy Sheckard (1903), Harry Lumley (1904), Jack Fournier (1924), and Dolph Camilli (1941).

2 US Census data from 1880 and 1900.

3 Tim Jordan File at the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library, Harold C. Burr story on September 11, 1936.

4 Jordan File, letter from Tim Jordan’s daughter Catherine Koszalka to the Hall of Fame, October 19, 1969.

5 “Notes of the Diamond,” Brooklyn Citizen, April 5, 1906, 5.  

6 “Movements of Players,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, April 16, 1902: 15.

7 “Eastern League Fielding Figures,” Jersey City News, September 30, 1902: 7.

8 “Want Tim Jordan,” Buffalo Courier, February 22, 1906: 10.

9 “Brooklyns Home: Ready for Opening Tomorrow,” Brooklyn Citizen, April 11, 1906: 5.

10 “Jordan Shows His Speed,” Brooklyn Citizen, April 23, 1906: 5.

11 “Brains Beat Orphans’ Hits,” Brooklyn Citizen, April 25, 1906: 5.

12 “Pastorius Shuts Out Giants; Jordan Strong with the Bat,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 8, 1906: 13.

13 “Superbas Pull Out Ninth Inning Victory,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 30, 1906: 13; “Exposition Park III, Seamheads Ballpark Database,” Seamheads.com.

14  “Washington Park III, Seamheads Ballparks Database,” Seamheads.com, https://www.seamheads.com/ballparks/ballpark.php?parkID=NYC12, (last accessed November 25, 2023).

15 “Superbas Had an Off Day; Advance to Fifth Place Delayed,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 8, 1906: 7.

16 “Baseball Notes,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 8, 1906: 7.

17 “Inside-the-Park Homers Since 1950, Part 2,” Baseball-Reference, Stathead Query, https://www.baseball-reference.com/tools/share.cgi?id=CjaAL, (last accessed November 26, 2023).

18 “West Side Grounds, Seamheads Ballparks Database,” Seamheads.com, https://www.seamheads.com/ballparks/ballpark.php?parkID=CHI08, (last accessed November 26, 2023).

19 “Three Out of Four for Brooklyn in Chicago,” Brooklyn Times, July 25, 1906: 7.

20 The other four were Ralph Kiner (1946), Mark McGwire (1987), Aaron Judge (2017), and Pete Alonso (2019). Sarah Langs, “Rookies to Lead Their League in Homers,” MLB.com, March 12, 2020. https://www.mlb.com/news/rookies-to-lead-league-in-home-runs.

21 “Nosed Out Reds: Brooklyn Lands Fifth Place by Wonderful Spurt,” The Sporting News, October 13, 1906: 4.

22 “Close Race for Pennant in the National League,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 10, 1907: 21.

23 “Judge Lumley and Tim Jordan Engaged in a Batting Duel,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 22, 1907: 12; “Notes of the Game,” Daily Standard Union (Brooklyn), July 3, 1907: 8.

24 “Greatest Game Ever Played in Brooklyn,” Brooklyn Citizen, April 14, 1908: 4.  

25 “Great Uphill Fight by Superbas; Land Thirteen Inning Game,” Daily Standard Union, September 15, 1907: 6.

26 “Greatest Game Ever Played in Brooklyn,” above.

27 “New Washington Park to Surprise the Fans,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 13, 1908: 22.

28 “Play Ball! The Slogan of All True Fans Today Throughout the Country,” Brooklyn Citizen, April 14, 1908: 4.

29 “Great Crowd of Fans Attend Opening at Washington Park,” Daily Standard Union, April 15, 1908: 6.

30 “One Inning Settled Dodgers; Jordan Hits for Circuit,” Daily Standard Union, July 23, 1908: 4.

31 “Tim Jordan’s Mighty Lofts Beat Cubs in Second Game,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 28, 1908: 10.

32 “Side Lights on the Game,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 28, 1908: 10.

33 “Leaders Make Clean Sweeps in Both Major Leagues; Two Straight,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 18, 1908: 20.

34 “Brooklyns Manage to Win First Series from the Reds,” Daily Standard Union, September 18, 1908: 8.

35 “Donovan Released; New Manager Soon,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, November 11, 1908: 22.

36 “Superba Players in a Sunday Game,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 1, 1909: 24. “The Tim Jordan Baseball Card Game,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 13, 1909: 11.

37 “Jordan’s Great Game,” York (Pennsylvania) Dispatch, September 4, 1909:  5.

38 “Superbas Fail to Shine,” Brooklyn Citizen, June 2, 1909: 3.

39  “Rucker is Playing the Role of ‘Iron Man,’” Brooklyn Citizen, August 2, 1909: 3.

40 “Lucky Seventh for Superbas; Pound Pirate Twirlers Hard,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 16, 1909: 18.

41 “Dahlen Has Ordered Superbas to Start South Next Week,” Brooklyn Citizen, February 25, 1910: 5.

42 “Dahlen Shakes Up the Superbas and They Finally Beat the Doves,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 8, 1910: 58.

43 “Jordan Led the National League Twice in Homers,” Toronto Daily Star, September 21, 1912: 24.

44 “Tim Jordan Still Plays,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 15, 1921: 22.

45 “Amateur Baseball; Semi-Pro,” Brooklyn Standard Union, April 21, 1924: 13.

46 Jordan File, letter from Catherine Koszalka.

47 Jordan File, Harold C. Burr story.

48 Jordan File, obituary on same page as Harold C. Burr story.

49 Jordan File, Ed. Hughes’ Column, July 12, 1939.

50 Jordan File, letter from Catherine Koszalka.

Full Name

Timothy Joseph Jordan


February 14, 1879 at New York, NY (USA)


September 13, 1949 at Bronx, NY (USA)

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