Al Hubbard

This article was written by Rich Bogovich

When the president of the United States is in your golf foursome because you led your university to a baseball championship a quarter of a century earlier, things are going your way. That sums up a highpoint in the life of Al Hubbard,1 who played in just two major-league games two days apart toward the end of the 1883 season. His very short professional career wasn’t due to any misfortune after his collegiate championship, however. It was mostly his choice to minimize his professional sports career. After all, in contrast to so many ballplayers then, he had more lucrative options as an Ivy League graduate.2

Allen Hubbard was born in Westfield, Massachusetts, on December 9, 1860, to farmer George Hubbard and Clarissa Maria (Edy) Hubbard, who was sometimes called Clara. He was the second of their four children. His sister Leora was the oldest, and their two younger siblings were Agnes and George. Al was a graduate of Westfield’s high school.3

His high school had a baseball team, at least during the spring of 1879, and Al was its captain that season.4 He became a freshman at Yale University, in New Haven, Connecticut, during the 1880-1881 school year. His first appearance in the school newspaper may have been in March of 1881, as the catcher in a box score of a baseball game between Yale’s freshmen team and “the Consolidated nine,” which possibly comprised other students. He didn’t exactly impress. Though he had eight putouts and two assists, he also allowed four passed balls and committed an error while going hitless at bat (as did all his freshmen teammates but one).5 He fared better in a rematch about a month later, with only one passed ball and one error to offset 15 putouts and an assist, plus a double and two runs scored on offense.6 His fourth appearance in a box score was in mid-May, when the Yale News devoted most of two pages to a game in which the Yale Freshmen trounced Amherst’s, 14-3. That same month they similarly pounded their Harvard counterparts, 15-3.7

Hubbard was enrolled in Yale’s Sheffield Scientific School, which had only three “classes” (freshman, junior, and senior, skipping sophomores) and thus typically awarded degrees after three years. As a freshman, Hubbard wasn’t solely consumed by baseball, because he was also a member of Sheffield’s Eating Club.8

During his second spring at Yale, in 1882, Hubbard played on the varsity team. His first action was in games on April 7 and 8 in New York against the Metropolitans, an independent team that joined the American Association in 1883. On the first date, 2,000 to 3,000 spectators went to the Polo Grounds to see the defending collegiate champions, but Yale ended up on the wrong end of a lopsided 11-5 game. The rematch was close, 8-7, but Yale lost again. Hubbard caught in both games and batted eighth. He went hitless in both games, but committed no errors (though box scores made no mention of passed balls). He did, however, figure in the second game’s decisive inning. The Metropolitans trailed 7-5 after seven innings. “When the Metropolitans came to the bat Hubbard took a foul bound neatly near the ground, but the umpire did not allow it. A base on balls, a single hit, and an attempt to catch the man on third filled the bases,” reported the Yale News. “The only wild pitch of the game, passing through a narrow passage to the rear of the grand stand was lost in the crowd, and three men scored giving the game to the Metropolitans as no further runs were made.”9

Yale followed up those losses with games against other independent teams,10 and finished April hosting three major-league teams. On April 22 Hubbard and Yale faced Providence of the National League, which went on to finish second in the standings that season. Hubbard batted last and went hitless against future Hall of Famer Old Hoss Radbourn, beginning with a fly or popout to short to end the third inning. On defense, the Yale News said, he supported pitcher Jack Jones “very well,” and he logged six putouts, four assists, one error, and no passed balls. Providence won easily, 13-2.11

Yale then lost to the NL’s Worcester team, 8-2, on April 26. Hubbard again batted last, and went hitless against Lee Richmond, who had hurled the NL’s first perfect game on June 12, 1880. Behind home plate Hubbard accepted five chances without an error as such, though in the box score he was charged with a “wild throw” in addition to two passed balls.12

During his two years on the varsity team, Hubbard played against more than half of the National League’s teams, three of which were based in New England. The American Association was the NL’s brand-new rival in 1882, and though it had no New England teams, on April 29 Hubbard did get to play against the AA’s Philadelphia Athletics, his future employer. Yale didn’t score, but held the professionals to just two runs. Hubbard had one of Yale’s five singles in three at-bats off Sam Weaver, who had a record of 26-15 by year’s end. Hubbard was flawless in the field, with five putouts and three assists. He made a solid first impression in the very first inning. Philadelphia had a runner on first with one out when their third batter fouled out to Hubbard. The runner tagged up and tried for second base but “a beautiful throw of Hubbard” turned a double play, according to the Yale News. The game drew 500 fans, and took approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes.13

Yale began its collegiate league season on May 10 with a victory at home over Brown, 4-2. It ultimately won eight games and lost three against American College Base Ball Association opponents, a record good enough to win its second consecutive championship. That league was formed by Amherst, Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard, and Princeton – all later considered Ivy League institutions except the first – during the winter of 1879-1880, and Yale joined for the 1881 season (with Dartmouth not participating in 1883).14

On June 8 and 13, Yale had rematches against Worcester and Providence, respectively. Hubbard, who played in center field, had a single (his first hit against an NL hurler) and an RBI in three at-bats off Fred Corey in a 9-3 loss.15 Yale’s margin of defeat was a little wider against Providence: 11-3. Hubbard was back behind home plate but as a batter he was hitless off a different Hall of Famer, John Montgomery Ward.16

On July 11 Hubbard had a second opportunity to audition for the Athletics, in Philadelphia before more than 700 fans. This time he had two hits in four at-bats against Bill Sweeney, who went on to lead the Union Association with 40 victories in 1884. The Athletics barely won, 6-5.17

Hubbard was soon back home in Westfield, playing for a local team, the Firemen.18 The captain of the Firemen was Frank Cox, who played in the NL for Detroit in 1884. On August 1 he reportedly received a telegram from Worcester manager Jack Chapman offering a job with that NL team but “Hubbard of course declined the offer as it would debar him from future playing in the college nine,” reported a local newspaper.19 Hubbard and the Firemen proceeded to play Worcester twice during the first half of August.

The first game was in Westfield on August 8, and represented the first time an NL team visited that community. Pitching for the Firemen was Hubbard’s Yale teammate Jack Jones. Corey was the starting pitcher for the visitors, who won 7-4. Hubbard went 0-for-4 at bat but he was robbed by Richmond on a one-handed running catch in right field, of a likely two-run triple in what a local paper called “the special feature of the game.”20 On August 14, 500 people in Westfield saw Corey shut out the locals in a laugher, 14-0. Hubbard at least had one of his team’s four hits, in three at-bats. He apparently moved from catcher to second base by the eighth inning, and on third strike in that frame, the Firemen turned a triple play that went from the substitute catcher to the third, then to Hubbard, and on to the first baseman.21

Hubbard was soon back at Yale, and by mid-September he was already preparing for the next baseball season, at least mentally. “It was with pleasure that men enjoying their vacation in different parts of the world received the news that Mr. Allen Hubbard, S. [Sheffield] ’83 had been elected to succeed Mr. Walter I. Badger, ’82, as captain of our triumphant ball nine,” effused the Yale News. “From the time this gentleman began to play, he has won the applause of the college, not only for his superior playing, but for his even disposition, gentlemanly bearing and everlasting willingness to work for Yale.”22 About four weeks later, the paper summarized some basic American College Base Ball Association stats, noting that in the intercollegiate “games the past season, Brown had the best batting average, .295, and Princeton the best fielding, .831.” It then listed (without percentages) the best fielders by position, and Hubbard was first among catchers.23

Early in 1883 the Yale News printed an announcement for Hubbard. “All gentlemen in the university wishing to try for the University Base Ball Nine are requested to be present at 212 Durfee, Tuesday morning at 9.45,” he wrote. “Everyone will be welcomed; there is an unusual number of vacant places.”24 That may have been a bit of an understatement. When the paper reported on early workouts in February, it noted that only three other players were returning from the 1882 squad, so Hubbard needed to find starters for two of the outfield spots and all of the infield positions except second baseman. In addition to Jones, one of the other returning players was Walter Camp,25 who would become known as “the father of American football.”26

Hubbard’s squad played against six different NL teams in 1883 plus the Athletics twice. They started with the latter team on April 7 in Philadelphia and squeezed four NL teams into the second half of the month. More than 4,000 turned out for the game versus the Athletics, and Yale kept it close for seven innings, at 3-0. Philadelphia’s Bobby Mathews, who won close to 300 games in the majors, eventually completed the shutout, 12-0. Captain Hubbard, who put himself in center field, managed one of Yale’s four singles in his four at-bats.27

On April 14 Yale’s second game of the spring was against Cleveland of the NL. Though they were shut out again, this time it was close, 3-0. Hubbard had one of Yale’s three singles off Hugh “One-Arm” Daily.28

The NL’s new team in New York victimized Yale twice, in New Haven on April 18 and at the Polo Grounds on April 21. In the first game he faced John Montgomery Ward for the second time in his career and this time singled against him in four at-bats. The final score was 11-4.29 Pitching the rematch for New York was Tip O’Neill in front of about 3,000 spectators. The final score differed little, 14-3, and in four at-bats Hubbard again singled, driving in a run.30

Yale played a close game against Providence of the NL on April 28. The score was 2-2 after five innings, and Providence won by a whisker, 5-4. Hubbard had a hit in five at-bats off Edgar Smith and scored twice. “Hubbard fully sustained his reputation as a catcher, taking two foul tips and throwing out several men at the bases in fine style,” said the Yale News.31

In May Yale’s team started shifting its focus to collegiate competition. In a key game on May 12, Hubbard’s charges hosted Harvard. Beautiful weather coaxed more than 2,000 fans to the game. Hubbard put himself in the leadoff spot. A coin toss resulted in Yale batting first, and Hubbard reached on an error, then stole second base. He soon scored Yale’s first run, and they added two more in the inning. There was no more scoring by either side after that, and Yale had a thrilling 3-0 shutout over its big rivals.32

By early June, Yale had played 16 games, and Hubbard was inactive only against Boston. In those games he tied for second-most hits on his team, with 21, and was third in total bases, with 25. He played in all six college games to that point and tied for the most hits on the Yale squad, nine. Yale outscored its collegiate opponents by a wide margin, 30 runs to 10.33

On June 6 Yale played the Philadelphia Athletics for the fourth time in Hubbard’s two years on the varsity. “About 700 people gathered at the park and occupied the grand stand and the benches,” the Yale News reported. “A few carriages were drawn up about the north end of the field.” Hubbard had one hit in four at-bats in his third game against Corey, and over the four games he thus had a .333 batting average. The time of that single was surely far more important to Hubbard than any statistics. Though Yale was the home team, it batted first. Neither team scored in the first inning. In the second, Yale had already scored twice when Hubbard went to bat with two outs and two men on base. His hit drove in the runners to give Yale a 4-0 lead. Yale didn’t score again that day, but Jones limited the Athletics to a lone run in the third inning, and the collegians pulled off the upset.34

Yale almost did likewise at home again the next day, against Buffalo’s NL team. Yale scored five times in the top of the first inning and Buffalo countered with two. After neither team scored in the second inning, there was a rain delay of an hour. The ball’s slipperiness became an issue by the fifth inning, and Buffalo took advantage of that more than Yale did. In the end, the pro team won, 13-12. Hubbard, who played center field, contributed three runs and had a hit in four at-bats.35

On June 13 Hubbard’s team had clinched another American College Base Ball Association pennant by beating Amherst for its seventh victory without a loss.36 About a week later they played one more NL team, Chicago, which finished 1883 in second place. Yale lost, 7-1. Chicago used two pitchers, Larry Corcoran (who had the NL’s best winning percentage and earned-run average the previous year) and Fred Goldsmith (who had the NL’s best winning percentage in 1880). Hubbard had one hit in four at-bats; his late double off Goldsmith helped prevent a shutout.37

On June 22 the New Haven Register ran a long article, drawn from the Boston Herald, in which it was announced that Jones and Hubbard were joining the NL’s Detroit team. The very next day, the Register reported that C.H. Yates, president of the Yale Base Ball association, said Hubbard denied that he and Jones had simultaneously negotiated in bad faith with the NL’s relatively new Philadelphia club. “He said Jones and Hubbard agreed to accept [Philadelphia’s] proposition, but before the contract was signed Hubbard backed out, owing to the opposition of his parents,” wrote the Register.38

In early July it was Baltimore’s turn to be rejected by Hubbard. William Gittinger, secretary and treasurer of that AA team, said he offered Hubbard a salary of $600 per month and a $1,000 cash advance. “Hubbard said it was the largest offer he had received, but that he could not accept it, as his family objected to his becoming a professional ball player,” reported the Baltimore Sun.39 Jones eventually signed with Detroit, and made his debut on July 9, but Hubbard didn’t join him on that club.

Hubbard’s baseball career at Yale concluded with an exhibition game against Harvard in Philadelphia on Independence Day. His nine won a slugfest, 23-9.40 In the eight official American College Base Ball Association games, he batted .314 (11-for-35), with a .963 fielding percentage.41

In less than a week, Hubbard was playing with the Stock Exchange team, also called the Staten Islands.42 He also played at least twice back home, with the Westfield Firemen.43 He kept busy with two other teams, the Cottage Citys of Martha’s Vineyard, and the Company K’s of Hartford, Connecticut.44

Jack Jones was released by Detroit after going 6-5 in 12 games, and on September 4 he won his first game for the Philadelphia Athletics, 11-1 over St. Louis.45

Philadelphia and Hubbard were secretive about his also joining the club, but they weren’t particularly good at it. On September 11, two days before Hubbard’s major-league debut, the Philadelphia Record reported on its front page that “Hubbard, the Yale college catcher, has been engaged by the Athletic club to support Jones.” Back at Yale, on the day of his first game the campus paper quoted the Record’s announcement. In between those two disclosures, a Cincinnati newspaper, looking forward to the Athletics visiting on September 15, noted that Philadelphia had “a new catcher, who plays under the name of West, and whom will catch Jumping Jack Jones.” With that dubious phrasing, the paper may as well have just inserted “fake” before “name.”46

Hubbard made his major-league debut in Columbus on September 13, 1883. “West, the new catcher for the Athletics, played short-stop and did some very brilliant work in the field and also at the bat,” the Times of Philadelphia reported. He batted ninth against Frank Mountain, who was 26-33 for Columbus that year. “West” had two hits in three at-bats and scored twice as his new team won easily, 11-5.47

The next day was an open date, and on September 15 the Athletics were in Cincinnati. Jones started, and “West” was his catcher, but soon all pretense was off. “The Athletic catcher, playing under the name of ‘West,’ was recognized by Yale College men who were present as Hubbard, the Yale College catcher,” noted one Philadelphia daily. “His success behind the bat was not very good – four balls got past him and he missed a third strike.”48 In fact, nobody on his team had a good day, because they were shut out, 11-0, by Will White, a 40-game winner that season and the prior one. Hubbard was hitless in three at-bats. Four of his teammates managed one hit apiece. The Cincinnati Commercial Gazette complimented Hubbard and Jones: “They are without a doubt the strongest college battery ever turned out.”49

Hubbard never played in another major-league game. It might be supposed that the Athletics didn’t want to retain him because of that one awful game. However, the day before that loss, a Philadelphia paper reported that the team had already signed a new catcher for the next season, Jocko Milligan, who ended up as their primary catcher in 1884.50

At some point in 1883, Hubbard worked briefly for J.H. Lounsbury’s machine shop in Providence, and during the winter of 1883-1884 he worked as a draftsman for the Riverside & Oswego Woolen Manufacturing Company in Schenectady, New York.51 Not surprisingly, at the age of 23 baseball was still in his blood – and the baseball world was still interested in him. For example, in February of 1884 it was projected that Jones would join the Minneapolis team in the Northwestern League after his graduation in June, and that he had already agreed to catch. In March he was noticed at the annual meeting of the Intercollegiate Base Ball Convention. In the spring, he reportedly did some coaching for Amherst.52

During the warmer months of 1884, Hubbard ended up splitting time among three teams. One was near his hometown, the Springfield team in a new professional league, the Massachusetts State Association. He played for Springfield at least three times during the first half of May. At home before about 1,000 fans on May 2 he helped Springfield defeat one of the seven other MSA teams, the Boston Reserves, 8-5.53 He caught against the same team three days later in another win, 19-5, though the Springfield paper made it clear the contest wasn’t official, but was merely “an exhibition game.”54 On May 10 Hubbard helped beat another MSA team, the Holyokes, at their ballpark. That contest, won 7-5, by the Springfields, drew about 1,200 spectators.55

In the meantime, Hubbard had been assembling a new team of his own in Westfield. On May 17 it hosted the Holyoke Reserves and won easily, 14-3. “Hubbard captained the team from center field,” the Springfield Republican noted.56 He played with his Westfields off and on at least through late September.57

During the second half of May, Hubbard started playing with another professional team, Meriden of the new Connecticut State League, which played twice weekly.58 Jones had been recruited to pitch regularly for the team, and it was announced that Hubbard would alternate with Connie Mack and Bob Pettit as the catcher. From May 21 through June 27 Hubbard played in at least four games, all wins. The first was against Waterbury. He doubled in two runs in the second inning, and by the ninth inning Meriden led, 6-3. With one out, Waterbury had men on second and third with the tying run at bat, but on the back end of a double play, Hubbard made the game-ending putout. He then missed at least one game due to “a lame arm,” as a local paper reported.59

Hubbard played again on June 6, at Waterbury, and contributed two hits in four at-bats toward a second win, 6-1. In a win against Willimantic on June 11, he split his finger open in the sixth inning. In the seventh he was replaced by Mack and went to right field. His final game for Meriden was a win against Hartford. All told, he had two doubles and two singles in 16 at-bats in the four games.60 At least one paper announced the day before his finale that he and Jones had left the Meriden team, bound for Minneapolis.61 That didn’t happen.

Hubbard simply returned to his amateur team in Westfield. He caught a young local named Wilson, who struck out 22 batters of the MSA’s Holyoke team in a 10-3 victory.62 He caught or played second base for the Westfields until at least October 1, when his nine won a road game against the Amherst College team, 11-6. One of his two hits that day was a home run.63

From 1884 to 1888, Hubbard worked for a longtime Westfield business, the H.B. Smith Company, in its Providence branch. Late in the summer of 1887 he won the Providence tennis championship. After that, he lived and worked primarily in or near Boston.64

On September 23, 1896, Allen married Edna Woodruff, a musician, in her hometown of Winsted, Connecticut. Among the guests were Mr. and Mrs. D.A. “Jack” Jones.65

Agnes’s health had been declining for a few months before her brother’s wedding, and she died in October.66 On July 27, 1897, Allen and Edna welcomed the first of their two children, Allen Jr. Their other son, Gilbert, was born on December 1, 1901.67

Hubbard’s longest continuous service in a sporting capacity was on a committee of the Boston Athletic Club from 1895 to 1910. He became active in the club at least two years earlier, when he was player-manager of the club’s baseball team.68 His “last hurrah” as a baseball player came in 1908 among some very distinguished company. An old-timers game was organized in Boston on September 24. Hubbard was on the team of old stars from New England colleges, who were led by his old Yale teammate, Walter I. Badger. On the other team were former Boston pros. The latter team’s lineup included three future Hall of Famers, Albert G. Spalding, Jim O’Rourke, and Tommy McCarthy. After the game a banquet was held, and the Boston Herald, for one, devoted much ink to the day. Hubbard had a single in two at-bats, plus three putouts.69

Not quite a year later Hubbard found himself in even more famous company, playing a sport other than baseball. At a Yale field day on September 7, 1909, one of the attendees was President William Howard Taft, six months into his term. Taft had graduated from Yale in 1878. The day include a baseball game, and one of its stars was “Rev Charles F. Carter, ’78, who pitched a no-hit, no-run game against Harvard back in the ‘70s,” noted the Springfield Republican. Badger also played, as did Hubbard, who “only had some 18 or 19 passed balls.” Taft was asked to serve as umpire but declined, saying, “I value my life too much for such a job as that.” After the first inning a group photograph was taken, with Taft in the center. Much more noteworthy was the golfing. “Mr Taft was matched with Rev Mr Carter against Samuel J. Elder, the noted Boston lawyer, and Allen Hubbard,” the Republican reported. “The game was stopped at the 11th hole in order not to delay luncheon, and at that time the president and Mr Carter were 4 up.”70

Hubbard died rather suddenly on December 9, 1930, at the age of 70. He was survived by his wife, two sons, sister Leora, and brother George. A large number of Yale alumni attended his funeral.71

In 2006 baseball historian David Nemec asserted that Hubbard and Jones were “the first college battery to perform together in a major league game.” In the summer of 2012, the duo received renewed attention when Craig Breslow of the Red Sox pitched to Ryan Lavarnway. Both are Yale graduates. That hadn’t happened in the majors in well over a century, since Jones and Hubbard.72 That’s a decent legacy for someone like Allen Hubbard, who could count the number of his games as a professional ballplayer with just the bruised and battered fingers of his two hands.



1 “Taft at Yale Field Day,” Springfield (Massachusetts) Republican, September 8, 1909: 9.

2 Bulletin of Yale University: Obituary Record of Graduates Deceased During the Year Ending July 1, 1931, December 1, 1931: 205.

3 Bulletin of Yale University: Obituary Record of Graduates Deceased During the Year Ending July 1, 1931, December 1, 1931: 205; also see federal census and Massachusetts birth records.

4 “Sporting Matters,” Springfield Republican, May 9, 1879: 5.

5 “Base Ball,” Yale News, March 24, 1881: 2.

6 “Consolidated vs. ’84,” Yale News, April 26, 1881: 2.

7 Yale News, May 17, 1881: 2-3. “Yale ’84 vs. Harvard ’84,” Yale News Supplement, May 23, 1881: 1-2. The newspaper’s coverage of the Amherst game lacked a headline; it provided an inning-by-inning account and detailed box score. In early June the Yale Freshmen won a rematch against Harvard, 21-2; see “Yale ’84 vs. Harvard ’84,” Yale News, June 6, 1881: 2-3, and “College Base Ball Games,” New Haven (Connecticut) Daily Morning Journal and Courier, June 6, 1881: 4. His third inclusion in a box score was against the same team; see “Consolidated vs. ’84,” Yale News, May 5, 1881: 3.

8 The Yale Pot-pourri, Volume XVI, 1880-81: 135. On pages 39-42 were listed freshman, junior, and senior classes without a sophomore class.

9 “Metropolitans vs. Yale,” New York Times, April 8, 1882: 8. Yale News, April 13, 1882: 1-2. For a roster of the Metropolitans that identified players’ prior National League experience, see Yale News, February 23, 1882: 1.

10 Yale’s first home game was a 7-5 win on April 15 against a team called the Alaskas, according to the Yale News, April 17, 1882: 1-2. They then beat the Atlantics on April 19, 9-6, as reported by the Yale News, April 20, 1882: 1-2.

11 “An Exciting Contest Between the Providence and Yale Teams – Providence the Winner,” New York Herald, April 23, 1882: 16. See also Yale News, April 24, 1882: 1-2. Hubbard was listed in the Yale newspaper’s box score as playing left field, but the article made it clear that he caught at least part of the game. That box score reported how many balls and strikes each pitcher threw, and even distinguished between called and swinging strikes. The box scores later in April did likewise.

12 Yale News, April 27, 1882: 1-2.

13 “Athletic, 2; Yale, 0,” The Times (Philadelphia), April 30, 1882: 2. See also “Athletics vs. Yale,” Yale News, May 1, 1882: 2.

14 Richard Melancthon Hurd, A History of Yale Athletics, 1840-1888 (New Haven, Connecticut: R.M. Hurd, Yale University, 1888), 95, 100; Frank Presbrey and James Hugh Moffatt, Athletics at Princeton: A History (New York: Frank Presbrey Company, 1901), 35. The league was called two other names, the shortened American College Association but also the Inter-Collegiate Association on the same page of Spalding’s Base Ball Guide and Official League Book for 1882 (Chicago: A.G. Spalding & Bros., 1882): 47. However, on an unnumbered page before the Guide’s preface, it was called the American College Base Ball Association in an official endorsement of the Guide.

15 “Yales vs. Worcesters,” New Haven Register, June 9, 1882: 4; “Yale vs. Worcester,” Yale News, June 9, 1882: 2.

16 “Providence 11, Yale 3,” Springfield Republican, June 14, 1882: 5; “Yale vs. Providence,” Yale News, June 14, 1882: 1-2.

17 “Base Ball,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 11, 1882: 2.

18 For example, at home on July 15 he played second base in a loss to a team from nearby Holyoke.

19 “Sporting Matters,” Springfield Republican, August 3, 1882: 8. Chapman made “a flattering offer,” according to “Base Ball,” Wheeling (West Virginia) Sunday Register, August 20, 1882: 7.

20 “Sporting Matters,” Springfield Republican, August 8, 1882: 8; “Worcesters 7, Westfield Firemen 4,” Springfield Republican, August 9, 1882: 8. As in several Yale News box scores, this one likewise reported pitch counts.

21 “The Ball Field,” Worcester (Massachusetts) Daily Spy, August 15, 1882: 4; “Sporting Matters,” Springfield Republican, August 8, 1882: 8; “Sporting Matters,” Springfield Republican, August 15, 1882: 5.

22 Yale News, September 14, 1882: 1.

23 Yale News, October 11, 1882: 4.

24 “Notices,” Yale News, January 15, 1883: 2.

25 “The Ball Nine,” Yale News, February 8, 1883: 1.

26 Warren Goldstein, “Walter Camp’s Off-Side: A Tarnished Football Legacy,” Hartford Courant, March 14, 2014, accessible at–20140314-story.html.

27 “Base Ball,” Philadelphia Inquirer, April 9, 1883: 2; “Yale vs. Athletics,” Yale News, April 9, 1883: 1.

28 “Yale vs. Cleveland,” Yale News, April 16, 1883: 1.

29 “New Yorks, 11; Yales, 4,” Boston Globe, April 19, 1883: 1; “Base Ball,” New Haven Register, April 19, 1883: 3.

30 “New York 14 – Yale 3,” Commercial Gazette (Cincinnati), April 22, 1883: 3; “Yale vs. New York,” Yale News, April 23, 1883: 1. The latter account mentions hits by Yale’s leadoff man and Hubbard combining for one of Yale’s three runs, but both hits were omitted from the box score, thus showing Yale with three hits instead of five. The Cincinnati paper’s box score shows both of those batters with hits and Yale with a total of five.

31 “Providences, 5; Yales, 4,” Boston Globe, April 29, 1883: 3; “Yale vs. Providence,” Yale News, April 30, 1883: 1-2.

32 “Yale vs. Harvard,” Yale News, May 14, 1883: 1.

33 Yale News, June 5, 1883: 1.

34 “Yale vs. Athletic,” Yale News, June 7, 1883: 1; “Base Ball Games. The Yale College Nine Defeat the Athletics,” New Haven Register, June 7, 1883: 2.

35 “Yale vs. Buffalo,” Yale News, June 8, 1883: 1; “A Close Game,” New Haven Daily Morning Journal and Courier, June 8, 1883: 2. Buffalo used at least two pitchers in the game, but box scores in these and other newspapers were inconsistent about who exactly pitched, and descriptions of the game generally didn’t mention the visitors’ hurlers except in passing.

36 Hurd. In late June, Princeton beat Yale and thus Hubbard’s team ended with a 7-1 record.

37 “Yale vs. Chicago,” Yale News, June 20, 1883: 1. “Base Ball – Yale vs. Chicago,” New Haven Daily Morning Journal and Courier, June 20, 1883: 3.

38 “To Join the Detroits. Jones and Hubbard of Yale,” New Haven Register, June 22, 1883: 1; “Yale’s Battery. The Charge of Bad Faith by Jones and Hubbard Denied,” New Haven Register, June 23, 1883: 2.

39 “Base-Ball,” Baltimore Sun, July 4, 1883: 4. One New Haven paper printed a similar account a few days later but added, “Although he is reported to have declined, members of the Yale nine say he told them not to be surprised if he went.” See “Hubbard, Yale’s Catcher,” New Haven Register, July 9, 1883: 2.

40 “Harvard Beaten by Yale,” The Times (Philadelphia), July 5, 1883: 3; “Harvard Badly Defeated,” New Haven Register, July 5, 1883: 4.

41 J.S. Harlan, “The Record of Averages of the Members of the Ball Nines,” Yale News, October 18, 1883: 2.

42 “On the Diamond,” Boston Journal, July 10, 1883: 4; “The Staten Islands Victorious,” Truth (New York), July 17, 1883: 3; “Westfield,” Springfield Republican, August 14, 1883; “Baseball News,” New York Tribune, August 15, 1883: 2.

43 “Holyokes 4, Westfield Firemen 3,” Springfield Republican, August 16, 1883: 5; “Diamond Drift,” Boston Globe, September 12, 1883: 5. The latter mentioned that Hubbard played for Westfield in a win versus the Newtons, but two paragraphs above that the paper asked, incredulously, “How many clubs does Hubbard belong to?”

44 “Diamond Drift,” Boston Globe, September 14, 1883: 4.

45 “A Great Day for Jones,” New Haven Register, September 5, 1883: 1.

46 “Sporting Notes,” Philadelphia Record, September 11, 1883: 1; “Yale Log,” Yale News, September 13, 1883: 3; “Columbus Club Matters,” Cincinnati Commercial Gazette. September 12, 1883; An announcement similar to the Record’s appeared in Boston the day before Hubbard’s second game as West. See “Base Ball Notes,” Boston Globe, September 14, 1883: 4.

47 “The Association Games,” The Times (Philadelphia), September 14, 1883: 3; the paper’s box score didn’t have a column for at-bats, but see “Athletics Win at Columbus,” Cincinnati Commercial Gazette, September 14, 1883: 3.

48 “The Athletics Shut Out,” The Times (Philadelphia), September 16, 1883: 2; “Jumping on Jumping Jack,” Cincinnati Commercial Gazette, September 16, 1883: 7.

49 “The Athletics Shut Out,” The Times (Philadelphia), September 16, 1883: 2.

50 “Notes,” Philadelphia Inquirer, September 14, 1883: 2.

51 Bulletin of Yale University: Obituary Record of Graduates Deceased During the Year Ending July 1, 1931, December 1, 1931: 205.

52 “Tea Table Chat,” Evening Press (Bay City, Michigan), February 4, 1884. Bay City had one of the other franchises in the Northwestern League. “Base Ball among Students,” Boston Herald, March 15, 1884: 8; “Hampshire County,” Springfield Republican, May 30, 1884: 6.

53 “The State Championship,” Boston Journal, May 3, 1884: 6. His identity was confirmed when the paper asserted that “Hubbard, of last year’s Yale nine, caught a good game for the home nine.” The fact that the teams had played a “championship game,” i.e., that it counted in the standings, was noted in “Base-Ball,” Springfield Republican, May 3, 1884: 5.

54 “Sporting Matters,” Springfield Republican, May 6, 1884: 5.

55 “Springfields 7; Holyokes 5,” Boston Globe, May 11, 1884: 5. The attendance figure came from “Springfields 7; Holyokes 5,” Worcester Daily Spy, May 12, 1884: 1. For additional information about the MSA, see

56 “Westfields 14, Holyoke Reserves 3,” Springfield Republican, May 18, 1884: 1.

57 For an example not long into the team’s second month, see “Westfields 16, Rockets 9,” Springfield Republican, June 8, 1884: 1.

58 The league played on Wednesdays and Saturdays, according to, but the first and third dates on which Hubbard played in June were Fridays.

59 “Jones and Hubbard,” Meriden (Connecticut) Daily Republican, May 20, 1884: 3; “Meriden Has the Honor,” Meriden Daily Republican, May 22, 1884: 3; “Base Ball Notes,” Meriden Daily Republican, May 24, 1994: 3.

60 “Six to One,” Meriden Daily Republican, June 7, 1884: 3; “Beaten in One Inning,” Meriden Daily Republican, June 12, 1884: 3; “In Second Place,” Meriden Daily Republican, June 28, 1884: 3.

61 “Base Hits,” Cleveland Leader, June 26, 1884: 7.

62 “Westfields 10, Holyokes 3,” Springfield Republican, June 29, 1884: 1.

63 “Westfields 11, Amherst College 6,” Springfield Republican, October 1, 1884: 5.

64 Bulletin of Yale University: Obituary Record of Graduates Deceased During the Year Ending July 1, 1931, December 1, 1931: 205; “Hampden County,” Springfield Republican, September 1, 1887: 6.

65 “Woodruff-Hubbard,” New Haven Register, September 9, 1896: 1. “News Jottings,” Morning Journal and Courier, September 25, 1896: 7; “Social Life,” Boston Herald, September 27, 1896: 27. In the seventh column of the latter is a long paragraph that identified the Woodruff-Hubbard wedding party and mentioned Edna’s musicianship.

66 “Hampden County,” Springfield Republican, October 29, 1896: 8.

67 The dates are from Massachusetts birth records accessible online. According to the 1910 Census, Allen’s sister Leora never had children.

68 “Interclub Base Ball,” Boston Journal, March 28, 1893: 3; “BAA, 4; MIT, ’96, 3,” Boston Herald, April 30, 1893: 4. By 1897 he’d switched his baseball allegiance to the Newton Athletic Association, to the west of Boston in Newton Centre. See “Newton AA, 13; Tufts, 5,” Boston Journal, April 20, 1897: 3. For a pencil sketch of his likeness in Newton AA attire, see “Newton’s Fine Ball Team,” Boston Herald, March 11, 1898: 12.

69 “Old Pros Put One Over Collegians,” Boston Herald, September 25, 1908: 1, 4. Most of the latter page was reprinted in Spalding’s Official Base Ball Guide, 1909 (New York: American Sports Publishing Co., 1909), 135-139. This annual also printed a detailed box score and two pages of photos. Accounts from other Boston papers were later used by the biggest star of the day – see Albert Goodwill Spalding, America’s National Game: Historic Facts Concerning the Beginning, Evolution, Development and Popularity of Base Ball (New York: American Sports Publishing Company, 1911), 353, 356. About five years after the game, a very large group photo of participants was printed in the New York Times, October 12, 1913: 36.

70 “Taft at Yale Field Day,” Springfield Republican, September 8, 1909: 9.

71 “Death of Mrs. George Hubbard,” Springfield Republican, January 21, 1915: 11; “Allen Hubbard Dies at Home at Newton,” Springfield Republican, December 15, 1930: 4; “Allen Hubbard’s Funeral at Newton,” Springfield Republican, December 17, 1930: 4.

72 David Nemec, The Great Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Major League Baseball, Second Edition (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Press, 2006), 251. Gordon Edes, “Bulldog Battery Helps Sox Stop Yanks,”, August 19, 2012, accessible at Edes expressed some doubt that both Jones and Hubbard were Yale graduates, but that is far from debatable.

Full Name

Allen Hubbard


December 9, 1860 at Westfield, MA (USA)


December 14, 1930 at Newton, MA (USA)

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