From Howard W. Appell at the Livingston County News on January 27, 2013, with mention of SABR member Gary Passamonte:
One of the 19th century’s greatest baseball players was born and raised in Livingston County.
Roscoe Conkling “Ross” Barnes, born May 8, 1850, spent his childhood on River Road in the Town of Mount Morris. Barnes and his family relocated to the Town of Lima about 1856, where they lived until 1865, the last year the family is listed in the local census. Very shortly afterward, the Barnes family moved to Rockford, Illinois.
Barnes is documented as playing with the amateur Rockford Pioneers in 1866 at age 16 with a teammate of the same age, Albert Spalding. Spalding was destined for baseball immortality as an outstanding pitcher and hitter, then as a manager, team owner (Chicago White Stockings), manufacturer and seller of sporting goods, and publisher of sporting record books.
In 1916, one year after the deaths of both Spalding and Barnes, Spalding’s Official Baseball Guide referred to Barnes as “one of the greatest ballplayers who ever lived.”
Read the full article here: http://thelcn.com/2013/01/27/calling-the-hall/
Originally published: January 28, 2013. Last Updated: January 28, 2013.