Suehsdorf: Honus Wagner’s rookie year, 1895

From SABR member John Thorn at Our Game on September 5, 2017:

Last week I published three Zane Grey stories (yes, The Man of the West had been a professional baseball player) at Our Game. You could look ’em up. While poking around in old newspapers for evidence of when and where the Potboiler King might have played besides the University of Pennsylvania, I noted that in 1895 he was playing left field for the Findlay, Ohio club — as “Zane”; his brother Romer (“Reddy”), the center fielder, got to keep his last name. At season’s end, Findlay became embroiled in a dispute with the Adrian, Michigan club over who really won the pennant of the Michigan State League.


No, not Sylvester Stallone’s plaintive cry for his beloved in Rocky … but the very Adrian club for which Honus Wagner had played during a peripatetic rookie year in professional baseball that took him from Steubenville to Akron to Mansfield to Adrian and, finally, Warren. Did Findlay’s Zane Grey ever play in a game against Honus Wagner?

The man who might have known is the late A.D. Suehsdorf, longtime editor and the author of The Great American Baseball Scrapbook. When I was the editor of The National Pastime, a publication I created for SABR 35 years ago, he wrote this incredibly detailed story for the Winter 1987 edition. Never before available on the web, it appears here courtesy of SABR.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: September 5, 2017. Last Updated: September 5, 2017.