Thorn: Cap Anson’s first baseball contract

From SABR member John Thorn at Our Game on May 1, 2019:

On Twitter the other day, a debate arose in regard to Marc Carig’s fine appreciation at The Athletic about baseball’s “red asses” []. Who, folks wondered, had supplied the first specimen of the species? I offered that the game’s first “red ass” may have been Adrian Anson, who was named “Baby” long before was called Cap or Pop. It was said in polite circles that he won the nickname because he had been the first settler child born in Marshalltown, Iowa, but the trade card below gives the real story: he whined and scrapped about everything, and was particularly notorious for his treatment of the poor umpire, alone on the field in those years.

This exchange recalled for me Anson’s rookie contract with the Forest City club of Rockford, Illinois in the National Association’s debut season of 1871, which I had uncovered long ago in the archives of the Illinois State Historical Library.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: May 1, 2019. Last Updated: May 1, 2019.