- Card series: Athletic of Philadelphia: 1874
- City: Philadelphia
- Team: Athletics (NAPBBP)
- League: National Association (NAPBBP)
Joseph V. Battin (1853-1937) was a scrappy infielder for three National Association teams from 1871-75, remaining with the St. Louis Brown Stockings as they joined the new NL in ‘76. He began with the Cleveland Forest Citys in 1871 at the age of 17, playing just one game in the outfield. After a year off, Joe returned to pro ball with the Athletics in ‘73, again getting into only one game. He caught on the following season, managing to hit .230 for the A’s across 51 games before shipping out to St. Louis for the ‘75 campaign.
Joe’s second season in St. Louis, the National League’s inaugural season of 1876, was his best as he hit .300 (with a 135 OPS+) in 64 games. He slumped the next year and the Browns sent him to the Alleghenys of Pittsburgh. Joe rarely hit above .200 thereafter and would spend more time in the minors than the majors over the balance of his career.
The 1880s were a time of movement for players and even teams and leagues. But few may have had as head-spinning a season as Joe in 1885. He found himself playing for five teams, three in Waterbury, CT, and each of those in a different league! He began the season with Waterbury’s Southern New England League entry, went back out to Cleveland’s Forest Citys, now in the Western League, back to Waterbury’s Brassmen of the Connecticut State League, up to Binghamton of the New York State League, and finally back in CT with Waterbury’s Eastern League squad.
- Joe got one last shot of big league glory with the Syracuse Stars in 1890, hitting .210 in 29 games
- Battin appeared on the first Hall of Fame ballot in 1936. He received one vote from the Veteran’s Committee, tying him with 22 other players including Jake Beckley, Tommy McCarthy, Bobby Wallace, Jesse Burkett, Deacon White & Tim Keefe, and surpassing Candy Cummings who received zero votes