- Card series: Athletic of Philadelphia: 1874
- City: Philadelphia
- Team: Athletics (NAPBBP)
- League: National Association (NAPBBP)
John F. McMullin (1849-1881) began amateur ball with his hometown Keystones of Philadelphia in 1867 as an outfielder. He moved to the Buckeye of Cincinnati in ‘68 and the Haymakers of Troy in ‘70, with whom he joined the first openly professional league in 1871. He pitched for Troy his first season when the only other southpaw hurler in the NABBP was Charlie Pabor of the Union of Morrisania (who is more renowned for his nickname, The Old Woman in the Red Cap, than for his mound prowess). McMullin also pitched some for the National Association’s Troy entry in ‘71, and is the only known lefty to pitch regularly that year. He served as an emergency pitcher in two games across the 1872 and ‘73 campaigns, but played primarily in the outfield the rest of his career. He always had respectable years at the plate, including his final season with the Philadelphia White Stockings in 1875 where he hit .257. His best year had been with the Athletics in 1874, leading the team with 90 hits and a .346 average.
After being a pioneering member of baseball’s first two organized leagues and playing nearly all of his teams’ games in the five year history of the National Association, McMullin never played a single game in the National League that replaced it. It is not known why McMullin’s tenure in baseball ended so abruptly on the eve of the modern major leagues and he would die a few short years later at age 32 in his native Philadelphia.
- In 1877, McMullin appeared as one of three managers of a Philadelphia entry in the League Alliance, a loose consortium of teams in the Northeast that formed as a response to the new NL
- Like teammate Mike McGeary, McMullen [sic] appears on an 1871 Burr Pennfield Troy Haymaker Scorecard. Inspired by and rarer than the Mort Rogers’ Scorecards, such “photographic picture cards” were important precursors to the modern baseball card