- Card series: Beginnings: 1870's
- City: Boston
- Team: Red Stockings (NAPBBP)
- League: National Association (NAPBBP)
Charles Roscoe Barnes (1850-1915) was the best player in the five year history of the fist professional baseball league, the National Association of Professional Baseball Players (NAPBBP), 1871-1875. Barnes is the all-time NAPBBP leader in runs, hits, doubles, walks, stolen bases, total bases, batting average, OBP and SLG%. He then dominated the National League in its inaugural year, 1876, leading the league hits, runs, average, OBP, SLG%, total bases, doubles, triples and walks. He also hit the 1st HR in National League history, for the Chicago White Stockings, 5.2.1876. Over the first six years of his major league career, Barnes’ batting average was .397. An unidentified illness limited Barnes to just 22 games in 1877, and he was never the same player again, retiring shortly thereafter at the age of 31.
“Roscoe C. Barnes…was the greatest second baseman the game ever had…” – A History of the Boston Baseball Club, 1897.
“No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget. Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.” – W.A. Phelan, Baseball Magazine, 1915
- Because he played in the second game in MLB history, is credited with the 17 other players that day as the 27th player to debut in MLB
- 1st hitter to win batting titles in 2 leagues: NA in ’72-73 and NL in ‘76
- In 1918, made Cap Anson’s all-time team as the shortstop
- Barnes was selected as SABR’s ”Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legend “ for 2013