Frank Hankinson

Third Base
  • Card series: 1880s: Spotted Ties
  • City: New York
  • Team: Metropolitans
  • League: American Association

Frank Edward Hankinson (1856-1911) was a third baseman for four early National League clubs before ending his major league tenure with two American Association teams. Just why he was, primarily, a third baseman is a bit of a head scratcher. Frank debuted with the Chicago White Stockings in 1878 and hit a respectable .267 (an average he wouldn’t exceed for a decade). Manager Bob “Death to Flying Things” Ferguson did start young Hankinson on the mound one time that rookie season, a complete game loss with the pitcher surrendering six runs. Ferguson must have seen something he liked as he used Hankinson much more in ’79. As the back-up to Terry Larkin, Frank went 15-10 with an ERA nearly matching the ace (2.50 vs. 2.44 for Larkin). Perhaps it was Hankinson’s anemic .181 BA that made him more desirable as a pitcher but, for unknown reasons, that would be basically a one-and-done “career” as a hurler in the majors. Thereafter, Hankinson labored as a NL part-timer mostly at third, although he played all positions but catcher over his ten-year span. His move to the AA saw him get many more plate appearances, especially with the Metropolitans from 1885-87.

  • Overall, Hankinson hit .228 but compiled an impressive 16-12 record on the mound, completing all his starts and throwing two shut-outs. His ERA was 2.50.
  • He closed out his career with ’88’s last-place Kansas City Cowboys, hitting a lifetime low .174

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