Joe Quinn

Second Base
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Des Moines
  • Team: Prohibitionists
  • League: Western Association
  • Hall: Baseball Australia Hall of Fame

Joseph James Quinn (1864-1940) came a long way to play baseball for the Dubuque Rabbits. And it would be over a century until the next Aussie made the trip to the big leagues of America. Joe quickly advanced to that level with the Union Association’s St. Louis Maroons in 1884. Joe brought his working-class background to the ballpark and soon became one of the mouthpieces for players in an era when they were chattel. “Ol’ Reliable” was a leader in the Players’ League revolt in 1890, an interruption in Joe’s long National League career, primarily in Boston and St Louis. He had another memorable detour when called upon to take the “worst job in baseball” managing the doomed Cleveland Spiders in 1899. When owners shipped out Cy Young, Jesse Burkett, Bobby Wallace and others to their St. Louis Perfectos, Quinn was left with the unenviable task of shepherding the lousiest team in history to a 12-104 record. Even in defeat, Joe’s men followed him, a tribute to his character.

  • In 1893, The Sporting News awarded Joe a gold watch as “the most popular player in baseball”
  • Elected to Australian Baseball Hall of Fame: 2013

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