Wes Fisler

First Base
  • Card series: Athletic of Philadelphia: 1874
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Athletics (NAPBBP)
  • League: National Association (NAPBBP)

Weston Dickson Fisler (1841-1922) was a century too late to fire the shot heard round the world, but the Philadelphia infielder did strike the first blow in a different kind of American Revolution. On April 22, 1876, in the inaugural game of the new National League, the Boston Red Stockings (Red Caps) played Fisler’s Athletics at the Jefferson Street Grounds and Wes scored the first run. It was fitting that such a moment was shared by teams from the two cities most associated with the founding of the nation. And so it was that America celebrated its first centennial with the birth, in Philadelphia, of modern major league baseball.

Fisler grew up in neighboring Camden, N.J., the son of its mayor. At 5’6” and a mere 136 lbs, Fisler was a super-utility “tenth man” with the A’s, playing in 273 games across six seasons, mostly at 1st, 2nd & in the outfield. He had debuted in 1871, the season his team won the first and most controversial championship in the five year history of the National Association (NAPBBP). That pennant wasn’t decided until months after the season ended, when Harry Wright’s Bostons were deprived of their flag by vote of the owners at a November meeting hosted by the liquor-barons who owned the Athletics – a meeting in which their product flowed freely.

  • Fisler retired after the ‘76 season with an excellent .310 average, with two HRs, and 189 RBI in his 273 games.

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