Al Buckenberger

  • Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Columbus
  • Team: Solons
  • League: American Association

Albert C. Buckenberger (1861-1917) never made the big leagues as a player, but managed 4 franchises over 9 seasons from 1889-1904. He was the field general for the Columbus Solons of the AA for 2 years before moving to the NL, first with the Pirates for 3 seasons, the Browns for one and then with the Beaneaters for his final 3 campaigns. While with Pittsburgh, Al served a stint as club president as well. His career record on the bench was 488-539. By the time owner Chris von der Ahe brought him to St. Louis for the 1895 season, Buckenberger’s predilection for coaches’ hand signs was well known. He was the brunt of a mocking anecdote following the Browns’ 11th place finish. The Washington Post reported von der Ahe’s caustic assessment of the manager’s emphasis on teaching signals at the expense of physical conditioning: “I guess they have learned to make signs to the waiter in order to get more than their share to eat.” During the ’94 season, Buckenberger and others were expelled from the NL for “plotting” the resurrection of the American Association but was reinstated the next year.

  • Buckenberger enjoyed 2d-place finishes in 2 leagues: with the Solons (AA) in 1890 and the Pirates (NL) in ’93
  • Led the Beaneaters to a 3rd place finish in 1902

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