Blondie Purcell

  • Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Baltimore
  • Team: Orioles
  • League: American Association

William Aloysius Purcell (1854-1912) ascended to the new “major leagues” in the early days of the NL as it was still in its formative stage. Playing OF for the Syracuse Stars, Purcell migrated with his team & the Buffalo Bisons out of the soon-to-perish International Association to join the new professional circuit. 1879 would be the first & last season for the Stars in MLB; and an incomplete year as the team folded on Sep 10. Nevertheless, Purcell would go on to a successful 12-year career. He finished ’79 with the Cincinnati Reds and would eventually play in Cleveland, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Boston and Baltimore. Purcell earned the distinction of being the first player in Philadelphia history to get a hit and score a run, in his first at-bat of the club’s inaugural 1883 season.

  • Was once fined for destroying a baseball, which he had done to get a new ball into the game so that Pud Galvin could better throw his curve
  • Late in his career, Purcell was recruited to manage the incorrigible Atlanta Atlantans of the Southern Assoc, a team that came to be dubbed “Purcell’s Plug-Uglies”
  • .267 BA with 1,217 hits in 1,097 ML games

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