Bobby Lowe

  • Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Milwaukee
  • Team: Creams
  • League: Western Association

Robert Lincoln Lowe (1865-1951) played a dozen years for the Boston Beaneaters, then a half dozen more for Chicago, Pittsburgh and Detroit. He could play every position and set several batting records in a long and illustrious major league career. Upon his retirement he held the best fielding average of all-time at second base, proving his value in all aspects of the game. Orphaned at 15, Lowe was a hard-working young man supporting his family in the Pittsburgh area. Friends convinced his employers to give Bobby time to play the game he clearly excelled at, leading to a chance with Eau Claire of the Northwestern League in 1887. After a couple seasons in the Western Associaton, Boston bought his contract, a deal once called “one of baseball’s biggest bargains.” Lowe established himself as perhaps the best second-baseman of the 19th century and helped lead the team to five pennants. As the starter at second for eight straight seasons, Lowe formed a great double-play combo with Herman Long. With Fred Tenney at first and Jimmy Collins at third, the infield was touted by some as the best ever. When he moved to the Orphans (Cubs) in 1902, manager Frank Selee knew he had a leader and made Bobby the captain. Relegated to backing up Johnny Evers in ’03, Lowe moved on to Detroit via a one-game stint with the Pirates and was named manager of the Tigers in ’04. Upon his retirement from the majors, the Detroit News lauded Bobby’s character: “There is no better type of the gentleman in baseball and no one ever heard ought but words of praise for him.”

  • Among Lowe’s batting accomplishments: first to hit four home runs in a game, first to hit for 17 total bases in a game, went six-for-six in another game, scored six times in yet another, batted over .300 five straight seasons
  • Hit a solid .273 lifetime, with 74 home runs

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