Buck West

  • Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Minneapolis
  • Team: Millers
  • League: Western Association

Milton Douglas West (1860-1929) was another in a long line of players who could excel in minor league play but flounder on the big stage. Buck often hit over .300 during his long tenure in professional baseball. He starred in many of the higher circuits including the Northwestern and Tri-State Leagues; and the Western and Southern Associations from 1883-1895. His chances in the majors came twice, first with the Cincinnati Red Stockings of the American Association in 1884 and finally with the Cleveland Spiders of the National League in 1890. Significantly, Buck’s call-ups came when baseball was sifting out its league organizations. The years he played at the top were years a rival third league made overtures to compete. The talent pool was tested and players such as West got rare opportunities to show their mettle. The sturdy outfielder was a big man for his day at 5’10” and 200 lbs, yet he swatted only three home runs in MLB. But one of those was memorable, establishing West as the first in the big leagues to homer in his final at-bat, September 18, 1890 at League Park.

  • Buck’s offensive output for his two seasons: 282 ABs, .245 average with 40 RBI
  • He reached his pinnacle at the plate with the Syracuse Stars in 1891 hitting .339 and leading the Eastern Association

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