Charles Whitney

Third Base
  • Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: St. Joseph
  • Team: Clay Eaters
  • League: Western Association

Charles F. Whitney had a least one close relative make it to the major leagues: his brother Arthur, a right-handed 3rd baseman. The Old Judge card on which Charles appears is identified as “G” Whitney, 3B, for the St. Joseph Clay Eaters in 1889. Baseball Reference pegs this Clay Eater as our Charles, also a right-handed third baseman. Charles played exclusively in the minors and founded the Victor Sporting Goods Co. of Springfield, MA. Arthur worked for his brother’s company after retiring from baseball. Victor was later bought out by Al Spalding’s empire. There are intriguing connections between these Whitneys and another from the same era: Jim “Grasshopper” Whitney. Jim played minor league ball in Binghamton, NY in 1878 and was with the San Francisco Knickerbockers in ’80 when he was hired by Boston’s Red Caps. Charles played for the SF club, then the Athletics in 1879, and for Binghamton in 1887-88. Arthur was born in 1858 and Jim was a year older. If Charles was older than Art (he was already in business and hired his brother) that could make Jim his “cousin?” Jim following him by a year to the West Coast. Such speculation is all that remains as we try to piece together data regarding these early pro ball players.

  • Extant info for Charles shows he began pro ball in 1879 with the Omaha Green Stockings and finished with the tantalizingly-named Clay Eaters ten years later

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