Fred Carroll

  • Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Pittsburgh
  • Team: Alleghenys
  • League: National League

Frederick Herbert Carroll (1864-1904) was born in Sacramento and, per Bill James, never really adjusted to life in the East. James touts Carroll as perhaps the finest “young” catcher, not only of his era, but until the arrival of Johnny Bench. Fred was nineteen when he started for the Columbus Buckeyes of the American Association. He moved on to spend seven more years in MLB for three Pittsburgh franchises in the AA, NL and Players’ League. During this fairly brief tenure, Carroll twice hit over .300 and twice was among the league leaders in home runs. His career average of .284 justifies James’ assessment of the rare hitter with power at catcher. Hall of Famer Buck Ewing set the standard for 19th century catchers, but Carroll was as solid as they come. Carroll had quite a year in 1886 with the Alleghenys. He set career marks in hits, doubles, triples and runs. And he also faced a club suspension for fighting teammate Otto Schomberg. Team owners, perhaps realizing how disliked Schomberg was, quickly ended Carroll’s exile and lowered his fine to $50. The following season Fred became the first Pittsburgh player to hit for the cycle.

  • In 1889 Carroll led the league in on-base percentage and slugging, said by the Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers to be a record production for a catcher of that age (24)
  • Carroll left the Steel City for his home state, playing for Oakland and SF in the minors
  • Carroll’s uniform color on this card was changed in February, 2017 from blue to red to reflect recent reliable research by Craig Brown & friends at Threads of Our Game. One card had been previously released featuring a blue uniform.

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