Jack Rowe

  • Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Detroit
  • Team: Wolverines
  • League: National League

John Charles Rowe (1856-1911) played a decade in the major leagues for two teams, the Buffalo Bisons and Detroit Wolverines before finishing out his career with the Alleghenys and Players’ League Bisons back in Buffalo in 1890. It was his skill at bare-handed catching in the minors that attracted the Bisons’ attention in 1878, but his September call-up impressed with the bat as well when Rowe hit .353. That debut led to a seven-year tenure in upstate NY where he gained fame as part of the “Big Four” with Dan Brouthers, Hardy Richardson and Deacon White. The quartet were formidable batsmen, but a lack of pitching doomed the franchise to mediocre results. In September ‘85 the four were sold to Detroit and remained a unit until the team folded after the ‘88 season. By 1887 Rowe was primarily a shortstop and helped the club win it all, pennant and post-season, for the high-water mark of the Wolverines. Victims of the early reserve system, Rowe and White tried unsuccessfully to return to Buffalo in ‘88 as co-owners, but were held to a sale to Pittsburgh. They did make good on their plan as a Players’ League entry in 1890 for a final year in the majors for both.

  • Ran a cigar store in retirement and, per the January 1899 The Sporting Life was “one of the most contented men in Buffalo these days”

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