Jimmy Macullar

  • Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Des Moines
  • Team: Prohibitionists
  • League: Western Association

James F. Macullar (1855-1924) was a scrappy fellow with several noteworthy accomplishments. At a mere 5’6” Little Mac did not cut an imposing figure when he arrived in major league baseball by virtue of his Syracuse Stars being promoted into the National League in 1879. Macullar was the rare natural left-hander to bat right-handed, but any advantage accruing wasn’t obvious as he generally hovered around the .200 mark at bat. It was in the field that he distinguished himself. By the end of his career, Macullar had set a record that still stands by playing more games (325) at shortstop than any other southpaw. That rookie season also saw Jimmy demonstrate leadership beyond his years when the twenty-four year old was given the management of the Stars for about a month. His weak hitting left him unemployed for a couple of years, but that didn’t deter him from baseball. He and teammate Hick Carpenter headed to Cuba in the winter of ’79-80 and became the first North Americans to play for the new league when they were signed by Colón. Despite Jimmy’s limitations, he and Hick far outclassed the fledgling Cuban players and were so dominant that other teams refused to play against them. Macullar was hired by the new American Association’s Cincinnati franchise in ’82 and played stellar centerfield for the pennant-winners with his buddy Carpenter at third.  The next season he was relegated to a utility role and his poor offensive production led to his demotion. Picked up by the Orioles, Jimmy saw regular action back at short through the 1886 season.

  • Baltimore became Macullar’s home and he served the city as a jailer over the next two decades.
  • Jimmy contributed an outstanding play in centerfield to nail the White Sox’ Abner Dalrymple at home to end the Reds’ first post-season contest on October 6, 1882
  • Macullar’s uniform color on this card was changed in July, 2017 from black to blue to reflect recent reliable research by Craig Brown & friends at Threads of Our Game. One card was previously released featuring a black uniform.

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