Jocko Fields

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

John Joseph Fields (1864-1950) was named, by Hight Heat Stats, the starting left fielder for the All Emerald Isle Nine. This is, perhaps, less a tribute to Jocko than a commentary on the endeavors of Irish immigrants of the 19th century, who may have had more mundane occupations as they settled into their adopted land. Nevertheless, the list puts Fields in good company with Tommy Bond, Tony Mullane and Jack Doyle among the squad. Jocko was mostly a part-timer in the majors, starting with Pittsburgh’s Alleghenys in 1887 where he played two more seasons. The uproar of labor strife in 1890 led to the Players’ League founding and Fields tried his luck with the Burghers. Despite being led by Jake Beckley’s formidable bat, the rest of the team didn’t give much support and they languished in sixth place. Fields did have a decent year, hitting .281, well below his previous season’s output when he hit .311. The PL did offer youngsters like Jocko more playing time, however, and he saw more action in ’90 than any other campaign. He got into 126 games and drove in 86, nearly half of his six-year career total. He returned to the Pirates in ’91 and was shipped to Philadelphia for a handful of games at the end of that season. A final try with the Giants in ’92 lasted only 21 games and proved his swan song. Jocko’s pro career had begun with the Jersey City Skeeters in 1885 followed by three NY teams in ’86 before the Alleghenys called. He stayed in the game through the 1896 season for such teams as the Macon Hornets, Charleston Seagulls and Evansville Black Birds. He split his final tour between the Atlanta Crackers and Norfolk Braves. If nothing else, baseball provided a way for a young immigrant lad to really see the country.

  • Fields’ last few years in the minors saw him hit as well as he ever had. He averaged .351 for Charleston, and a combined .326 for those last two clubs in ’96

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