Sleepy Townsend

  • Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Athletics (AA)
  • League: American Association

George Hodgson Townsend (1867-1930) must have been a catcher to his core. He began in pro ball in 1887 with Reading and moved up to the Philadelphia Athletics the same year, which was also the first and only year hitters got to look at four strikes. This must have made for longer days for the pitchers and catchers, but even such a temporary advantage for the batter was lost on George who could muster only a .193 average. He slumped to .155 the next year and moved down to Baltimore in ‘90 where he hit .239. One more sub-.200 campaign followed before Townsend returned to the minors for one year in the Eastern League with the Binghamton Bings and Rochester Flour Cities. Such was the life of the hard-working, much put-upon receivers of the eighties: mangled hands and slumping batting averages.

  • George had come by the “tools of ignorance” via America’s higher education: he makes the honor roll as one of 13 NYU Violets in the major leagues

Auction History