Sun Daly

  • Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Minneapolis
  • Team: Millers
  • League: Western Association

James J. Daly (1865-1938) compiled a very short major league slash line. Sun made it to the big leagues with the Baltimore Orioles in 1892, joining one of the more ferocious teams of the era. He got into a mere 13 games and went 12-48 for a .250 average with seven RBI for the last-place team. With the likes of McGraw, Hanlon, Stovey and Wilbert Robinson – this was a down year for a team on the cusp of greatness. Already the squad was known for making its own rules and playing with a snarl. Thus, it was unlikely for a new kid to make the big club and Daly soon found himself back in the minors. He had begun playing ball in his hometown of Port Henry, NY and moved into the professional ranks with Portsmouth of the New England League in 1888. The next year he was out west with two Twin Cities clubs where he was photographed by the Old Judge crew. The Goodwin editors note that Daly was the poorest-fielding left fielder in the Western Association at that time. He returned east with Portland and Lebanon in ’91 and began the ’92 campaign with the Buffalo Bisons of the Eastern League. It is said that Daly acquired his nickname in the Buffalo outfield as he played the position while eschewing sun glasses. His distinctive moniker not enough to gain a toe-hold with the Orioles, Sun shuffled back to Buffalo for the ’93-94 seasons. Daly then moved to Rochester for two years before wrapping it up in 1897 with stints for three Pennsylvania franchises: Reading, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre.

  • Sun’s best year at the plate was 1895 with Rochester where he hit .337 in 128 games, by far his most prolific season
  • While his endurance at the pinnacle of his sport was short-lived, Daly set a much finer life-mark by living just long enough to celebrate fifty years of marriage to the mother of their four children

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