William Hanrahan

  • Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Chicago
  • Team: White Stockings
  • League: National League

William T. Hanrahan, nicknamed “Red,” played minor league ball from 1885 through 1898, primarily in the Western Association and the Eastern League. He began with Albany of the New York State League but moved west to Chicago in 1888, presumably to make his bid to play major league baseball in the National League.

The shortstop was photographed by Old Judge that year in a Chicago White Stockings uniform. However, Red never played for the team and is identified by Goodwin instead as a member of the Chicago Maroons in 1888 and the Minneapolis Millers in 1889. This makes Red one of a handful of Old Judge subjects who was lucky enough to be on a major league roster the day the Goodwin photographers showed up, but unlucky enough to be removed from the roster without ever having played a game for that or any other major league team. So close, Red! So close.

Red was a regular with both the Maroons and Millers, playing in over a hundred games for both clubs. The sketchy minor league stats don’t record every campaign, but he seems to have generally batted under .300, faring better in the 1890s when he returned east. He hit .307 with Albany in ‘93 and .306 with Rochester in ‘96. By then his plate appearances were in decline, getting into only 16 games with the Browns. Red’s final season brought his pro ball career full-circle as he wrapped it up with the Johnstown/Palmyra Mormans (aka Johnnies) of a newly reconstituted NY State League in 1898, which now included Pennsylvania teams.

  • The Maroons and Millers were led by manager Moxie Hengel, the only two seasons he managed in pro ball. With Minneapolis, Moxie shared managerial duties with Sam Morton. It is said the two had a strange method, Hengel piloting the road games and Morton serving as the home field boss
  • As a rule of thumb in the 1880s series, I always designate a player’s team as that for which he is uniformed in the photograph, even if he never played for the team.

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