Fred Cone

  • Card series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Boston
  • Team: Red Stockings (NAPBBP)
  • League: National Association (NAPBBP)

Joseph Frederick Cone (1848-1909) played professionally for the Boston Red Stockings of the old National Association in 1871 and, at age 30, one season with the minor-league New Bedford/New Haven/Hartford club in the International Association. The Bostons were among the elite of their day with George and Harry Wright, and a young Al Spalding on the mound. In his latter stint, Fred played with many who would go on to major-league careers of note. Among them: Billy Barnie, Roger Connor, Jim Mutrie, and Harry Stovey. Such was the opportunity that lay before young ballplayers of that era. The game was rapidly establishing itself in the nation’s consciousness. History was being made and traditions were being formed.

  • Cone batted .260 in his major-league campaign. In between his time in Boston and Connecticut, Fred was an umpire for two seasons: 1875 in the NA  and 1877 in the NL
  • Played amateur ball for the Rockford Forest Citys in 1868-69 before following teammates Spalding and Ross Barnes to Boston
  • Rockford may have been the first to pay players, at least for their “practice” time

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