George Bechtel

  • Card series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Whites (NAPBBP)
  • League: National Association (NAPBBP)

George A. Bechtel (1848-1921) led a life and career that mirrored the best and worst of baseball’s earliest days. He was a stand-out pitcher, fielder and hitter for amateur teams in the 1860s, a leader for four Philly teams in the NABBP 1867-70, and joined the Athletics when pro ball was born in ’71. He played in all five seasons of that foundational pro league before ending his tenure with the Louisville Grays in the NL’s inaugural season. Famed Henry Chadwick noticed anomalies in Bechtel’s game, untimely “errors” that cast suspicion on George’s integrity. Finally, an incriminating telegram offering to throw a game led to a lifetime ban.

  • Pitched every one of the Centennials’ 14-game season in ’75. Along with Bill Craver, became the first players sold to a rival team, returning him briefly to the Athletics

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