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William Abrams

image unavailable
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Lansingburgh
  • Team: Union of Lansingburgh
  • League: National Association (NABBP)

Abrams is an enigmatic figure of baseball’s earliest days. Pictured with Lansingburgh, what little documentation exists places Abrams as a veteran of the Union of Morrisania team. In fact, he was reported to be the only pre-Civil War member of the Unions to play on their sole championship team in 1867. A report in the NY Times of Aug. 4, 1862 describes a game with Newark in which Abrams switched mid-game from catcher to SS and made a spectacular grab in which he “jumped so high for it he might have passed for Mercury.” A footnote to that game reveals a bonhomie that soon was lost in the rowdy early days: both teams retired to a local hotel for dinner where the players’ “cheers were given for the Umpire, who returned thanks for the honor.”

  • Abrams’ teammates included Dave (The Old Man) Birdsall and perhaps the most oddly nick-named character in the game: Charley Pabor, “The Old Woman in the Red Cap.”

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