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Bill Hawes

  • Series: Mort's Reserve
  • City: Lowell
  • Team: Invincibles
  • League: League Alliance

William Hildreth Hawes (1853-1940) was an infielder out of New England who had a chance to play briefly for Harry Wright in the early days of the National League, first in an 1876 exhibition match in Boston while Bill was with the Lowell club, followed by a stint with Wright’s Red Caps in 1879. It appears he made an impression during that early game that prompted Wright to give Hawes a shot in the outfield. The ‘76 game definitely made an impression on Hawes and his family as, many years later at the end of his long life, Hawes’ obituary included reference to that long ago contest, per the Lowell Evening Leader: “He played second base in Boston when the first professional game was played there in 1876.” Despite his New England roots, Hawes’ passion for baseball took him out west in 1883 when he and many fellow players joined the first recognized minor league, the Northwestern League. Bill signed with Saginaw that year and got his one other opportunity at the big leagues with the Union Association’s Cincinnati Outlaw Reds in ‘84. When the UA collapsed that season, Hawes returned home with Brockton in the new New England League. His team made it to a play-off with Lawrence that inaugural year but Lawrence prevailed in a best-of-three. The prairie beckoned once more and Hawes moved to the Twin Cities, with Minneapolis in 1887-88 and St. Paul for 1889-90. Once again Bill headed home after the 1890 season and went into business in Lowell. He continued to play occasionally with his pals in local leagues and was part of numerous reunions of the Bartlett Club of Lowell, his original squad from 1874-75.

  • Hawes served as treasurer of the “Junior Baseball Players of Massachusetts 1873, 1874, and 1875 Association”
  • Hawes overcame a weak stint at the plate for Wright’s Boston club where he hit a mere .200 by feasting a bit on Union Association pitching. He managed .278 with the Outlaws giving him an overall .254 average in the major leagues
  • Hawes is represented fairly well in Goodwin's Old Judge series with six known poses of him suited up with the Minneapolis Millers in 1888. Although OJ cards exist with his name Hawes properly spelled, it appears that his name was misspelled as "Howes" on his cards more often than not.
  • Hawes also appears on the 1879 Boston Red Caps' team composite cabinet, beside teammates Tommy Bond, Ezra Sutton, John Morrill, Jack Burdock and Harry Wright.

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