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Gene Kimball

Second Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Cleveland
  • Team: Forest Citys (NAPBBP)
  • League: National Association (NAPBBP)

Eugene Boynton Kimball (1850-1882) was an evanescent spirit on the early baseball scene. This ghost came to the (Cleveland) Forest Citys on May 4, 1871 and departed what was then major league play the following September. He had played in the early amateur National Association of Base Ball Players for the Alert of Rochester in 1869 and for the Cleveland club in 1870. That team was the first fully salaried team in Cleveland and was unaffiliated that season. In 1870 the Forest Citys (a designation adopted in recent years to distinguish the team from the pro club in Rockford, IL known as “Forest City”) were managed by Charlie Pabor. Charlie was dubbed “The Old Woman in the Red Cap,” giving him enduring status as the baseball figure with the most mysterious and alluring nickname of all time.

  • Kimball’s debut in Rochester occurred on June 4, 1869 when the Alert hosted the powerhouse Cincinnati Red Stockings on their famed national tour. Gene played alongside other future major leaguers: John Glenn, Sam Jackson, John McKelvey and Ezra Sutton. The young amateurs held Harry Wright’s bombers to one of the closest margins of that undefeated season
  • In his brief time with Cleveland, Gene managed a .191 average. He made 44 errors in 170 chances playing 2nd, 3rd, short and outfield in 29 games. It is reported that he achieved fair renown as a billiards player following his baseball career

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