Herman C. Long
(Germany or Flying Dutchman)
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 5' 8½", Weight 160 lb.
- Debut April 17, 1889
- Final Game July 13, 1904
- Born April 13, 1866 in Chicago, IL USA
- Died September 17, 1909 in Denver, CO USA
"His fielding at all times is remarkable. He covers an immense amount of ground, is wonderfully quick in handling all kinds of balls, and is a fast and accurate thrower. He also hits freely, and is quite a base runner." - Sporting Life, October 7, 1893
A shortstop with good range who hit well and stole lots of bases, Herman Long was one of the big stars of the 19th Century. He spent the entire decade of the 1890s with the Boston Beaneaters, winning five pennants during that time.
Long began his pro career in the minors in 1887 and reached the big leagues with the Kansas City Cowboys of the American Association in 1889. He hit .275 for the club and committed a league-leading 117 errors. Prior to the next season, the Boston Beaneaters of the National League paid Kansas City over $5,000 for his contract. In 1891, he hit 9 home runs (fourth best in the NL) and scored 129 (second highest in the circuit) as Boston won the pennant. The next year, he hit 33 doubles as his club won another league crown, and in 1893, he led the NL with 149 runs scored as the Beaneaters captured their third straight championship.
Boston fell back in the standings the next three summers, but Long had some of his finest years at the plate during that time. He hit over .300 in 1894 and 1895, and then had his best season in 1896 Beaneaters, hitting .345 with 101 RBIs and 106 runs scored. The following summer, he hit .322, and his team won another NL crown. They repeated as champs in 1898, when he drove in 99 runs and scored 99 as well.
Long drove in 100 runs in 1899, but his club fell to second place. In 1900, he led the National League with 12 home runs. He paced NL shortstops in fielding in the next two seasons, but his performance at the plate trailed off considerably. He jumped to the American League in 1903, joining the New York Highlanders before being dealt to the Detroit Tigers later that summer. He ended his major league career with a single game for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1904. After that, he returned to the minors where he played and managed for several seasons.
A victim of his era, Long holds the major league record with 1137 career fielding errors and 1070 at shortstop. He is one of three players to make more than 1000 errors in his career. However, this is largely due to his great range in the field. During his career, he recorded 6.4 chances-per-game at short, a major league record.
Long died of tuberculosis (then generally referred to as "consumption") at the age of 43.
- NL Runs Scored Leader (1893)
- NL Home Runs Leader (1900)
- 100 RBI Seasons: 2 (1896 & 1899)
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 7 (1889 & 1891-1896)
- 50 Stolen Bases Seasons: 3 (1889, 1891 & 1892)
- Errors, shortstop, career, 1070