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Jack Chapman

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Jack Chapman.jpg

John Curtis Chapman
(Death To Flying Things)

  • Bats Unknown, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 170 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Jack Chapman, who was a star in the 1860s, later played three years in the major leagues and managed eleven years. He was the first player to be called "Death to Flying Things", a moniker more often associated with his 1874 teammate Bob Ferguson. He was also the manager when pitcher Jim Devlin and others were kicked out of the league for consorting with gamblers and/or throwing games.

In the 1860s, Chapman played for the amateur Brooklyn Atlantics and also the Quaker City club.

Chapman was already 31 years old when he started in the National Association with the 1874 Brooklyn Atlantics. He hit .264 on a team that hit .230, and he had one of the highest slugging percentages on the team, due mainly to his 10 doubles, by far the highest on the team.

The following year he was with the 1875 St. Louis Brown Stockings, hitting .226 on a team that hit .239. Except for 39-year-old Dickey Pearce, he was the oldest player on the team, which also featured the debut of 18-year-old Pud Galvin.

Chapman was 33 years old in 1876, when the National League started. He played 17 games with the 1876 Louisville Grays, but was primarily the manager of the team. The Grays lost their first two games by shutout that season; he would remain the only manager to have that happen in his first two games until Mike Redmond reedited the feat for the 2013 Miami Marlins, then after that 137-year wait, Ryne Sandberg also saw it happen with the Philadelphia Phillies that same year. He managed from 1876 to 1878, that third season with the Milwaukee Grays, then was not in the majors until 1882, managing from 1882 to 1885, with the Worcester Ruby Legs, Detroit Wolverines and Buffalo Bisons. He came back to manage the Louisville Colonels in the American Association from 1891 to 1891 and that same team when it moved to the National League in 1892. Although his teams were mostly not contenders, his Louisville team in 1877 finished second and his team in 1890 finished first.

His 1877 Louisville team might have finished first if not for the game-throwing scandal. Chapman was blameless. It was club president Charles Chase who took the initiative to investigate and handle the problem. See 1877, the Specter of Gambling.

On August 3, 1890, his team was playing in Syracuse, NY where the chief of police warned the teams that Sunday baseball was illegal. The Syracuse team (the 1890 Syracuse Stars) came to the ballpark, but the Louisville team and the umpire did not. A local umpire was found to call the game a forfeit in favor of the Syracuse team. Chapman commented that he did not intend to forfeit the game, but was just afraid of being detained in Syracuse.

[edit] Year-by-Year Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Playoffs Notes
1876 Louisville Grays National League 30-36 5th
1877 Louisville Grays National League 35-25 2nd
1878 Milwaukee Grays National League 15-45 6th
1882 Worcester Ruby Legs National League - replaced Tommy Bond
1883 Detroit Wolverines National League 40-58 7th
1884 Detroit Wolverines National League 28-84 8th
1885 Buffalo Bisons National League - replaced Pud Galvin
1886 Buffalo Bisons International League 50-45 5th
1887 Buffalo Bisons International League 63-40 2nd
1888 Buffalo Bisons International Association 48-62 6th
1889 Syracuse Stars International Association 63-44 2nd
Louisville Colonels American Association - replaced Dan Shannon
1890 Louisville Colonels American Association 88-44 1st
1891 Louisville Colonels American Association 55-84 7th
1892 Louisville Colonels National League - replaced by Fred Pfeffer
1893 Buffalo Bisons Eastern League 61-50 4th
1894 Buffalo Bisons Eastern League 64-61 5th
1895 Rochester Browns Eastern League 47-82 7th
1896 Wilkes-Barre Coal Barons Eastern League - replaced by Howard Earl
1897 Meriden Bulldogs Connecticut League 52-24 1st
1898 Meriden Bulldogs Connecticut League 46-48 5th
1899 Norwich Jackroses Connecticut League - replaced Jack Rose
Newark Colts Atlantic League - replaced Jim Field, replaced by Abner Powell

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