John Joseph Harkins
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 205 lb.
- School Rutgers University
- Debut May 2, 1884
- Final Game May 1, 1888
- Born April 12, 1859 in New Brunswick, NJ USA
- Died November 18, 1940 in New Brunswick, NJ USA
John "Pa" Harkins pitched five years in the majors, never posting a winning record but having ERA's in the first years that were good enough to keep him pitching.
He was the first major leaguer out of Rutgers University, where he attended in 1881-82. He came to the majors in 1884, while the next Rutgers attendee, Sandy Piez, did not break into the majors until 30 years later in 1914. Before coming to the majors, Harkins won 25 for Trenton in 1883.
He had a good year with the bat in 1885, hitting .264 on a team which hit .245. He did sometimes play in the field, most often in right field. In 1884 he was in the outfield for 17 games and also appeared at a couple infield positions.
After his playing days he coached at Yale University, Lehigh University, and Princeton University. At Yale, he coached Amos Alonzo Stagg, who later became a famous football coach. Harkins later was an alderman in New Brunswick, NJ and then a sergeant-at-arms in the court there. He had ten children.
"John Harkins, former pitcher on the Brooklyn and Cleveland teams, now has a nine of his own. He is the father of nine boys, the ninth having just arrived . . ." - Sporting Life, Dec. 30, 1911
He is not to be confused with a later John Harkins, a catcher who played over a decade in the minors. Although that Harkins is remembered formally as "Pat Harkins", in Sporting Life he was referred to often as John Harkins the catcher.
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 3 (1884-1886)
- 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (1884)