- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 170 lb.
- Debut April 24, 1872
- Final Game August 21, 1876
- Born March 21, 1847 in Washington, DC USA
- Died November 8, 1911 in Washington, DC USA
Oscar Bielaski, later an early ballplayer, tried to enlist in the army in 1864. Once it was discovered that he was underage, he was discharged. In 1866, now of age, he enlisted in the navy. When enlisting in 1864, he had claimed his occupation was as a printer. The story is that he learned baseball during the war. His father was a captain who gave his life in the Civil War in 1861.
After military service he became a government clerk.
Bielaski came to the National Association in 1872, its second year. First he played for the Washington Nationals, who went 0-11 in 1872. Then he played for the Washington Blue Legs, who went 8-31 in 1873. Bielaski's .283 average was second-highest among the regulars.
The following year he was with the Baltimore Canaries, who went 9-38 in 1874. His batting average was only three points below the team average, but he had no extra-base hits at all in 187 at-bats. He also umpired one game that season, and would do so again the following year.
A nephew of Bielaski became the head of the FBI. He is considered the first Polish-American to play major league baseball.
One source: SABR research on Civil War veterans who played baseball.