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Roger Connor

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Roger Connor

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 6' 3", Weight 220 lb.

Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1976

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[edit] Biographical Information

Roger Connor.jpg

Roger Connor was one of the 19th century's great hitters and also had one of the longest careers in the 19th Century, with nearly 8,000 at-bats over an 18-year career.

He was variously referred to as "a demon batsman" and a "Swat King" in the press.

His first experience with baseball was on the sandlots and then with the New Bedford, MA team in 1874. It was reported that he was once released by an amateur team in Waterbury because, as a right-handed hitter, he didn't hit enough (he then learned to hit left-handed.) After his major league days he was a player-manager for Waterbury in the Eastern League.

He broke into the majors with the 1880 Troy Trojans at age 22, playing alongside the young Dan Brouthers, who was the same age, and Buck Ewing, who was two years younger. Connor led the league in batting once and slugging twice, and was often among league leaders in various categories. Standing 6' 3" tall, he was one of the players who helped to give the "Giants" their name. He played in New York for more than half his career.

The most similar player is his teammate and contemporary Dan Brouthers. Connor and Brouthers were born within a year of each other in the 1850s and died within a couple years of each other in the 1930s. He held the record for most career home runs from 1895, when he passed Harry Stovey, until Babe Ruth broke it in 1921. Connor finished with 138, and Ruth eventually set a new mark of 714.

He hit baseball's first ever Walk-Off Grand Slam. Added bonus: his team was down by 3 runs at the time.

He is the brother of Joe Connor. A nephew, also named Roger Connor, played for New Britain in the Connecticut League in 1910.

Connor was player (1897-1901), manager (1898-1901) and owner (1897-1903) of the Waterbury, CT teams after his major league career ended.

It was reported in 1914 that he had become an "inspector of public schools".

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • NL Batting Average Leader (1885)
  • NL On-Base Percentage Leader (1885)
  • 2-time League Slugging Percentage Leader (1889/NL & 1890/PL)
  • PL OPS Leader (1890)
  • NL Hits Leader (1885)
  • NL Total Bases Leader (1885)
  • NL Singles Leader (1885)
  • NL Doubles Leader (1892)
  • 2-times NL Triples Leader (1882 & 1886)
  • PL Home Runs Leader (1890)
  • NL RBI Leader (1889)
  • NL Bases on Balls Leader (1888)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 4 (1887, 1889, 1890 & 1893)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 8 (1885-1887 & 1889-1893)
  • Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 1976


Preceded by
Harry Diddlebock
St. Louis Browns Manager
1896
Succeeded by
Tommy Dowd

[edit] Further reading

  • Roy Kerr: Roger Connor: Home Run King of 19th Century Baseball, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2011. ISBN 978-0-7864-5958-2

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