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Tommy Dowd

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Thomas Jefferson Dowd
(Buttermilk Tommy)

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[edit] Biographical Information

Buttermilk Tommy Dowd was a star player at Brown University and played ten seasons in the major leagues from 1891-1901. In 1901, his final season, he was the first batter in the history of the Boston Americans, who would become the Boston Red Sox, when he led off and played left field on Opening Day, April 26th, on the road against the Baltimore Orioles. He grounded back to pitcher Joe McGinnity in that historic at-bat and ended up playing every game for the team that season. He was also the first batter to steal a base for the team, in its third game, and the first player to bat, to get a hit and to score a run at home at the Huntington Avenue Grounds on May 8th.

According to an article in the Brown Alumni Magazine:

"Nineteenth-century baseball authority Tim Murnane of the Boston Globe proclaimed Dowd the best centerfielder he'd ever seen, especially for his skill at sprinting back on a ball over his head and then turning left or right for the catch. For years Dowd held the unofficial record time for circling the bases."

See The Great UnAmerican Pastime.

Dowd stole 366 bases in his major league career.

After his career, he coached at Amherst College and Williams College, and managed in several minor and independent leagues. In 1908, he was managing at Hartford, and signed Chick Evans to a contract. See SABR Biography of Chick Evans.

Dowd also studied law at Georgetown University.

He was given credit for discovering Rabbit Maranville.

His body was found in the Connecticut River in July 1933.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 2 (1893 & 1901)
  • 50 Stolen Bases Seasons: 1 (1893)


Preceded by
Roger Connor
St. Louis Browns Manager
1896-1897
Succeeded by
Hugh Nicol

[edit] Further Reading

  • Bill Nowlin: "Tommy Dowd", in Bill Nowlin, Maurice Bouchard and Len Levin, eds.: "New Century, New Team: The 1901 Boston Americans", Society for American Baseball Research, Phoenix, AZ, 2013, pp. 66-69. ISBN 978-1-933599-58-8

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