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John Harry Atkinson
- Bats Unknown, Throws Unknown
- School Westminster College
- Debut September 25, 1895
- Final Game September 25, 1895
- Born June 19, 1874 in Fulton, MO USA
- Died January 2, 1953 in Mexico, MO USA
Harry Atkinson played one game in left field for the St. Louis Browns on September 25, 1895. He was 2 for 5 in this game. The starting pitcher for the Browns that day was Walter Coleman, who also made his only major league appearance. The Browns lost to the Cincinnati Reds, 15-8. Both players were only listed by their last name in boxscores, and were tagged with wrong first names when the first baseball encyclopedias were published: Coleman became "John Coleman" and Atkinson was "Henry Adkinson".
Henry Adkinson had actually existed and had played baseball for the University of Chicago a few years earlier, but he was not the major league player. The real Atkinson was an amateur player from Fulton, MO who had been a teammate of Coleman's when the latter had beaten the Browns in an exhibition game after the 1894 season; he had played third base and hit a homer in that game.
In 2014, researcher Peter Morris managed to track down the right man. A college graduate, he eventually was elected mayor of Fulton in 1906, running on a platform of paving the town's streets. Both his son and grandson also went to Westminster College. He was active in the alumni association and was a member of its sports committee.
- "Harry Atkinson", in Bill Carle, ed.: Biographical Research Committee Report, SABR, May/June 2014, p. 8-10.