James Elsworth Peoples
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 8", Weight 200 lb.
- Debut May 29, 1884
- Final Game July 23, 1889
- Born October 8, 1863 in Big Beaver, MI USA
- Died August 29, 1920 in Detroit, MI USA
"Jimmy Peoples is doing good catching for Brooklyn. He was a lucky find for Brooklyn just at the time when all their catchers were disabled." - from Sporting Life, July 29, 1885
Jimmy Peoples played six seasons in the 19th Century American Association. A weak hitter, he earned his keep by playing catcher, and sometimes appearing at shortstop and in the outfield.
There have been a number of minor leaguers named Peoples, but through 2010 Jimmy has been the only major leaguer with that name.
He was born during the Civil War in Big Beaver, MI, apparently in the Detroit area. At age 20 he managed to become a major league regular as a shortstop with the 1884 Cincinnati Red Stockings. He was the youngest player on a team which averaged 27 years of age. He played a few games at catcher in 1884, and starting in 1885 he was primarily a catcher for the rest of his big league career.
Sporting Life of July 31, 1889 reported that Peoples had been released, and said his arm was gone.
In the 1890s he managed in the minors and was an umpire. He worked one game each in the American Association in 1888 and 1889, then was a regular umpire in 1890. Sporting Life in 1895 reported that he was playing second base for "the Edgecombe team, of Harlem".
Sporting Life of February 3, 1917 interviewed him. He had become prosperous in real estate and rarely missed seeing a Detroit game.