Joseph Start (Old Reliable or Rocks)
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 5' 9", Weight 165 lb.
- Debut May 18, 1871
- Final Game July 9, 1886
- Born October 14, 1842 in New York, NY USA
- Died March 27, 1927 in Providence, RI USA
Joe Start was an early baseball star whose contribution to the game is even greater than the five years he played in the National Association and the eleven years he played in the nascent National League.
Born in 1842 in New York City, he was four years old when Alexander Cartwright invented the game of baseball there. William Ryczek's book Baseball's First Inning states that Start was playing amateur ball for the Enterprise club by 1859.
His career as a player therefore spanned 28 years or more. For eight years, he was the oldest player in the National League, and even in 1876 when the league first started up, he was one of the oldest players. Prior to that, in 1874 and 1875, he was one of the ten oldest players in the National Association. Start managed the 1873 New York Mutuals for part of the year.
"JOE START'S KINDNESS. For the past two years (former star pitcher Bobby Mathews) has been employed at the veteran Joe Start's road house near Providence, and it was there his mental derangement and physical breakdown first manifested itself." - Sporting Life, July 24, 1897, about Joe Start taking in a former colleague
- NL At Bats Leader (1878)
- NL Hits Leader (1878)
- NL Total Bases Leader (1878)
- 2-time NL Singles Leader (1878 & 1882)