John William Waltz
born Charles William Woltz
- Bats Unknown, Throws Unknown
John Waltz appeared on the scene in 1892 at a time when managers were falling like flies. The Washington Senators replaced Billy Barnie when the team started 0-2; the St. Louis Browns replaced Jack Glasscock when the team started 1-3; and the Baltimore Orioles replaced George Van Haltren with John Waltz when the team started 1-10. The team went 2-6 before Waltz was replaced in turn by Ned Hanlon.
Having grown up on a farm in Hagerstown, MD, Waltz moved to Baltimore, MD with his family around 1880 and became successful as a traveling salesman for a furniture manufacturer. He bought some minority stock in the Orioles when they were still a member of the American Association in the late 1880s. He was listed as a Vice-President with the team but seemed to have minimal involvement in the day-to-day running of the club, although he did become a close fried of manager Barnie.
Waltz's involvement with the team became more prominent as Barnie took on a greater role in its business management. He became one of the public faces of the American Association's struggle to stay alive following the 1891 season, in spite of his limited financial position. The struggle resulted in the AA merging with the National League and Baltimore moving to the NL in 1892. In the meantime, Barnie was ousted as the team's manager, replaced by Van Haltren, while Waltz took care of the business side. He was left assuming both roles when the Orioles got off to a terrible start, but he knew that the team needed a real baseball man at the helm, and identifying Hanlon as a successor was his greatest contribution to the franchise. He then slipped back into his role as Vice-President until around 1895 when he sold his shares.
Source: ESPN article.