Joseph Wiley

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Joseph Wiley

  • Bats Unknown, Throws Unknown

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Biographical Information[edit]

Joseph Wiley played one game in the Union Association in 1884, but was otherwise completely unknown until the 21st century.

The player named Wiley, for whom no first name was listed, played one game at third base for the Washington Nationals. On that team, 17 players played only one game, and a number of them are still completely unknown. He was sometimes listed as John Wiley, based on superficial evidence. As the June 23rd game in which he appeared was played in Philadelphia, PA, it was considered likely that the player was an amateur from the city. Further research uncovered that a man named Joseph Wiley played third base for the Chester club in 1884 and was released by the club at the end of May that year.

Researcher Peter Morris found a better lead in an item from the New York Mercury, dated January 4, 1879, mentioning that Joseph Wiley, shortstop from Philadelphia, was married recently. Census records show a Joseph Wiley, married to Margaret in 1878. Margaret was the sister of major leaguer Henry Easterday, and Wiley was Easterday's neighbor. In fact, he played for the Philadelphia Keystones during Wiley's lone game. It is thus very likely that his brother-in-law recommended him to Washington, who needed an extra player for the game in which he appeared.

Further Reading[edit]

  • "Joseph Wiley", in Bill Carle, ed.: Biographical Research Committee Report, SABR, March/April 2012, pp. 1-2.

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