Roger Connor

From BR Bullpen


Roger Connor

  • Bats Both, Throws Left
  • Height 6' 3", Weight 220 lb.

Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1976

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Roger Connor.jpg

Roger Connor was one of the 19th century's great hitters and also had one of the longest careers in the 19th Century, with nearly 8,000 at-bats over an 18-year career.

He was variously referred to as "a demon batsman" and a "Swat King" in the press.

His first experience with baseball was on the sandlots and then with the New Bedford, MA team in 1874. It was reported that he was once released by an amateur team in Waterbury because, as a right-handed hitter, he didn't hit enough (he then learned to hit left-handed and became a switch-hitter.) After his major league days he was a player-manager for Waterbury in the Eastern League.

He broke into the majors with the Troy Trojans at age 22 in 1880, playing alongside the young Dan Brouthers, who was the same age, and Buck Ewing, who was two years younger. Connor led the league in batting once and slugging twice, and was often among league leaders in various categories. Standing 6' 3" tall, he was one of the players who helped to give the "Giants" their name. He played in New York for more than half his career.

The most similar player is his teammate and contemporary Dan Brouthers. Connor and Brouthers were born within a year of each other in the 1850s and died within a couple of years of each other in the 1930s. He held the record for most career home runs from 1895, when he passed Harry Stovey, until Babe Ruth broke it in 1921. Connor finished with 138, and Ruth eventually set a new mark of 714.

He hit baseball's first ever Walk-Off Grand Slam. Added bonus: his team was down by 3 runs at the time.

He is the brother of Joe Connor. A nephew, also named Roger Connor, played for New Britain in the Connecticut League in 1910.

Connor was player (1897-1901), manager (1898-1901) and owner (1897-1903) of the Waterbury, CT teams after his major league career ended.

It was reported in 1914 that he had become an "inspector of public schools".

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • NL Batting Average Leader (1885)
  • NL On-Base Percentage Leader (1885)
  • 2-time League Slugging Percentage Leader (1889/NL & 1890/PL)
  • PL OPS Leader (1890)
  • NL Hits Leader (1885)
  • NL Total Bases Leader (1885)
  • NL Singles Leader (1885)
  • NL Doubles Leader (1892)
  • 2-times NL Triples Leader (1882 & 1886)
  • PL Home Runs Leader (1890)
  • NL RBI Leader (1889)
  • NL Bases on Balls Leader (1888)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 4 (1887, 1889, 1890 & 1893)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 8 (1885-1887 & 1889-1893)
  • Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 1976

Preceded by
Harry Diddlebock
St. Louis Browns Manager
Succeeded by
Tommy Dowd

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Playoffs Notes
1896 St. Louis Cardinals National League -- -- replaced Chris Von der Ahe, replaced by Tommy Dowd
1897 Waterbury Indians Connecticut League 5th replaced E.O. Herendeen
1898 Waterbury Pirates Connecticut League 55-38 1st
1899 Waterbury Rough Riders Connecticut League 52-43 2nd
1900 Waterbury Rough Riders Connecticut League 43-53 6th
1901 Waterbury Rough Riders Connecticut League 47-60 6th
1902 Springfield Ponies Connecticut League 65-45 2nd
1903 Springfield Ponies Connecticut League 41-64 7th

Further reading[edit]

  • Roy Kerr: Roger Connor: Home Run King of 19th Century Baseball, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2011. ISBN 978-0-7864-5958-2

Related Sites[edit]