Charles Roscoe Barnes
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 8½", Weight 145 lb.
- Debut May 5, 1871
- Final Game September 21, 1881
- Born May 8, 1850 in Mount Morris, NY USA
- Died February 5, 1915 in Chicago, IL USA
"Roscoe C. Barnes, taking everything into consideration, was the greatest second baseman the game ever had . . ." - from the book A History of the Boston Baseball Club, 1897
"Can any ball player of the present day be compared to the phenomenal Barnes? . . . His left-handed stops of hard-hit balls to right field were the prettiest stops ever made on the Boston grounds. As a base-runner no man of the present day is his equal, and as a batsman he must be reckoned very high . . . His fair foul hitting was imitated by many, but no one could approach the original." - Tim Murnane, writing in Sporting Life of March 24, 1886
Ross Barnes was one of the greatest players of the first decade of professional baseball, the 1870s. He began playing team baseball as early as 1866 in Rockford, a hotbed of early baseball, and was a big star in the National Association from 1871 to 1875 and in the new National League.
He became the first player in the history of the National League to hit a home run when he played for the Chicago White Stockings, the ancestors of today's Chicago Cubs. He was the first player to lead two different leagues in hitting with batting titles in the National Association (1872 and 1873), and in the debut season of the National League (1876).
He specialized in "fair-foul hits", in which he chopped down on balls with a proper amount of "English" on it to make it land fair and bound foul, remaining in play under the rules of the time.
In 1878, Barnes was player/manager for the London Tecumsehs of the International Association. He was an umpire for a couple of games in the National Association in 1874, and then on a regular basis in the 1890 Players League.
In the January 10, 1918 issue of The Sporting News, Cap Anson picked his all-time team. Anson selected catchers Buck Ewing and King Kelly; pitchers Amos Rusie, John Clarkson, Jim McCormick; at 1B, himself; 2B Fred Pfeffer; 3B Ned Williamson; SS Ross Barnes; and outfielders Bill Lange, George Gore, Jimmy Ryan, and Hugh Duffy.
- 3-time League Batting Average Leader (1872/NA, 1873/NA & 1876/NL)
- 3-time League On-Base Percentage Leader (1873/NA, 1875/NA & 1876/NL)
- 3-time League Slugging Percentage Leader (1872/NA, 1873/NA & 1876/NA)
- 3-time League OPS Leader (1872/NA, 1873/NA & 1876/NA)
- 4-time League Runs Scored Leader (1871/NA, 1873/NA, 1875/NA & 1876/NL)
- 4-time League Hits Leader (1872/NA, 1873/NA, 1875/NA & 1876/NL)
- 4-time League Total Bases Leader (1871-1873/NA & 1876/NL)
- 2-time League Singles Leader (1875/NA & 1876/NL)
- 3-time League Doubles Leader (1872/NA, 1873/NA & 1876/NL)
- NL Triples Leader (1876)
- 2-time League Bases on Balls Leader (1873/NA & 1876/NL)
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 3 (1873, 1875 & 1876)
- NA Stolen Bases Leader (1873)
- Robert H. Schaefer: "Illness, Not Rule Changes, Ended Barnes' Career", The National Pastime, SABR, Number 20 (2000), p. 6.