Friday, February 14, 2014

A Charlie Snow Day

The life of a writer is not always kind. Here I am with a snow day which means (with the holiday on Monday) that I have a four day weekend. Great, I thought, I will have plenty of time to write. A rare occurrence of late. The problem is that I have no ideas at all. My first thought was lame. Maybe I will do an All Star Team of players with winter-like namesJ.T. Snow would play first. But that idea went down the drain after the former Giants' first baseman. But I did see a guy who piqued my interest that no one else will care about. His name was Charlie Snow and he played one game in 1874.
That's right, 1874. He played his one game for the Brooklyn Atlantics of the National Association, a league that is still debated about in its inclusion as a Major League Baseball league.
I could bore you with the history of the Brooklyn Atlantics, but if you were interested, you can check them out on their Wikipedia page. Suffice it to say that the Atlantics were the champions of baseball starting in 1859 and for several years that followed. But when the National Association began in 1869, the Atlantics did not join until 1870 and lost all their best players. By 1874, they were a bottom tier club. Tommy Bond, later a twice-40 game winner with the Boston Red Stockings started 55 games and went 22-32.
The team played in Capitoline Park in Brooklyn, New York in 1872. A drawing of the ball field is shown below:
1870 capitoline small
The team moved to Union Park after.
One of the guys Tommy Bond might have thrown to was a catcher who played one game. His name was Charlie Snow, or Charles M. Snow. Snow was born in Lowell, Massachusetts on August 3, 1849. His parents, Benjamin and Laura Snow were both born in Maine.
By the 1860 census, Benjamin was out of the picture and Laura was a single mom listed as a housekeeper. The same was still true in 1870, but Laura, Charlie and sister Ida were now living in Boston.
Some time between that census in 1870 to 1874, Charlie made his way to Brooklyn. He lived there the rest of his life. Despite his one game with the Atlantics, his is listed in the 1880 census as a ticket agent and in all subsequent census records as a stationary salesman or the manager of a stationary store.
But he had that one game in 1874. His time on the field must have been brief that game because he only had one plate appearance. And, of course, Charlie Snow set the record for batting average that would be tied several times since because his one plate appearance resulted in a single.
That would be interesting enough as a curiosity. But his day in the field was also interesting. According to Charlie Snow's player page, in that one game played behind the plate, mostly likely catching Tommy Bond, Snow had three chances in the field and botched them all. That's right, he had three chances and made three errors. His fielding percentage was a big fat zero.
Snow lived in Brooklyn the rest of his life, as stated, and died in August of 1929 and is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery there. There is one game to his record. He was perfect in his career batting and totally imperfect with his fielding. Not much of a story here, but that's all I could come up with on this Charlie Snow Day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would love to read about the All-Winter Team! Frosty Thomas, Mo Christmas, or Ice Box Chamberlain on the mound, Chili Davis in right, David Freese at third, Donald January behind the dish...and how about Andruw Rudolf Jones in center?

It's too bad Charles Snow didn't play a century later. It sounds like he was a born DH!