Saturday, May 10, 2008

John Peters

John Peters led the National League at short field in 1876 and 1880.

He was the short fielder in 1876 of the Chicago White Stocking and on the infield that year were Cal McVey at first base, Ross Barnes at second and A.C. Anson at third...

Peters held his own with this great team. He was a short stocky built man, a splendid fielder and accurate thrower.

Peters after quitting Chicago went to the Providence team and in 1880 while a member of that organization he again led the National League at short field.

Peters was born in St. Louis and now holds a position in one of the St. Louis city departments. He was a member of the St. Louis Reds in the sixties and was one of the many of the great players given to the professional field by that once famous organization.
-From The National Game

John Paul Peters was born on April 8, 1850 in New Orleans and died January 4, 1924 in St. Louis. He is buried at Old St. Marcus Cemetery in St. Louis.

Interestingly, while Peters was a good shortstop and a decent hitter (career OPS+ of 97), he pitched one inning of one game in 1876. In that game, Peters threw one inning, giving up a hit and an unearned run while earning a save. That was only time he ever pitched in the major leagues.

The Deadball Era has a copy of Peters' obituary which appeared in The New York Times on January 6, 1924.

Frank Russo has a nice piece on Peters over at Find A Grave:

John Peters started his career as a teammate of Al Spading in 1874 with the Chicago White Stockings of the National Association. He played mostly at shortstop throughout his career, occasionally filling in at 2nd base and the outfield. He was considered to be a wonderful fielder during his playing days, even though he averaged about 38 errors a year and had 453 errors lifetime. Playing barehanded, he became very adapt at turning double plays. He was also a decent hitter, who batted .280 or better 6 times, and batted .300 for 3 straight years. He moved with the White Sox when they joined the National League in 1876 and stayed and additional 3 seasons before joining the Milwaukee Grays who were managed by Jack Chapman. After one season there he rejoined the White Stockings in 1979. He then moved on for a one season stints with the Providence Grays in 1880 and the Buffalo Bisons in 1881. 1882 saw him with the Pittsburgh Alleghenys where he batted .288 in 78 games. He broke his leg in 1883 and only appeared in 8 games. Attempts and a comeback were eventually futile, as he lost his range and speed. He retired after 1 game with Pittsburgh the next season. After his career, he worked with the St. Louis Parks Department, where he took special care of the baseball fields around the city. In 615 league games, spanning 11 seasons, John Peters accrued a lifetime average of .278 in 2695 career at bats, with 3 homers and 248 RBI's.

Peters grave at St. Marcus Cemetery is unmarked. According to Connie Nisinger, the cemetery is now a city park. Which is kind of odd.

No comments: