Thursday, June 19, 2008

Perry Werden

A fine, stalwart player was Perry Werden, at one time one of the best known of major league players. Werden's home position was at first base although he set out as a pitcher. Werden won his first honors in the baseball line while pitching for the Peach Pies in St. Louis. His first professional engagement came to him in 1882 when he joined the Lincoln (Neb.) team. He was with other teams in the Western League until 1884 when he was signed to pitch for the St. Louis Unions with Jack Brennan as his receiver. After the Union smash-up Werden set out as a first baseman and he held down the initial bag for several major league clubs, notably St. Louis. Three years ago Werdon went to Indianapolis and was the coach and trainer of the American Association Championship team of Indianapolis. Werden is a giant and while he has been playing ball for nearly thirty years, he is still active and can get around as well as the liveliest youngster. In his day he was a fine first baseman as well as one of the hardest hitters in the business.
-The National Game

In The Historical Baseball Abstract, Bill James names Perry Werden as the best minor league player of the 1890's (for whatever it's worth). David Nemec, in The Beer & Whiskey League, writes that "Werden set a 19th century record when he slammed 45 homers for Minneapolis of the Western League in 1895. Minneapolis's tiny park had a lot to do with his feat. During Werden's AA sojourn in Toledo and Baltimore, most of his long blasts were only good for triples. He had 38 in 1890-91."

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