Saturday, August 16, 2008

Fred Dunlap's Obituary

Dunlap Dead

The Once Famous Star Second Baseman Ends His Days After Years of Gloom and Poverty in a Hospitial.

Philadelphia, Pa., Dec. 4.-Fred Dunlap, one of the stars of the diamond, was buried yesterday. He died on December 1 at the Philadelphia Hospital of consumption of the bowels, and his many friends took care of his body and had it interred in Odd Fellow's Cemetery. The funeral was held from the office of Undertaker Oliver H. Blair. Quite a number of the old ball player's friends attended and accompanied the remains to the cemetery. Dunlap was 43 years old.

Fred Dunlap was in the '80's one of the great players of the National League, sharing with Fred Pfeffer the honor of being the star second baseman of the profession. Dunlap was born in Philadelphia 43 years ago and graduated from the downtown lots. He first came into prominence as a professional with the Albany Club. For four years he was the star of the Cleveland National League team. In 1884 he jumped the Cleveland Club's reserve to play with Henry Lucas' St. Louis Club, of the Union Association. After two years in St. Louis Dunlap played with the Detroit, Pittsburg and Washington teams. He dropped out of the game in 1892 to follow the racing game, at which he lost the respectable fortune he accumulated in base ball, as he was always a high-salaried star ball player. The last two years of his life were spent in abject poverty and mental gloom.
-Sporting Life, December 13, 1902

I should really create a new tag called "beating a dead horse" because I think that's what I'm doing here. But we all have our biases, prejudices, and obsessions and this is mine.

Do I even have to write it?

His Sporting Life obituary refers to Dunlap four different times as a "star." But Bill James wrote that Dunlap was never a legitimate star in a legitimate league and that's now the conventional wisdom.

The conventional wisdom is wrong.

No comments: