Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ned Hanlon On Dunlap

In the September 11, 1897 issue of Sporting Life, Ned Hanlon was asked to compare the 1887 Detroit champions for whom he was the captain and played center field with the 1897 Baltimore club that he managed. He prefaces his remarks by saying that "(you) must remember that base ball as played by the Detroit champions and the Baltimores is not the same article. The game, like all things, has progressed, and it is to-day more scientific than 10 years ago. It requires more thought and head work. It is in some respects like checkers and chess..."

He then says that "Fred Dunlap was at one time-I refer to his engagement at Cleveland before he came to Detroit-the best second baseman in the country. Taking his fielding, batting, base running and headwork into consideration, he was undoubtedly superior to (Heinie) Reitz or (Joe) Quinn (of the Orioles)...With the exception of second base, therefore, the Baltimore infield is faster of the two."

So Hanlon specifically states that at one time Dunlap was the best second baseman in baseball and that, despite the evolution of the game, he was superior to anything the Orioles had at second.

But still...never a legitimate star in a legitimate league.

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