Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sam Crane On Dunlap

Sam Crane played seven seasons in the major leagues from 1880 to 1890 and was a direct contemporary of Fred Dunlap. After his playing days ended, Crane became a baseball writer with the New York Press (1890-1898) and the New York Journal (1898-1925). He was, according to Bill Burgess, the most beloved sports writer of his day. In 1918, F.C. Lane referred to Crane as the "Dean of Baseball Writers."

In the January 6, 1912 issue of Sporting Life, Crane wrote an article about a list of the twenty best baseball players of all-time that Charlie Comiskey had compiled. Taking exception with some of the players Comiskey had on his list, Crane put together a list of his own. Among the men who he listed as the twenty greatest baseball players of all-time, Crane included Fred Dunlap.

In the article, Crane wrote that "Fred Dunlap was acknowledged to be the best second baseman of his day and was excellent from every angle. I think he excelled Fred Pfeffer, whom Comiskey picked."

I'm not arguing that Dunlap was the greatest second baseman of all-time or that he was even the best second baseman of his generation. All I'm arguing is that many of his direct contemporaries believed Dunlap was the best second baseman they ever saw and almost all contemporary references to Dunlap state that he was not only a star but one of the best players in the game.

Again, I must state that the conventional wisdom regarding Fred Dunlap is wrong.

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