On April 17th 1852, Adrian Constantine “Cap” Anson was born. One of the greatest first basemen to ever play baseball, Anson was a .300 hitter for 20 seasons. Anson was so prolific as a hitter, that he led the Chicago White Stockings (now called the Cubs) to a National League title in 1897. As a manager, he lead the team to five N.L. pennants.
Anson is enshrined in Baseball’s Hall of Fame, but not beloved like his cohorts. Why, you ask? He was a big proponent of segregation in baseball. Where Jackie Robinson was the person who broke the color barrier, Anson was part of the reason for its existence. He was one of the leagues biggest celebrities, and vehemently spoke out against equal opportunity in baseball.
Anson passed away on April 14, 1922. Nearly a hundred years later, he still holds Cubs career records for career batting average (.339), runs (1,712), hits (3,081), singles (2,330), doubles (530) and RBI’s (1,879).
A Chicago street is named in his honor. Anson Place at 418 North, is one block long and is between Leavitt Street and Oakley Boulevard.
Interesting Fact- Cap Anson is mentioned in The Simpson’s Episode, “Homer at the Bat”.
For more information, checkout “Before the curse : the Chicago Cubs‘ glory years, 1870-1945″ or A Ball Player’s Career, by Adrian C. Anson.