“A Leaden Messenger of Death”

12 Sep

George Kittle played in Texas and Nebraska from 1888-90.  Very little is known about his life before 1888, other than that he was most likely born in Taylorville, Illinois between 1860 and 1862.

Kittle appears in Texas in 1888 as an outfielder and catcher for Dallas in the Texas Southern League and Fort Worth in the Texas League.  In 1889 he pitched for the Austin Senators in the Texas League posting a 25-16 record.  Kittle spent the first half of 1890 pitching for the Waco Babies.  He was 9-8 when, on June 20, he was sold to Omaha in Western Association.

No records exist for Kittle’s time in Omaha and he was not listed on the roster of any team for 1891, but it appears he was playing baseball in or around Waco that season.

On January 19, 1892 Kittle and two friends entered one of Waco’s legal brothels.  Just after arriving one of Kittle’s friends became involved in altercation with another customer.  Hattie Tyree, who operated the brothel, became involved in the dispute and had a physical altercation with Kittle.  She returned to her room and came back with a pistol.  She fired one shot at Kittle, who was immediately taken from the brothel to a nearby hotel and a doctor was called.  Kittle died from the gunshot wound early the following morning.

Ren Mulford Jr., the famous baseball writer for the Cincinnati Enquirer and  Sporting Life described the shooting:

“George Kittle, the Texas Leaguer, was sent to his grave by a siren named Hattie Tyree, who fired a leaden messenger of death into him at Waco. That murder was cold blooded.”

Ren Mulford

Tyree’s trial was a sensation in Waco, where she was well known; Kittle was not the first person she had shot in her house (the first had survived).  Despite public outcry and multiple witnesses who testified that Kittle was not the aggressor in the altercation, Tyree was acquitted by a Texas jury in the spring of 1882.

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3 Responses to ““A Leaden Messenger of Death””

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. John Bradley « Baseball History Daily - January 18, 2013

    […] One, George Kittle, I wrote about in September. […]

  2. Henry Fabian « Baseball History Daily - January 21, 2013

    […] John Bradley and George Kittle, Henry Fabian was a member of the 1888 Dallas Hams, champions of the Texas League and the Texas […]

  3. Alamazoo Jennings | Baseball History Daily - April 16, 2013

    […] Mike Golden was on the mound for Milwaukee, and Jennings told sportswriter Rem Mulford Jr. in […]

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