In 1896, The Buffalo Times noted the “delightful trait of character in the true blue base ball fan,” to know everything about “the fortunes of a favorite player…and (who) long after the object of his solicitude has retired from the glare of publicity, will make inquiries concerning his favorite’s occupation and residence.”
In an effort to satisfy the curiosity of the “true blue” fan The Times went “to pains to collect,” information regarding the current place of residence and employment of major leaguers from the previous decade:
Nearly 50 players had already died, and about 20 were still connected with the game as managers, umpires or sportswriters.
The profession with the highest concentration of former players besides those who remained connected with baseball, was the saloon business; The Times found 14 players engaged in saloons, including James “Pud” Galvin, Joseph “Reddy” Mack, and Frank Hankinson.
Two were incarcerated—Charlie Sweeney was in California’s San Quentin Prison for manslaughter, and Frank Harris was in jail in Freeport, Illinois awaiting execution for murder; his sentence was commuted in April of 1896.
Five former players were firemen, three of them, John “Monk” Cline, Tom McLaughlin and William “Chicken” Wolf, were all members of the Louisville Fire Department: Wolf was involved in an accident while responding to a fire in 1901 which left him with a severe head injury and contributed to his death two years later.
Clarence “Kid” Baldwin—Tramp (Baldwin died the following year in a Cincinnati mental hospital)
Warren “Hick” Carpenter—Pullman car conductor
William Holbert—United States Secret Service
William “Blondie” Purcell—Racetrack bookie
Ed Andrews—Orange grower
George “Jumbo” McGinnis—Glassblower
Daniel “Cyclone” Ryan—Actor
John Frank Lane (1880s umpire)—Actor, he was most famous for appearing in plays written by Charles Hale Hoyt, a former sports writer for The Boston Post, and the man responsible for putting Mike “King” Kelly on the stage.