36 Facts About Cap Anson


Cap Anson spent most of his career with the Chicago Cubs franchise, serving as the club's manager, first baseman and, later in his tenure, minority owner.

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Cap Anson led the team to six National League pennants in the 1880s.

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Cap Anson was one of baseball's first great hitters, and probably the first to tally over 3,000 career hits.

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Cap Anson played a major role in establishing the racial segregation in professional baseball that persisted until the late 1940s.

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On several occasions, Cap Anson refused to take the field when the opposing roster included black players.

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Cap Anson ran several enterprises in Chicago, including opening a billiards and bowling hall and running a semi-professional baseball team he dubbed "Anson's Colts".

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Cap Anson toured extensively on the vaudeville circuit, performing monologues and songs.

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Cap Anson was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939.

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Cap Anson played on a number of competitive baseball clubs in his youth and began to play professionally in the National Association at the age of 19, primarily third base for the Rockford Forest Citys, one of the original teams of the Association.

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Cap Anson's numbers declined slightly in 1874 and 1875, but he was still good enough that Chicago White Stockings secretary-turned-president William Hulbert sought him to improve his club for the 1876 season.

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Cap Anson, who had become engaged to a Philadelphia native in the meantime, had second thoughts about going west, but Hulbert held Cap Anson to his contract and he eventually warmed to the Windy City.

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Cap Anson became the first player to hit three consecutive home runs, five homers in two games, and four doubles in a game, as well as being the first to perform two unassisted double plays in a game.

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Cap Anson is one of only a few players to score six runs in a game, a feat he accomplished on August 24,1886.

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Cap Anson signed a ten-year contract in 1888 to manage the White Stockings, but his best years were behind him.

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Cap Anson led the league in walks in 1890 and garnered his eighth and final RBI crown in 1891.

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Cap Anson first met Albert Spalding while both were players; Spalding was a pitcher for the Rockford Forest Citys, Cap Anson played for the Marshalltown, Iowa, team.

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Spalding convinced the 18-year-old Cap Anson to come play for the Forest Citys at a salary of $65 per month.

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In 1876, when Cap Anson was playing for Philadelphia, Spalding and William Hulbert lured Cap Anson to the Chicago team, which Spalding now managed.

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Cap Anson was required to sign a new contract, which ended in 1898 instead of 1899 as the previous one had.

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Cap Anson spotted the error later but said nothing, trusting that Spalding would honor the previous terms.

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Cap Anson briefly made a return to baseball managing the New York Giants in June and July 1898.

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Cap Anson then attempted to buy a Chicago team in the Western League, but failed after being opposed by Spalding.

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In 1907, Cap Anson made another attempt to come back to baseball, acquiring a semi-pro team in the Chicago City League, which he would call "Cap Anson's Colts".

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Cap Anson initially had no intention of playing for the team, but in June 1907, at the age of 55, Cap Anson started playing some games at first base in an attempt to boost poor attendance.

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Cap Anson was named vice-president of the American Bowling Congress in 1903, and led a team to the five-man national championship in 1904.

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Cap Anson was forced to sell the billiards hall in 1909 when faced with mounting financial problems that led to his bankruptcy.

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Cap Anson played himself in an 1895 Broadway play called The Runaway Colt, written to take advantage of his fame.

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Later, Cap Anson began touring on the vaudeville circuit, a common practice for athletes of the time, which lasted up until about a year before his death.

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Cap Anson first appeared in vaudeville in 1913 doing a monologue and a short dance.

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Cap Anson appeared with two of his grown daughters, Adele and Dorothy, and would bat papier-mache baseballs made by Albert Spalding into the audience.

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Cap Anson appeared in 1921 accompanied by his two daughters in an act written by Ring Lardner with songs by Herman Timberg.

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Cap Anson retired from vaudeville in 1921, and continued to refuse a pension from Major League Baseball, despite having no other income.

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Cap Anson died from a glandular ailment on April 14,1922, three days shy of his 70th birthday.

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Cap Anson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939, one of the first 19th century players selected.

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Cap Anson won 1,282 games with the Cubs, a mark that still stands after a century.

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In 1872, the 20-year-old Cap Anson met 13-year-old Virginia Fiegal, the daughter of a Philadelphia bar and restaurant owner, whom he married on November 21,1876.

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