42 Facts About Charlie Bennett


Charles Wesley Bennett was an American professional baseball player from 1875 or 1876 through the 1893 season.

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Charlie Bennett played 15 years in Major League Baseball, principally as a catcher, with the Milwaukee Grays, Worcester Ruby Legs, Detroit Wolverines and Boston Beaneaters.

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Charlie Bennett played on four pennant-winning teams, one in Detroit and three in Boston, and is one of only two players to play with the Detroit Wolverines during all eight seasons of the club's existence.

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Charlie Bennett has been credited with inventing the first chest protector, an improvised cork-lined vest that he wore under his uniform.

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Charlie Bennett's father, Silas Bennett, was a native of Connecticut.

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Charlie Bennett's mother, Catherine Bennett, was a native of Pennsylvania.

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Charlie Bennett began his career in organized baseball as the catcher for the Neshannock team in the Pennsylvania League.

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Sources are in conflict as to how long Charlie Bennett played for Neshannock, one account indicating he was on the Neshannocks' "pay roll for two seasons", and others stating that he played for the Neshannocks in 1874,1875 and 1876.

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Charlie Bennett played third base in the game and, in the first inning, hit a "hot one" that glanced off the pitcher and continued into center field for a triple that drove in a run.

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Some sources state that Charlie Bennett signed with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1877 and played in one game for that team.

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Charlie Bennett ultimately signed a contract to play in 1877 for the Milwaukee club at a salary of $150 per month.

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Charlie Bennett made his major league debut on May 1,1878, and appeared in 49 games, 35 as a catcher and 20 in the outfield.

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In 1879, after the Milwaukee club disbanded, Charlie Bennett joined the Worcester Ruby Legs, a team organized and managed by Frank Bancroft.

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Charlie Bennett began at Worcester as a backup catcher to Doc Bushong, but eventually replaced Bushong.

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Charlie Bennett stayed in New Orleans and played for local baseball teams there until the 1880 season began.

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That season, Charlie Bennett appeared in 51 games, 45 of them as the team's catcher.

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Charlie Bennett caught for Lee Richmond, baseball's first left-handed pitching star.

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Charlie Bennett was one of only two players, the other being Ned Hanlon, to play for the Wolverines during every season that the franchise existed.

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Charlie Bennett finished among the league leaders with seven home runs, 64 RBIs,.

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Charlie Bennett compiled perhaps his best defensive season with a 2.

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Charlie Bennett has been credited with inventing the first chest protector worn by catchers.

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When Charlie Bennett began his major league career, the major league record for games caught in a season was 63 games.

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Charlie Bennett's durability came not from avoiding injuries, but from playing through them.

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Charlie Bennett 'declared that only a sissy would use a padded glove with the fingers and thumb cut off.

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Charlie Bennett kept a bottle of antiseptic and a wad of cotton batting on the bench and between innings would devote his time to washing out the wound.

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That year, Charlie Bennett played for the Boston Beaneaters in a close pennant race with the New York Giants.

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Charlie Bennett's hands had taken a beating while catching for John Clarkson, who won 49 games and pitched five games a week during the season.

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In 1890, Charlie Bennett remained with the Beaneaters even though he had in 1886 joined the Brotherhood of Professional Base-Ball Players, the union that represented the players and organized the Players' League in response to unfair treatment by team owners.

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Hardy Richardson, a Brotherhood representative and former teammate of Charlie Bennett, stated that Charlie Bennett offered to sign with the Brotherhood only if he was given a three-year contract guaranteed by two responsible men.

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Some reports indicated that former Detroit manager Robert Leadley was paid $1,000 to convince Charlie Bennett to remain with the Beaneaters and that Charlie Bennett was himself paid a substantial signing bonus.

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Mrs Charlie Bennett was strongly opposed to my going into it and before the season opened I told my friends that I could not join them, so I remained with the Boston Club.

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Already the third oldest player in the league, Charlie Bennett nevertheless continued to rank among the best defensive catchers.

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Charlie Bennett led the league with 10 double plays turned by a catcher.

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In 1893, Charlie Bennett returned to his role as the team's number one catcher, appearing in 60 games at the position.

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In 1894, Charlie Bennett was joined on his annual hunting trip by pitcher John Clarkson.

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On January 10,1894, Charlie Bennett's legs were crushed by a Santa Fe Railroad passenger train in Wellsville, Kansas, while traveling from Kansas City to Williamsburg.

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Charlie Bennett stepped off the train to talk to an old friend who lived in Kansas and whom Charlie Bennett had arranged to greet when the train stopped at Wellsville.

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Charlie Bennett pushed his right leg against the rail to push himself back, but it slipped and went over the track.

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Year after year Charlie Bennett led the catchers of the League and country until it seemed impossible to get a player to head him off.

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Charlie Bennett went after everything, he knew no fear, he kept his pitcher from going into the air.

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Charlie Bennett later took lessons in china painting and became quite proficient at the decorative art, first as a hobby and then as a supplemental source of income.

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Charlie Bennett died in February 1927 at age 72 at his home in Detroit.

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