Mark Baldwin
Mark Baldwin 1888.jpg
Sketch of Mark Baldwin, 1888
Born: (1863-10-29)October 29, 1863
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Died: November 10, 1929(1929-11-10) (aged 66)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 2, 1887, for the Chicago White Stockings
Last MLB appearance
September 30, 1893, for the New York Giants
MLB statistics
Win–loss record154–165
Earned run average3.37
Career highlights and awards
  • 1889 AA leader in innings pitched (513+23), losses (34), strikeouts (368), and walks (274)[1]
  • 1890 PL leader in complete games (53), wins (33), strikeouts (209), and walks (249)[2]

Marcus Elmore "Mark" Baldwin (October 29, 1863 – November 10, 1929), nicknamed "Fido", was an American right-handed professional baseball pitcher who played seven seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Baldwin made his professional debut for a Cumberland, Maryland team in 1883. Though signed by Chicago White Stockings President Albert Spalding to pitch in the 1886 World Series, Baldwin did not play after the St. Louis Browns, against whom Chicago played, objected. He made his MLB debut for the White Stockings in 1887, during which year a writer for the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern called him the "swiftest pitcher in the National League" (NL). Released by Chicago player–manager Cap Anson, he signed with the Columbus Solons of the American Association (AA) in 1889, where he led the league in innings pitched, with 513+23, losses, with 34, strikeouts, with 368, and walks, with 274.

In 1889, Baldwin, described as "intelligent and outspoken,"[3] recruited players for the Chicago Pirates of the Players' League (PL), the latter of whom he helped to form with the National Brotherhood of Professional Baseball Players and the former of whom for which he played.

During his career, he batted and threw right-handed, weighed 190 pounds (86 kg), and stood 6 feet (72 in) tall.

Early life

Marcus Elmore "Mark" Baldwin was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 29, 1863, to Franklin E. and Margaret Baldwin.[4] One of two children to the couple,[4] Mark and his family moved to Homestead, Pennsylvania, in 1872.[5] Franklin, a real estate speculator, previously worked as a steelworker, a profession from which he "retired ... some years ago" as of 1892,[6] and as a nailer.[7] Mark started to pitch for amateur Homestead teams in 1880,[8] and, after high school, attended Pennsylvania State University.[4]

Professional career

Baldwin made his professional debut for a team in Cumberland, Maryland, in 1883; two years later, he pitched for McKeesport, who finished first in the Western Pennsylvania league. On June 18, 1886, Baldwin, now with the Duluth "Jayhawks" (the team did not have a nickname; the moniker was added retroactively) of the Northwestern League, struck out 18 batters, twelve successively, against the St. Paul Freezers.[8] Baldwin had 19 strikeouts in 12 innings in a 4-3 loss at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on September 13, 1886.[9] According to a friend of Baldwin, when Duluth fined Baldwin for poor play, Baldwin intentionally performed poorly until Duluth revoked the fine.[10] Duluth won its league pennant, a victory, according to a Pittsburgh Daily Post writer, due "chiefly on account of Baldwin's pitching".[11] Baldwin posted a 25-17 win–loss record for Duluth. He had 373 innings pitched in 43 appearances and completed all 41 of his starts. After a tryout,[12] Chicago White Stockings President Albert Spalding signed Baldwin to a contract:[13] Chicago wanted Baldwin to play in the 1886 World Series, but the St. Louis Browns, against whom Chicago played, objected, and Baldwin never played in the series.[14]

Chicago White Stockings (1887–88)

Goodwin & Company tobacco card of Baldwin, c. 1887–1890
Goodwin & Company tobacco card of Baldwin, c. 1887–1890

In preparation for the 1887 season, Baldwin joined Chicago during spring training in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Though in March 1887, based on reports from his previous seasonal performance, Baldwin "expected to rank next to [John] Clarkson" among Chicago's pitchers,[15] in April, The Sporting News reported Baldwin "[was] regarded in Chicago as little better than a failure".[16] On May 2, Baldwin made his MLB debut against the Indianapolis Hoosiers in a 9–1 Chicago loss.[17][18] Later in the month, Baldwin held the Boston Beaneaters to one run in a 3–1 Chicago victory,[19] part of a week in which Baldwin's development "[surprised]" a writer for The Post, who discounted the earlier evaluation of Baldwin as a failure.[20] In June, a correspondent for The Clipper complimented Baldwin on his endurance and curves,[21] while an Oshkosh Daily Northwestern writer called him the "swiftest pitcher in the National League".[22] Baldwin finished the season at an 18–17 win–loss record, with 164 strikeouts and 122 walks over 334 innings pitched, as Chicago finished 71–50, third in the NL.[23] By December, Baldwin had re-signed with the club.[24]

With the sale of Clarkson to Boston, only White Stockings' player–manager Cap Anson, according to one prediction, believed the team could win a pennant.[25] In a May 30 game against the Washington Nationals, Baldwin sprained a tendon in his right leg,[26][27] an injury from which he did not return until early July.[28] As a club, Chicago finished the season second in the NL, nine games behind the New York Giants, with a 77–58 record, while, individually, Baldwin led his team with 15 losses and 99 walks.[29] On April 24, 1889, after Spalding's 1888–89 World Tour, in which Baldwin participated, Anson released Baldwin and three other White Stockings and stated he would rather "take eighth place with [a team of gentlemen] than first with a gang of roughs";[30] according to Baldwin, Chicago did not restrict alcohol consumption on the tour and, after he hinted he would not sign for the salary of last season, he was released.[31] Later in the year, Anson cited Baldwin's lack of pitch control as a reason for his release.[32] Baldwin signed with the Columbus Solons of the AA on May 3.[33]

Columbus Solons and Chicago Pirates (1889–90)

"A year ago when Spalding released him, [Baldwin] declared that the ambition of his life was to play in opposition to Anson's team. He then thought only of a rival national league team and did not dream of a local rival for public patronage. Now that he is with the Chicago Players' team he says his ambition is gratified beyond his most fanciful hope, and he proposes to do all in his power to make his services to the new team valuable."

A writer for The Chicago Tribune on Baldwin's career after the White Stockings[34]

Baldwin, who debuted for the Solons on May 4 in a showing "anything but credible,"[35] explained his poor opening game as resultant of unfamiliarity with AA coaching methods;[36] by late June, a month in which he hit a double, three triples, and a home run over a three-game span,[37] Baldwin was "doing better".[38] In early July, it was reported the Cincinnati team offered Columbus US$5,000 (US$150,796 in 2016) to release Baldwin, though Columbus declined.[39] On August 31, Baldwin set the single-game AA record for strikeouts with 13 in a game against the Browns.[40] In his only season in the AA, Baldwin led the league in innings pitched (513+23), losses (34), strikeouts (368), walks (274), and wild pitches (83), the last of which set a major league record that still stands today.[1][17][41]

In November 1889, Baldwin met in Chicago with the National Brotherhood of Professional Baseball Players, a union of baseball players which would form the Players' League (PL) in 1890, where the union reportedly discussed the formation of a Chicago team.[42] Despite an attempt by Anson to convince Baldwin to sign with an NL team, in which Anson "spent more money than he [had] spent before", on November 21, signed a PL contract for the Chicago team,[43] nicknamed the "Pirates". On May 21, 1890, after the season's start, Baldwin's 1.77 "average earned runs per game by opponents" ranked second-lowest in the PL, while his seven games played tied for second highest in the league.[44] Baldwin finished the year as the PL leader in games played (58), innings pitched (492), wins (33), strikeouts (206), complete games (56), and walks (249),[2] as the Pirates finished fourth in the PL, ten games behind the first-place Boston Reds.[45] When the PL disbanded in a joint NL–AA ratification on January 16, 1891,[46] Columbus "theoretically" retained Baldwin under reserve.[3] Baldwin officially signed with Columbus in January 1891 for US$2,900.[47]

After baseball

After baseball, Baldwin graduated with a Doctor of Medicine from Baltimore Medical College in 1900 and practiced in Rochester, Minnesota, in Columbus, and at Passavant Hospital in Pittsburgh.[14][48] He identified as a Republican in 1889,[49] and, in 1910, supported former teammate John K. Tener in the latter's bid for Governor of Pennsylvania.[50]

Baldwin died at Passavant Hospital on November 10, 1929, of cardiorenal disease[4] after a "long illness".[3] He was interred at Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh.[17]

See also


  1. ^ a b "1889 American Association Pitching Leaders". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "1890 Players League Pitching Leaders". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Tiemann, Robert L. (1996). "Marcus Elmore Baldwin". In Ivor-Campbell, Frederick; Tiemann, Robert L.; Rucker, Mark (eds.). Baseball's First Stars: The Second Volume of Biographies of the Greatest Nineteenth Century Players, Managers, Umpires, Executives, and Writers, from the Society for American Baseball Research. Society for American Baseball Research. p. 5. OCLC 36298505.
  4. ^ a b c d McKenna, Brian. "Mark Baldwin". Society of American Baseball Research. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  5. ^ "Death Record". The Pittsburg Press. September 23, 1908. p. 9.
  6. ^ "Caught a Pitcher: Famous Mark Baldwin Held for Court on a Charge of Aggravated Riot". Pittsburg Dispatch. September 2, 1892. open access
  7. ^ "News notes" (PDF). The Sporting News. The Sporting Life Publishing Company. 9 (10). June 15, 1887.
  8. ^ a b "Pitcher Baldwin". Hutchinson Daily News. December 27, 1889. p. 2.
  9. ^ "For Twelve Innings". The St. Paul Globe. September 14, 1886. p. 8.
  10. ^ "Random Shots" (PDF). The Sporting News. The Sporting Life Publishing Company. 9 (19). August 17, 1887.
  11. ^ "Chicago Signs a South Sider". Pittsburgh Daily Post. October 23, 1886. p. 4.
  12. ^ "Spaulding Wants Mark Baldwin". Pittsburgh Daily Post. October 16, 1886. p. 4.
  13. ^ "Gossip of the Game". The Chicago Tribune. October 21, 1886. p. 2.
  14. ^ a b Potter, David L. (2000). Biographical Dictionary of American Sports: A–F. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 58–59. ISBN 978-0-313-31174-1.
  15. ^ "Chicago at the Springs: Spalding Expects to Win the Pennant in spite of Kelly's Loss". The Times. March 6, 1887. p. 11.
  16. ^ "Notes and Comments" (PDF). The Sporting News. The Sporting Life Publishing Company. 9 (3). April 27, 1887.
  17. ^ a b c "Mark Baldwin". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  18. ^ "1887 Chicago White Stockings Schedule and Results". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  19. ^ "The Pittsburgher Pitched: Mark Baldwin Holds the Bostons Down to One Run". The Post. May 27, 1887. p. 6.
  20. ^ "Nimick's Return: He Makes a Statement about the Pittsburgh Club". The Post. May 28, 1887. p. 6.
  21. ^ "The National League: A Closer Fight on than Ever Before Known". The Saint Paul Daily Globe. June 6, 1887. p. 5.
  22. ^ "The Ball Field: To-Day's Gossip Wafted from the Diamond". Oshkosh Daily Northwestern. June 21, 1887. p. 3. Last edition, 5:00 pm
  23. ^ "1887 Chicago White Stockings". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  24. ^ "Baseball Matters: Items of Interest about Clubs and Players". The New York Times. December 18, 1887. p. 6.
  25. ^ "The Diamond". The Daily American. April 8, 1888. p. 9.
  26. ^ "Baldwin's Sprained Tendon". The Daily Inter Ocean. June 7, 1888. p. 6.
  27. ^ "1888 Chicago White Stockings". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  28. ^ "League Gossip". The Chicago Tribune. July 9, 1888. p. 3.
  29. ^ "1888 National League Team Statistics and Standings". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  30. ^ "Anson and the Released Men". The Daily Inter Ocean. April 25, 1889. p. 2.
  31. ^ "Mark Baldwin Interviewed". The Daily Inter Ocean. April 26, 1889. p. 3.
  32. ^ "Cap Anson's Pittsburgh Press Interview Excerpt". The Courier Journal. August 4, 1889. p. 4.
  33. ^ "Baldwin Signed by Columbus: The Ex-Chicago Pitcher Secures a Good Job for $3,500". The Pittsburg Dispatch. May 4, 1889. p. 6.
  34. ^ "That Galesburg Story: Pritchard's Remarkable Tales about Walter Latham". The Chicago Tribune. February 5, 1890. p. 6.
  35. ^ "Diamond Gossip". The Chicago Tribune. May 8, 1889. p. 6.
  36. ^ "The National Game". The Courier-Journal. May 16, 1889. p. 3.
  37. ^ "Diamond Dust". The Sunday Oregonian. June 30, 1889. p. 3.
  38. ^ "Diamond Gossip". The Chicago Tribune. June 30, 1889. p. 12.
  39. ^ "Scraps of Sport". The Saint Paul Daily Globe. July 2, 1889. p. 5.
  40. ^ "Only Three Hits off Baldwin". The Times. August 31, 1899. p. 3.
  41. ^ "Single-Season Leaders & Records for Wild Pitches". Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  42. ^ "The Chicago Brotherhood Club". The Enquirer. November 20, 1889. p. 2.
  43. ^ "Baldwin and King are 'Players': The Brotherhood Secures the Two Great Pitchers for its Chicago Team". The Chicago Tribune. November 22, 1889. p. 6.
  44. ^ "Pitchers' Averages". The Pittsburg Press. May 25, 1890. p. 6.
  45. ^ "1890 Players League Team Statistics and Standings". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  46. ^ Lamster, Mark (2007). Spalding's World Tour: The Epic Adventure that Took Baseball around the Globe– And Made it America's Game. PublicAffairs. p. 261. ISBN 978-1-58648-433-0.
  47. ^ "Base Ball Notes". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. January 21, 1891. p. 8.
  48. ^ ""Uncle Sam" Cooper is in Passavant Hospital". The Gazette Times. January 24, 1913. p. 7.
  49. ^ "No Wonder He was Disgusted". The Ohio Democrat. June 13, 1889. p. 1.
  50. ^ "Old Times Recalled by Dr. Mark Baldwin". The Pittsburg Press. November 3, 1910. p. 16.