|Born: February 13, 1867|
New Brighton, New York
|Died: July 16, 1945 (aged 72)|
Staten Island, New York
|August 18, 1893, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 10, 1898, for the St. Louis Browns|
|Runs batted in||215|
|Career highlights and awards|
George A. Turner (February 13, 1867 – July 16, 1945) was a 19th-century Major League Baseball player for the Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Browns.
Born in West New Brighton, Staten Island, "Tuck" broke into the National League with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1893 at the age of 20. In reality he was 26, being born in 1867, but as was a common practice in baseball at the time, Turner told everyone he was younger than he really was. In 1894, Turner was part of one of the great hitting outfields in baseball history with Billy Hamilton, Sam Thompson, Ed Delahanty, and Turner all hitting over .400 for the year. Turner finished second that season with a .418 batting average to Hugh Duffy, who also happened to set the single-season batting average record of .440. For those Phillies teams though, a pennant wasn't to be as the late 1890s were the peak of the powerful Original Baltimore Orioles and Boston Beaneaters.
Turner's best seasons were 1894 and 1895, with Tuck leading the league in hitting with a .411 batting average through August 1895. By the tail end of 1895 and the beginning of 1896, Turner had lost his batting touch and so was traded to St. Louis for Duff Cooley. According to accounts in the defunct sports journal, The Sporting Life, Turner contracted malaria with recurrent attacks in 1897 and 1898. This is in response to what happened to cause this promising major leaguer to suddenly lose his touch with the bat.
On October 3, 1897 while playing for St. Louis, Turner accomplished a rare feat by hitting an inside-the-park grand slam. Turner's .418 batting average in 1894 is ninth all-time for single-season MLB batting average and also the highest in a single season for a switch hitter.
Before reaching the majors, Turner was a paid player in the Buffalo Amateur Baseball League of the Amateur Athletic Union. From 1899 to 1901, Turner played with the Hartford Indians in the Eastern League, replacing legendary Louis Sockalexis in the field his first season. Turner's post-majors career included stops in the Western League, Connecticut League and New England League.
Turner grew up in West New Brighton with Jack Taylor, a solid pitcher for the Phillies in the mid-1890s, Jack Sharrott, George Sharrott and Jack Cronin. All would go on to careers in the National League.
Turner was inducted into the Staten Island Sports Hall of Fame in 2011. His award was accepted for him by his grandson, Richard Turner.
Another professional baseball player, Daniel J. Turner, was also known as "Tuck," according to Ralph LinWeber's compilation, The Toledo Baseball Guide of the Mud Hens (1944). Please see his player page at