Deacon White, 1873: .392, 327 Hits & 206 Runs Batted In? On Only 1 Home Run?

Ok, so I’m being a bit provocative. But only a little. Not many of today’s fans have ever heard of the name Deacon White, but his fame was proclaimed far and wide among the nineteenth century’s rooters. Not only was he one of the absolute best players in the game for a full twenty years but he also tended to play on championship quality teams.

But about that 1873 season. Deacon was the star catcher for Boston that year, a year they ran away with the league championship. Their 46-13 record left a strong Philadelphia team (36-17) in the dust. Deacon played in all the team games, compiling his .392 average. Still, he placed just third in the average rankings, edged out by Cap Anson (.398) and far behind teammate Ross Barnes (.431). When it came to runs batted in, though, no one came even close to his 77. If you extrapolate his numbers over today’s 161 game schedule, Deacon would have compiled huge numbers–327 hits and 206 runs batted in. Normally we think of a big run producer as a long ball hitter, but Deacon had just one home run that year. It is really quite amazing.

The Pharaoh’s Choice Imperial Cabinet shown below depicts Deacon on the 1887 Wolverines, another of his championship teams.The image is recessed into the framing. It is being auctioned this week on eBay. I hope that you enjoy it!


3 thoughts

  1. Hi Charles,

    Looks like you had that old crystal ball going when you chose Deacon White for a cabinet card — he just became a 2013 Hall of Fame inductee via the Veterans Committee. A great choice if you ask me. White, apparently, played catcher BARE-HANDED! Didn’t start missing games due to injuries until he was in his 40s! Love these old ball players and this is a great card honoring White as a well-deserving Hall of Famer.


  2. Hi Charles,

    Have to admit I’d never heard of Deacon White but those projected numbers for a 161 season blew me away! 327 hits and 206 RBIs! The fact that even the steroid guys couldn’t surpass Hack Wilson’s incredible 191 RBI total makes that and DiMaggio’s 56-game hit streak even more impressive. Thanks for the introduction to Deacon White. It’s an amazing cabinet card for an amazing old time ballplayer.



    1. We had a wonderful old neighbor when I was growing up. Her uncle, “Count” Campau, played for that Wolverine team back in 1887. She was a big baseball fan and that was how I first became interested in 19th century baseball. I should write about her sometime. Thanks for the comments, it is nice to know some people are reading this!


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