Just Because: Bare-handed catcher's hands in 19th century
Here's a photo of a bare-handed catcher from the 1870s. Hint: It looks painful.
This past Sunday, no living players were inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame, but there were three inductees. Among them was Deacon White, a 19th century catcher with a career line of .312/.346/.393. What is notable here, however, is that White was a bare-handed catcher, and is considered to be the first to move up under the batter as catchers today do. And, again, he did so without a glove.
How may his hands have looked? Well, here's a picture of Doug Allison's hands, also a bare-handed catcher from the 19th century, via thamesbbc.org:
Allison was a catcher from 1871-83, catching in 279 likely painful games.
While we're here, a sampling of the 19th century teams he played for: Washington Olympics, Troy Haymakers, Brooklyn Eckfords, Elizabeth Resolutes, New York Mutuals, Hartford Dark Blues, Providence Grays and -- finally a familiar name -- the Baltimore Orioles.
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