The City of Troy, New York, "Where Henry Hudson Turned Around."

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


With April fast approaching, it's time to take a break from our 'Fair and Balanced' political reporting to talk about something far more important: Baseball.

Most Trojans know that Hall of Famer Johnny Evers (of the famed Tinkers to Evers to Chance trio) was born in Troy, New York. They even know that Troy, NY was once the home of a professional baseball team. What many may not know is that the Collar City played host to not one, but two baseball franchises.

The Haymakers

The Troy Haymakers played in the National Association (a sort of embryonic National League) in 1871-1872. In '71 they compiled a 13-15 record. In '72, a 15-10 record.

A number of Haymakers were Troy born.

William 'Clipper' Flynn (1B) was born in Lansingburg on April 29, 1849. He died in Lansingburg on November 11, 1881.

Bill H. Craver (2B) was born in Troy, June 1844. He died on June 17, 1901 in Troy.

Outfielder Steve King was born in Troy in 1842. He died, in Troy, on July 8, 1895.

Edward Beavens (Position unknown), was born in Troy in 1848.

Michael James McAtee (1B) was born in Troy, March 1845 and died in Troy on October 18, 1876.

Marshall Ney King (Position unknown) was born in Troy in December 1849 and died in Troy on October 19, 1911.

The team played at the Haymakers' Grounds.

The Trojans

The Troy Trojans played in the National League for four years, 1879 - 1882. Basically, they sucked. Their best year was 1880 when they went 41 - 42. They were 134 - 191 for the entire four years.

The team played in three parks in four years. They started out playing at the Putnam Grounds. For the next two seasons they played at Haymakers' Grounds. In their final year they played at Troy Ball Clubs Grounds.*

Two players were from Troy. Mike Lawlor (Position unknown), was born on March 11, 1845 and died August 13, 1918.

Charles 'Fatty' Briody was born in Lansingburg** on August 13, 1858. He died in Chicago in 1903.

Despite the team's lackluster performance,*** there were a few bright spots. The Troy Trojans had three future Hall of Famers on their roster; Buck Ewing, Dan Brouthers and Roger Connor.

Connor's story is interesting. When his contract was purchased by the Troy Trojans, Connor came to Troy and was sent to a local shirt company to be fitted for a uniform. The young lady that fitted him for the uniform was quite knowledgeable about baseball. It was a classic story of girl meets baseball player. The two were later married. The couple lost a baby girl just before her first birthday. Then, the Connor's adopted a child that had been abandoned on a doorstep. An excellent article by Bernard Crowley, Baseball's First Stars goes into more detail about Connor and his life.

Roger Connor

* Any information about these parks would be welcome. This site gives the location of the various fields but I cannot vouch for its accuracy. I did read somewhere that the field on Center Island was so pressed for space that a portion of the outfield was actually built of wood and extended past the shore line.

** Lansingburg is a client municipality of Troy

*** The public was mindful of the team's ability. In one game against the Chicago Whitestockings the Trojans set a record for poorest attendance. Twelve people watched the game.

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