- NotGraphs Baseball - http://www.fangraphs.com/not -

Skyrocket Smith


The Rocket’s glare. That’s him at top left.

Today is the 145th birthday of Skyrocket Smith, first baseman for the 1888 Louisville Colonels, and namesake of my next-born child. These Colonels also included Ice Box Chamberlain, Toad Ramsey, Dude Esterbrook, Farmer Vaughn, Kick Kelly, Hercules Burnett, and Chicken Wolf. Just look at them. They can’t manage to locate a camera, let alone mount a concerted effort at baseball. They have absolutely no idea what’s going on. The following year they became the first club ever to lose a hundred games. Skyrocket was long gone, though. He joined the fire department in St. Louis and died of uremia at 48. Incidentally, Chicken Wolf was also a firefighter, and died of brain trauma at 41. Seems Toad Ramsey also died at 41, of pneumonia, while Farmer Vaughn succumbed to pneumonia as well, at 49. Dude Esterbrook passed away at 43; he jumped from a train that was taking him to a mental hospital. Pete Browning, longtime sufferer from cancer, cirrhosis, vertigo, and alcohol-induced brain damage, died at 44, shortly after release from a mental hospital. Paul Cook died of unrecorded causes at 42. Reddy Mack fell off of something and died at 50. Hub Collins died at 28 of typhoid, and Phil Tomney died at 28 of tuberculosis. OK, time to bring this post home with something light and amusing. Um…