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Erik Visits an American Grave, Part 335

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This is the unmarked grave of Bill Dahlen.

Born in 1870 in Delliston, New York, Dahlen became one of the leading hitters of the deadball era. He broke into the major leagues in 1891 with the Cubs and immediately became a solid, if not legendary player. He had more power than most in that era, hitting 15 home runs in 1894, and with at least 10 triples every year from 1891-96. He was speedy and he was a quite fine defensive shortstop, at least to the extent that can really be properly evaluated for that long ago, even with advanced metrics. His best year was probably 1896, when Baseball Reference gives him a 7.1 WAR, but many of his other best years came well into the 1900s, when he was in his mid-30s and still a quite productive hitter, leading the league in RBIs in 1904 with 80. His career effectively ended in 1909, but as he became manager of the Dodgers, he inserted himself into a couple of games in 1910 and 1911. He continued as manager for the Dodgers for a couple more years, until 1913, where he was famous for getting ejected. In fact, in his 4 years there, he was thrown out of 65 games, which is still an all-time top 10 mark.

For awhile, Dahlen held the record of hits in consecutive games with 42 in 1894. After not getting a hit in a game, he then ran off another 28 game streak. But that 42 mark only lasted for three years, until Wee Willie Keeler took it, which then stood until DiMaggio’s legendary streak.

Dahlen has never made it to the Hall of Fame, though he was a finalist in 2013, but fell short. He died in 1950.

Bill Dahlen is buried in the Cemetery of the Evergreens, Brooklyn, New York.

If you would like this series to visit more shortstops, you can donate to cover the required expenses here. Dahlen rates at the 10th best shortstop of all time according to Baseball Reference’s JAWS stat, between Luke Appling and Alan Trammell and, most importantly, ahead of Derek Jeter. Honus Wagner, the top ranked SS of all time, is in Pleasant Hills, Pennsylvania. A-Rod and Ripken are ranked 2 and 3, so have to wait awhile on them. 4th is George Davis, who died in a sanitarium of advanced syphilis, is in Fernwood, Pennsylvania. Good times. Previous posts in this series are archived here.

And since we haven’t had a MLB playoff thread, thanks to the Rockies for eliminating both the Cubs, while of course the As would completely fail against the Yankees, which has happened I think the last 709 times they have faced in the playoffs. Go Brewers and whoever wins the Indians/Astros series. And just say no to the New York Strikebreaking Yankees.

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