Lipman Pike

Infielder, Outfielder
TEAM: Troy Haymakers, Baltimore Canaries, Hartford Dark Blues, St. Louis Brown Stockings, Cincinnati Reds, Providence Grays
Born: May 25, 1845 - Oct. 10, 1893

Pike was the first Jewish star and arguably the game’s first professional player. “The Big Book of Jewish Baseball” writes that Pike agreed to accept $20 per week to play third base for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1866. Whether or not he was the first is a matter of debate, but there isn’t an argument that he had an impact on the game as a power hitter. Now power is a relative term in the dead ball era, when balls rarely left the infield. So it was quite a feat that Pike tied the National Association record homers with 4 in 1871. He wound up with 20 career homers. In 1874, he hit .355 for Hartford and had a .322 career batting average. Sadly, Pike died of heart disease in 1893 at the young age of 48. The Sporting News wrote of Pike: “Pike was the center fielder of the Atlantics of Brooklyn in the latter’s palmiest days and as an all-round batsman, fielder and base runner he had few if any superiors. He was a left-handed batsman and in his day could hit the ball as hard as any man in the business. He was a right field hitter and during his career had sent balls over the right field fence of nearly every park in which he had played in.”

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Did You Know?

Did you know? Pike also was the first Jewish manager, as he was a player-manager during a good portion of his career.

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ORIGINAL JEWISH BASEBALL PLAYER PAINTINGS