Executives: George Wright

Love the hair.

Born on January 28, 1847, George Wright was the original shortstop for the original Cincinnati Red Stockings in the original National League, but his career in baseball is much more involved. At first, he played for the New York Gothams, the second oldest baseball team after the Knickerbockers, as the catcher. After the 1864 season, he went to play for a cricket team for a year until the National Association of Base Ball Players (NABBP) became better organized and membership tripled. In the 1866 season, he switched from catcher shortstop. At this point, the association was purely amateur, but that changed in 1869.

George and his brother Harry moved to Cincinnati to start a new team, and the NABBP finally allowed the players to be paid. The team played in 1869, but in 1870, it folded even though it was possibly the best team and had just gone undefeated across the continent the year before. Harry was hired to build a team in Boston, so he took George and went to Boston, also bringing along the Red Stockings nickname. In their first National Association season in 1871, the Boston team almost won the first pennant, but George broke his leg, missing most of the season. After making a few changes to the team, Boston won the next four pennants, but despite the dominance, four of their best players left the team when the new National League was created.

The next stage of George’s career was management. He took over the Providence Grays and bested his brother’s team, but he would quit after the season to go back to playing. In the meantime, George helped start a sporting goods company called Wright & Ditson, and afte the 1879 season, he went back to Boston to take care of the business. Two years later, Harry was hired by Providence, and he brought back his brother for one more season in which George hit .320.

Later, he would work on the Mills Commission trying to discover the beginnings of baseball. He would also help the Baseball Hall of Fame work on the centennial celebrations and the initial inductions. He would be elected to the Hall of Fame in 1937, just before a fatal stroke. He would not be alive to be inducted or to see the fruits of his labor.

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