Abner Charles Powell (December 15, 1860, in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania – August 7, 1953, in New Orleans) was a Major League Baseball player who was a member of the Washington Nationals of the Union Association in 1884. He later played for the Baltimore Orioles and the Cincinnati Red Stockings in 1886. He also managed and owned several teams, and he is best known for his innovations as a manager.
|Born: December 15, 1860|
|Died: August 7, 1953 (aged 92)|
|August 4, 1884, for the Washington Nationals|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 13, 1886, for the Cincinnati Red Stockings (AA)|
|Earned run average||4.00|
Powell is credited with various innovations that changed baseball, though in many cases this is incorrect or overstated. He is incorrectly credited with inventing rain checks and "ladies' day", but both of these were in use in New Orleans before Powell. However, Powell did improve the existing rain check, adding a perforated stub to ticket when sold so that only purchasers of tickets (and not other spectators, notably free-riders and fence-climbers) could get a new ticket.
The idea of Ladies Day was to create an environment in the stands free of unsavory characters and conduct, as well as to make baseball a family-oriented event; it dates at least to 1880 in New Orleans, and the practice is still in place today. Powell scheduled a recurring Ladies Day on April 29 of 1887.
- Somers, Dale A. The Rise of Sports in New Orleans: 1850-1900. p. 132.
- Morris, Peter. "15.1.3 Rain Checks". A Game of Inches: The Stories Behind the Innovations That Shaped Baseball. pp. 411–412.
- Flanagan, Val J. (April 8, 1943). "Rain-Check Evolved to Check Flood of Fence-Climbers, Says Originator, Now 83". Sporting News.
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