William H. Lennon (January, 1845 – August 19, 1910)[1] was an American Major League Baseball player born in Brooklyn, New York. He played catcher for three seasons in the National Association from 1871 to 1873, and managed 14 games for the 1871 Fort Wayne Kekiongas.[1]

Bill Lennon
Bill Lennon.jpg
Born: January 1845
Brooklyn, New York
Died: August 19, 1910(1910-08-19) (aged 65)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Batted: Unknown
Threw: Unknown
MLB debut
May 4, 1871, for the Fort Wayne Kekiongas
Last MLB appearance
July 11, 1873, for the Baltimore Marylands
MLB statistics
Games played28
Batting average.223
  National Association of Base Ball Players
Baltimore Marylands (1869–1870)
  League Player
Fort Wayne Kekiongas (1871)
Washington Nationals (1872)
Baltimore Marylands (1873)
  League Manager
Fort Wayne Kekiongas (1871)

During the 1870 National Association of Base Ball Players, Lennon, along with Bobby Mathews and Tom Carey all deserted the Maryland team to join the Kekiongas, who joined the new all professional National Association in 1871.[2] On May 4, 1871, Lennon scored one of the two runs scored by the Kekiongas in the first professional game ever played, when they defeated the visiting Cleveland Forest Citys.[3] Also that day, he became the first catcher to throw out a baserunner attempting to steal a base.[4] He was a drinker during his playing days, and deserted the Kekiongas in mid-June of the 1871 season.[5] Harry Deane was promoted to manage the team for the rest of the season.[6]

He died at the age of 65 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was buried at the Holy Cross Cemetery.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Bill Lennon's career statistics". retrosheet.org. Retrieved 2008-08-16.
  2. ^ Ryczek, William J. (1998). When Johnny Came Sliding Home: The Post-Civil War Baseball Boom, 1865-1870. McFarland. pp. 218. ISBN 0-7864-0514-7. Retrieved 2008-08-16. Bill Lennon baseball.
  3. ^ "Boxscore of First Professional Ballgame". baseball-almanac.com. Retrieved 2008-08-16.
  4. ^ Administrator (May 4, 2006). "This Day in Baseball History: May 4th". sox1fan.com. Retrieved 2008-08-16.
  5. ^ Schiff, Andrew J. (2008). The Father of Baseball: A Biography of Henry Chadwick. McFarland. p. 138. ISBN 978-0-7864-3216-5. Retrieved 2008-08-16.
  6. ^ "The 1871 Ft. Wayne Kekiongas". retrosheet.org. Retrieved 2008-08-16.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Oldest recognized verified living baseball player
May 4, 1871 – May 5, 1871
Succeeded by