William Van Winkle "Jimmy" Wolf (May 12, 1862 – May 16, 1903), also known as Chicken Wolf, was an American professional baseball player from Louisville, Kentucky. He played all or part of eleven seasons in Major League Baseball. He was primarily a right fielder, but occasionally played other positions in the infield.
|Born: May 12, 1862|
|Died: May 16, 1903 (aged 41)|
|May 2, 1882, for the Louisville Eclipse|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 21, 1892, for the St. Louis Browns|
|Runs batted in||592|
|Career highlights and awards|
Wolf played for his hometown team, the Louisville Colonels of the American Association, from 1882, when they were called the Eclipse, to 1891. He was the only player to appear in that league in all ten seasons of its existence. He set a number of career American Association records: most games, most plate appearances, most hits, most triples, most total bases.
When the American Association folded, he then played for the St. Louis Browns of the National League in 1892, his last season in the majors. He played in just three games for the Browns before being let go. He played in the minor leagues until 1894 before retiring.
In 1889, with the team 2–8 after ten games under player-manager Dude Esterbrook, the managerial reins were handed over to Wolf, who won only 14 of the 65 games he managed. The other two managers to follow, Dan Shannon and Jack Chapman, didn't fare any better, as Louisville won only 27 games that year with 111 losses. In 1890, he led the American Association in batting with .363.
Wolf died in 1903 at the age of 41, from the effects of brain trauma he suffered a few years before in a fire-fighting accident, and is interred at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville. This cemetery is where other Louisville ballplayers have been buried as well, including childhood friend and teammate Pete Browning.