Alex McKinnon

From BR Bullpen

Alex McKinnon.jpg

Alexander J. McKinnon

  • Bats Right, Throws Unknown
  • Height 5' 11½", Weight 170 lb.

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

First baseman Alex McKinnon fell ill in early July 1887 and died of typhoid fever later that month. Although he was not originally expected to die, he took a turn for the worse and died 20 days after his last game.

McKinnon was a star who was an above-average hitter in the National League for four years and played a key defensive position at the time, first base. He died in mid-season 1887 when he was hitting .340, which would have been good enough for third in the league that year. The two players above him were Hall of Famers Sam Thompson and Cap Anson. The previous year, 1886, he had been in the top ten in the league in several offensive categories, including triples, home runs, and RBI.

His obituary indicates that he started in amateur baseball in 1875 with the Stars of Boston, and played with a number of players who came to the majors, including John Morrill. The following year he began in professional ball with the Stars of Syracuse, leading their league in batting in 1876 and staying with the team three years.

He played professionally for part of 1879 with Albany (which moved to Rochester) but became embroiled in a contract issue between two leagues and was "expelled" from eligibility in the National League. He was, however, sick for much of 1879 with an unspecified illness.

He worked in business for several years before the National League reinstated him in 1883, but although he signed with Philadelphia he was sick and asked for his release. In addition to his playing career, he was a National League umpire for one game in 1886.

McKinnon was born in Boston, MA in 1856, the same year that Barney Gilligan was born in nearby Cambridge, MA, and four months before Hall of Famer Tim Keefe was born also in Cambridge. Both Gilligan and Keefe lived for nearly fifty years after McKinnon died.

McKinnon is one of only two major leaguers (through 2007) to die in Charlestown, MA (which is located in the Boston area). The other, oddly enough, was Joe Sullivan, who died even younger, at age 27 in 1897. Sullivan also played four years in the National League.

Related Sites[edit]