Henry Kessler

From BR Bullpen

Henry Kessler

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 144 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Henry "Lucky" Kessler played every position except pitcher in his five years with the Brooklyn Atlantics and Cincinnati Reds. In 1873 he was a first baseman in his only game, in 1874 he played more catcher than anywhere else, in 1875 and 1876 he was mostly a shortstop, and in 1877 he was back to catcher. He also played at least three seasons in the minors and apparently (see below) some time in amateur ball.

He had the highest batting average on the Atlantics in 1874. Kessler broke his thumb on September 30th while playing catcher and his team had to continue the game with eight men. They won anyway, with Kessler coming back in the 9th inning to stand in center field.

Kessler played ball in Cincinnati before the formation of the first professional league. He is on the 1866-1871 list of members for the Cincinnati club.

Sporting Life of January 20, 1900 carried an obituary of Kessler that was provided by a "dispatch" from his place of death. He died at a "poor farm" of heart failure. He was with the 1883 Leadville Blues, and when that team disbanded, Henry joined the Franklin team. He was a "phenomenal third baseman". The obituary claimed that "he took to drink and finally landed in the Western Penitentiary" to serve a sentence for arson. He then came back to Franklin to live and went to the poor farm only a month before his death. Sporting Life added its comment that Kessler was "a player of considerable reputation twenty years ago".


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