Henry Zeiher

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Henry Zeiher

  • Height 5' 10½", Weight 149 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Henry Zeiher was a catcher for six games for the Washington Nationals in 1886. For over a century, his name was lost to history, as his playing record was mistakenly attributed to Ed Whiting, a contemporary catcher who was also from Philadelphia, PA.

Zeiher's existence was ascertained by researchers from SABR thanks to the following clues. The Philadelphia Press of August 14, 1887 mentions a local boy named '"Zeiher" who played catcher the previous season for the Nationals under the name of "Whiting" and states that he was then playing for Mansfield, PA after starting the season with Sunbury, PA. There is indeed a record of Henry Zeiher playing for various teams around Philadelphia, PA in the period between 1883 and 1888 and with Memphis of the Southern League in 1889; the Washington Post of June 22, 1886 mentions that a player named Zeiher was signed by the Nationals. He is even listed as "Zieher" in some boxscores. The mystery is why this 1886 player got himself tangled into Ed Whiting's record. The fact that his nickname was "Whitey" may be an explanation. Other mentions of Zeiher, under his correct name, pop up in the New York Times of June 22, 1886 and the Trenton Evening Times of August 17th, both papers clearly stating that he had been picked up by Washington.

It is thus clear that the playing record listed under Whiting's name for 1886 belongs to Zeiher. His birth and death records were found in the Pennsylvania archives as well.

Further Reading[edit]

  • "New Player Discovered", in Bill Carle, ed.: Biographical Research Committee Report, January/February 2013, p. 1.

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