Reading Actives

From BR Bullpen

Amateur baseball in Reading dates back to the 1850's, and the name "Reading Actives" was first used in the 1870's. However, the professional Reading Actives were the first minor league team from Reading, PA. They played in three different leagues. They began in 1883 in the Interstate Association under the management of Frank Fox, Henry Boyle and Sam Field. Boyle (.356) and Henry Larkin (.354, .456 SLG, 20 2B) led the offense, while Ed Morris (16-6, 1.80) was the ace hurler. All of the team's starters would play in the major leagues during their careers.

In 1884, the IA merged with another league to form the Eastern League. Reading was guided by Frank Heifer and all 14 players with 5+ games played would be in the majors at some point. Pat Friel (11-6, 1.22) was their ace while John Cullen (.314), Barney McLaughlin (.288) and Boyle (.287) were the top batters. The team returned in 1892 in the Pennsylvania State League, with Jerry McCormick leading in average and Bill Hawke the top hurler. In 1893, George Fox (4-4, 1.04) paced the staff and Bill Massey (.345/?/.547) and Whitey Gibson (.333/?/.435) led the offense; Larkin hit .407 in limited action in his old haunts.

During 1894, with offensive numbers up around baseball, Thayer Torreyson hit .347/?/.553 with 29 doubles, 12 homers and 120 runs. Bill Coyle (7-6, 2.03) and Alex Jones (20-13, 2.49) led the mounds corps. Three starters topped .330 in 1895 while Jack Scheible was the ace at 17-6, 3.53. Ben Ellis (.376/?/.529, 25 SB) was the top performer on the 1896 team, which spent part of the year as the Shamokin Actives and was a Non-Signatory League. Back in Reading full-time in 1897, the team became the Reading Coal Heavers of the Atlantic League.

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Notes
1883 33-35 3rd Sam Field / Henry Boyle / Frank Fox
1884 28-27 -- Frank Heifer Team disbanded August 4
1887 20-23 3rd Henry Myers
1889 6-17 NA Ned Cuthbert Team disbanded June 18
1892 8-11 -- Team disbanded
1893 11-34 8th A.G. McCoy / Elias Maier / William Abbott Whitman Danville (5-47) moved to Reading July 7
1894 61-50 3rd William Whitman
1895 37-27 -- William Whitman Team disbanded July 20

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