David Solomon Birdsall
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 126 lb.
- Debut May 5, 1871
- Final Game May 17, 1873
- Born July 16, 1838 in New York, NY USA
- Died December 30, 1896 in Boston, MA USA
"The Once Famous Birdsall Still in the Land of the Living... David S. Birdsall, one of the old and historic Boston Red Stockings, is a clerk for John Benson of this District... 'Dave', as he is still called, looks back to his ball playing days with a great deal of pride, and he does not try to conceal the fact that he is older to-day than he was when he with others was engaged in laying the foundation of Boston's greatness as a base ball centre. But he does object, and that most decidedly, when a white-haired man of sixty-five or seventy winters raises up and delivers himself of such remarks as this: 'Dave? Dave Birdsall? Old Dave? Why I used to go see Dave play when I was a boy.' " - Sporting Life, August 22, 1891
Dave Birdsall is pictured in a woodcut shown in Harper's Weekly Magazine from 1867, as part of the Union Base-ball Club of Morrisania, NY. He is a very slender, jaunty-looking fellow, perhaps a bit shorter than some of the other ballplayers in the picture. He looks very much like he could be the speedster he apparently was in his prime. Birdsall was a member of the legendary 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings team before he played in the National Association.
When the NA started in 1871, there were only two players on the Boston Red Stockings who were older than 26. One was the player/manager Harry Wright, who was 36, and the other was Birdsall, who was 32. Birdsall was an outfielder and catcher who was second in the league in runs scored in 1871. He was apparently the first player in the circuit to steal three bases in a game. The next season, the same thing was the case - Wright and Birdsall were the only players older than 26, because the team parted ways with the only player from 1871 who had been 26 years old. In the game of May 7, 1872, Birdsall batted cleanup. Birdsall played briefly in 1873 as well, at the age of 34, when he and Wright were still far older than any other players on the team. He umpired one game in 1873 and three more in 1874.