Morris James Steelman
- Bats Unknown, Throws Right
- Debut September 15, 1899
- Final Game May 22, 1902
- Born June 29, 1875 in Millville, NJ USA
- Died September 16, 1944 in Merchantville, NJ USA
Tommy Hess. . . Sam Vigneaux . . . and Morris Steelman, a brilliant thrower and clever hitter, are all well-known players." - from the Sporting Life of April 8, 1899 about players expected for the Richmond team in the coming season
Morris "Farmer" Steelman played four years in the majors, splitting his time between catcher and the outfield.
He made his major league debut with the 1899 Louisville Colonels. He was a year younger than teammate Honus Wagner and two years younger than player-manager Fred Clarke. The regular catcher, 38-year-old Chief Zimmer, was by no means finished with his major league career but would play the following year for Pittsburgh as he, Clarke and Wagner all moved.
Steelman spent most of 1900 playing for Hartford but briefly came to the majors. The Baseball Rookies Encyclopedia indicates that he was the only rookie to appear on the 1900 Brooklyn Superbas. The team age was 30, and even at 25, Steelman was one of the youngest players.
He again played for Hartford in 1901, but had one more game with Brooklyn and 27 in the new 1901 American League under manager Connie Mack, himself a former catcher, with the 1901 Philadelphia Athletics. Steelman had a few more games with Philly in early 1902 but spent most of the season with Worcester. Both Hartford and Worcester were in the Eastern League, and all told Steelman played for five teams in that league during his career.
His minor league career ran from 1895-1909. As of 1910 he lived in Camden, NJ.
It was reported by Sporting Life in 1903 that he was arrested "on a mesne process for alleged debt" as a result of a complaint from a clothing dealer.
It appears that Sporting Life always called him Morris and never "Farmer".
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