Jim Mullen

From BR Bullpen


James Henry Mullen

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Jim Mullen was a fixture in the Eastern League from 1905 to 1911. An infielder, he played in the American League in 1904 and 1905, with the Philadelphia Athletics and Washington Senators. While he was fairly well known in his playing days, when it came time to compile the first Baseball Encyclopedia a few decades later, he was confused with another contemporary player, John F. Mullin (note the slightly different spelling of the last name), who was a pitcher known by the nickname "Lefty". Therefore, the birth and death details assigned him were wrong.

The real Mullen was born in the coal country of eastern Pennsylvania, where he played amateur baseball. He was from a large and not well-off family and his principal occupation was day laborer, but his exploits on the baseball diamond encouraged his local townsfolk to raise a subscription so he could attend college. He enrolled at Manhattan College in 1900 and immediately became the school's athletic star, also playing some minor league baseball on the side in the Northern New York League during the summers of 1901 and 1902. He was good enough that he was featured on the cover of the college's 1902 newsletter and soon was courted by major league teams.

In 1904, he signed with Connie Mack's athletic, joining the team a couple of weeks before he received his business degree from the college. Because he could not play regularly for the A's, he was loaned to the Senators during the summer, where he was the starting second baseman for a month, fielding well but hitting only .186. He returned to Philadelphia later in the year when the A's were in need of a first baseman, and he hit a combined .281 in 110 at-bats in his two stints with the Mackmen. In 1905, he was back with Washington, but hit .190 in 50 games and was sold to the minor league Baltimore Orioles in early July. He would not return to the big leagues after that, but he played quite well in the Eastern League, the ancestor of today's International League. He was drafted by the New York Giants before the 1907 season and seemed poised to make the team, but he lost out in a battle for the second base job to Danny Shay and Tommy Corcoran and returned to the minors, joining the Newark Sailors.

In 1912 and 1913, he went down one level, playing for the Utica Utes of the New York State League, a Class B circuit. He played on until 1916, spending time in the Southern Association with the Memphis Chickasaws and back in the NYSL with the Scranton Miners. He later managed semi-pro teams around his hometown of Avoca, PA. he only married after his playing career, in 1918, and had two children. He worked in administrative duties for a coal company and was active in community affairs. He died in 1956 and his obituary mentioned that he was a former major league player, although that went unnoticed at the time, as his playing record had been assigned to a man who had died back in 1925!

Further Reading[edit]

  • "James Mullen", in Bill Carle, ed.: Biographical Research Committee Report, SABR, July/August 2014, pp. 5-8.

Related Sites[edit]