Joe Leggett

From BR Bullpen


Joseph Bowne Leggett

Biographical Information[edit]

“Ed Russell, Asa Brainard and Tom Reynolds are dead and gone, Pearsall is a doctor in the South …Harry Polhemus is one of Brooklyn’s society men and a millionaire; John Whiting is in business in this city, and his brother Charley also, I believe, while Joe Leggett is—well, I will be silent for old times’ sake.” -Henry Chadwick's comment on the 1860 Excelsiors from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 15, 1889, p.4

Joe Leggett was a catcher who played for the Brooklyn Excelsiors from 1857 to 1867.

Leggett was known as a respected leader among the baseball world but a bit of an awful human being off the field.

Leggett was born in Saratoga Springs, New York, but moved to Brooklyn and worked for his family's grocery business in the 1840s. After this he became a firefighter. In 1859, he was caught trying to rig an election [citation needed].

In 1860, him and teammate, Henry Polhemus supposedly created the first baseball team to play in Baltimore [citation needed].

He joined the 13th New York Infantry during the Civil War. After his playing days ended, he worked as a coach and a scout for the Excelsiors. He supposedly convinced Candy Cummings' parents to let their son join the Excelsiors after seeing him pitch as a teenager in 1866 [citation needed]. In 1869, Leggett was working as the treasurer of the Widows and Orphans Fund of the Brooklyn Fire Department, but thieved $3,000 from the funds. He was confronted by his boss who had intended to take Leggett to court but decided not to after Leggett promised to pay it all back. He worked for the city of Brooklyn as a clerk who issued liquor sale liscenses. In 1877, he stole around $1,000 from the city of Brooklyn and took off for the wild west the minute an investigation was launched. Nothing much else is known about his life after this other than that he died in Houston, TX on July 25, 1894. However, it is possible that he may have been still been in contact with his wife, as she applied for a Civil War widow's pension in 1899.

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