Lincoln Tree Planters

From BR Bullpen

The Lincoln Tree Planters were a charter member of the first Western League in 1886, beginning a long association between Lincoln, NE and the Western League. The Tree Planters went 41-49 and tied for last in the six-team circuit. The team was led offensively by 1B Perry Werden, who hit .317 and led the league in doubles (27) and homers (9). The club was named in honor of Arbor Day, which began in Nebraska.

Lincoln fared much better in 1887, going 62-34 for the second-best record behind the Topeka Golden Giants and they scored over 10 runs per game (1,138) with a team average of .369 in the offense-heavy season. Orator Shaffer batted .460, 4 points behind the league leader. The team had three of the top five in homers Dave Rowe hit 14 (third) and Joseph Herr hit 13 (tied for fourth). When the Leavenworth Soldiers disbanded in the middle of the year, Lincoln acquired the services of Jake Beckley and Park Swartzel. Beckley tied for the league lead with 16 homers, was second with 24 triples and 4th with 33 doubles, while hitting .401. Swartzel went 31-15 and led the league in ERA (3.05) and strikeouts (205). He was third in wins.

Lincoln started the 1888 season 2-11 then disbanded on June 6.

In 1907 the Tree Planters returned to the Western when the Lincoln Ducklings changed their name. The team was fined for playing a game on Sunday against Nebraskan law. The Tree Planters went 79-63, just 2 and a half games behind the Omaha Rourkes. John Thomas led the league with 9 homers while Fenion hit .298, 5th in the circuit. The most famous player to emerge from the club was Eddie Cicotte.

The next year the team changed their name to the Lincoln Greenbackers.

Source: "The Western League" by W.C. Madden and Patrick Stewart

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1886 31-49 5th (t) Harry Durfee (6/7)/ Parrington (7/_)/ William Harrington none
1887 71-36 2nd Dave Rowe none
1888 2-11 -- James Keith Team disbanded June 6
1894 67-56 3rd Hi Ebright
1895 80-48 1st Hi Ebright
1907 79-63 2nd Ducky Holmes none