Malcolm MacDonald

From BR Bullpen

Malcolm MacDonald

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 180 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Malcolm MacDonald played right field for three games with the New York Giants in 1902, going 3 for 9. Very little was known about him, not even his first name, except that he hailed from Philadelphia, PA, and as a result early compilers confused him with "Jim McDonald" a third baseman from the city of brotherly love. However that identification proved to be wrong.

In 2014, SABR researchers led by Peter Morris were able to piece together the player's life story. His true name was Malcolm MacDonald, and he was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1872 in a large family of Irish origin. He was a police officer, but also an enthusiastic baseball player for the Philadelphia police team and various local amateur squads, sometimes under assumed names. His principal position was not outfielder, but second baseman.

In 1895, he was still a patrolman when he was involved in a baseball-related tragedy, as one of his pitches struck a friend named William Dewees when the two were playing around. Dewees had apparently boasted that MacDonald could not strike him out, and when he tried to prove his friend wrong, one of his pitches struck Dewees behind the left ear, and he died a few hours later of an apparent blood clot. Various accounts of the baseball-playing policeman can be found in Philadelphia area papers around 1900. He was thought of well enough that when the Giants offered him a tryout in 1902, he was the third man in the batting order; he did well enough, but left after three games, apparently telling the team's secretary that he thought he was not "fast enough for the National League".

He died in a coastal resort in New Jersey in 1946 where it seemed that he owned a summer home. His death notice in Philadelphia papers mentioned he was a former baseball player as well as a retired police officer.

Further Reading[edit]

  • "Malcolm MacDonald found", in Bill Carle, ed.: Biographical Research Committee Report, SABR, July/August 2014, pp. 1-4

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