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Mother Watson

From BR Bullpen

Walter L. Watson

  • Bats Unknown, Throws Unknown
  • Height 5' 9", Weight 145 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Walter "Mother" Watson appeared in a couple major league games with the Cincinnati Red Stockings in 1887, on a team which went 81-54. Watson was 22 years old at the time. He pitched 14 innings, giving up 9 earned runs along with 9 unearned runs. He also played in the outfield but had no chances.

He is the only major leaguer named or nicknamed "Mother". A 1987 article in the New York Times said that he "was considered virtuous". However, that explanation of his nickname doesn't square with the fact that a "Mother Watson" was a character in Horatio Alger novels, and not a nice one. Perhaps, the fame of the novels made the name just too enticing for major leaguers of the time not to utilize when a man named Watson came along.

He is recorded as weighing only 145 pounds.

The Wheeling Daily Register, on March 30, 1887, reported that Watson was going to be given a trial by the Zanesville team, with expenses paid. While with Zanesville he beat the St. Louis Browns, which got him a shot at the majors.

One source thinks he belongs on the "All-Family Team" with Willie "Pops" Stargell, Grandma Murphy, and Uncle Robbie Robinson.

He died at age 33 after being shot.

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