Joe Quinn Among the Rowdies

The Life of Baseball’s Honest Australian

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About the Book

“A gentleman when the game was hard-bitten, played by rough-and-ready lads out to win whatever the cost….” Australia had few sporting heroes in the years preceding its federation in 1901. But before its 20th-century Olympic trailblazers, and Depression-era icons such as Phar Lap and Don Bradman, came an Australian sporting pioneer who was celebrated on the most glamorous stage in the world—American major league baseball. Joe Quinn’s story has long been lost in the land of his birth. This tale gallops from the deprivation of famine-ravaged Ireland through colonial Australia to the raucous ballfields of 19th-century America, with their unruly players and owners, brawls and adulation and backroom betrayals. Through 17 seasons in the major leagues, “Undertaker” Joe Quinn earned his place among the colorful characters who pioneered the modern game of baseball, as much for his ability to stand apart from their bad behavior as for his steadfastness on the field. Meet Australia’s first professional baseball player and manager, whose willingness to “have a go” in the grand Australian tradition will live long in the minds of sports fans on both sides of the Pacific.

About the Author(s)

Rochelle Llewelyn Nicholls is the author of numerous journal articles on orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine. She also writes about the science of baseball and has worked as a sports scientist with junior players at both the Western Australian Institute of Sport and the American Sports Medicine Institute. She lives in Australia.

Bibliographic Details

Rochelle Llewelyn Nicholls
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 296
Bibliographic Info: 56 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7980-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1531-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vii

Introduction 1

Part I • Australia: 1862–1872

1. Queen’s County to Queensland 7

2. Waltzing Matilda 27

Part II • Iowa: 1872–1884

3. A Special Class of Slaves 37

Part III • The Rookie Years: 1884–1888

4. Union and Liberty 49

5. The Black Diamonds in the National League 61

6. The Price of Honor 76

Part IV • Boston: 1888–1892

7. Back on the Big Stage 89

8. Rebellion!—The Players’ League 114

9. Mateship 122

Part V • The Good Fight: 1893–1898

10. The ­Flea-Bitten Gray and the ­Bald-Faced Nag 135

11. The Stone of Sisyphus 152

12. Angry Birds 164

Part VI • The Grand Old Man: 1898–1903

13. The Great Player Swap 179

14. Last Days of the Dingo 190

Part VII • The Afterlife: 1904–1940

15. A Very Private Tragedy 209

Epilogue 217

Appendix A: Joe Quinn, Career Statistics 222

Appendix B: Sabermetric Comparison of ­Nineteenth-Century Second Basemen 226

Appendix C: ­Australian-Born Major League Baseball Players, 1884–2013 228

Chapter Notes 229

Bibliography 261

Index 281

Book Reviews & Awards

“Nicholls has done an outstanding job of telling Quinn’s story…. Her book is well documented and footnoted, amply illustrated, and highly recommended”—SABR Deadball Committee Newsletter.