What? Why?

The Boston Beaneaters sound like the punchline for a flatulence joke. Thanks to my vanity Google Alert, I learned yesterday that the Boston Beaneaters were a Major League Baseball team from 1883 to 1906. They had a player named Frank Murphy during part of the 1901 season. After a month and a half, his contract was sold to the New York Giants.

1883: To avoid confusion with Cincinnati Red Stockings of the American Association, Boston’s National League franchise changes its name to Beaneaters. The Beaneaters would go on to finish with an impressive 63-35 record, while collecting their third National League Championship.

The Beaneaters changed their name several more times to become the Boston Doves, the Boston Pilgrims, the Boston Braves, the Boston Bees, the Boston Braves again, the Milwaukee Braves and finally the Atlanta Braves.

Some of Murphy’s teammates have names that immediately identify the era as early 20th century. Imagine hearing a stadium announcer introduce Duff Cooley, Daff Gammons, Kid Nichols, Togie Pittinger, Heinie Smith, Dummy Taylor, Dummy Leitner, Dummy Deegan and Chauncey Fisher.

Sadly, Murphy died at age 36. He is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, which is also the final resting place of some notable figures of industry and literature including Washington Irving himself.

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