11. Billy Hamilton
  1. General
  2. Awards
  3. Career Stats
  • Born: February 15, 1866 in Newark, NJ USA
  • Weight: 165 lbs.
  • Height: 5'6"
  • Bats: L
  • Throws: R
  • Debut: July 31, 1888
  • Final Game: September 16, 1901
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In the 1890’s, Billy Hamilton was regarded as the greatest base stealer the game of baseball had ever seen.  Realistically, when you look at what “Sliding” Billy Hamilton has done, he is still among the game’s great at that feat.

Before we look at everything else that Hamilton did, let’s focus on those Stolen Bases.  In the six seasons that Billy Hamilton played in Philly, he would lead the National League in thefts, three of which were of the three digit variety.  To swipe bases, you have to get on base, and Hamilton excelled at that.  He was a two time Batting Champion and would also lead the NL three times in OBP as a Philadelphia Phillie.  In his 1894 season alone, he had an On Base Percentage of .521!  Can you imagine that!

We should stress that Hamilton was not tenured with Philadelphia for very long.  The overall run was only six years but his overall batting and baserunning skill makes him a major force on this list. 

The Veteran’s Committee for the Baseball Hall of Fame chose Hamilton in 1961 for the Baseball Hall of Fame, but an overall look at what he accomplished as a baseball player will easily tell you that this was decades too late.

The Bullet Points

  • Position: Outfield
  • Acquired: Purchased from the Kansas City Cowboys for $5,000 1/7/90
  • Departed: Traded to the Boston Beaneaters for Billy Nash 11/4/95.
  • Games Played: 732
  • Notable Statistics: 880 Runs Scored
    1,084 Hits
    126 Doubles
    51 Triples
    23 Home Runs
    370 RBI
    510 Stolen Bases
    .360/.468/.459 Slash Line
    34.9 bWAR
  • Major Accolades and Awards:

    Highest bWAR for Position Players (1891 & 1894)

    Highest Batting Average (1891 & 1893)

    Highest On Base Percentage (1891, 1893 & 1894)

    Highest OPS (1893)

    Most Plate Appearances (1894)

    Most Runs Scored (1891, 1894 & 1895)

    Most Hits (1891)

    Most Walks (1891, 1894 & 1895)

    Most Stolen Bases (1891, 1894 & 1895)
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