The New Jersey Baseball Player Whose Incredible Record May Never Be Broken
There was a glorious time in baseball in the late 1800s when players named Husk, Happy-Jack, and Wee-Willie took to the diamond. This story is about a New Jersey guy who fans called Sliding Billy.
Sliding Billiy's real name was Billy Hamilton. and he played for, among others, the Kansas City Cowboys and the Philadelphia Phillies from 1888 to 1901. Slidin' Billy was born in Newark on February 6, 1866, just 6 months after President Lincoln was assassinated.
Billy was a heck of a baseball player, stealing bases, hitting for league-leading batting averages, and scoring a lot of runs. A whole lot of runs.
As a matter of fact, according to Baseball Reference, there is no one in the history of baseball (at least since 1876) who scored more runs in one season than Billy Hamilton. He scored 198 in 1894, and he is one of only a handful of players in baseball history to average more than one run scored per game over his career.
Sliding Billy was a special player for sure. And even though he grew up in Massachusetts, he was born here in New Jersey, so we get to have a little pride in this amazing run-scoring record.
So, will his record stand forever? Well, according to nj.com, only one player since 2000 has come within 50 of Billy's mark, so it seems pretty safe.
Even the mighty Babe Ruth in his most prolific run-scoring season, 1921, managed to cross the plate only 177 times. So we pay tribute to an amazing baseball record and its thin ties to the Garden State.