Wes Fisler Scores Baseball’s First Run

It may seem like only yesterday, but it was 135 years ago today, April 22nd, 1876, that Wes Fisler of the Philadelphia Athletics (not related to the later Philadelphia A’s) was credited with scoring the first run in MLB history. Don’t ask me how they decided that this game between two teams who no longer exist in a league that was called the National Association counts as being the first game that really counts in the modern MLB history. I have no idea. But they do start stats from this date, and because of that, Philly first baseman Wes Fisler has gone from being a forgettable utility player of the early 1870s and into the record books.

He was the son of Camden’s Mayor, and the Philly first baseman stood a whopping 5’6″ and weighed 137 pounds. In other words, 10 inches shorter than Ryan Howard and 120 pounds lighter. With much sweeter facial hair. He died in Philadelphia on Christmas Day, 1922, and is buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery. He’s on facebook.

2 Comments on “Wes Fisler Scores Baseball’s First Run”

  1. Scott says:

    The game was actually the first National League game, not a National Association game, which is why MLB picks this as their first game. Also, the visiting Boston Base Ball Club (aka Red Stockings or Red Caps) team survives to this day. They just changed their name to the Braves and moved to Atlanta by way of Milwaukee.

  2. Richard Hershberger says:

    Also, Wes Fisler was a fine player. It is entirely unfair to characterize him as a “forgettable utility player”. He was one of the few players to make a completely successful transition from the old pattern of amateur clubs composed to respectable middle class men taking their exercise together to the new pattern of professional players, almost always from the working class. He wasn’t paid because he brought some class to the operation, though he did, being known for his sense of decorum.

    He also had one of the best of the (rather rare) authentic old-time nicknames: Icicle. Unlike most such nicknames (e.g. Death to Flying Things, attributed to Bob Ferguson) this one is unquestionably documented as real.

    Fisler eventually went back to Camden, and was involved with minor league baseball there at least into the 1880s.

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