Jack Glasscock played for Cleveland from 1878-84.
JACK GLASSCOCK’S AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL LETTER
John Wesley ‘Pebbly Jack’ Glasscock (1859-1947) was a 19th century baseball star, winning the 1890 batting title.
The following links picture his autobiography, written in the form of a letter when he was 82. The letter is four pages
(written on both sides of two sheets), which each link picturing one page (pictures no longer available).
“Wheeling , July 20, 1941
Mr. Don Bassingfelder
My Dear Sir,
Your letter at hand. And contents noted. I will endever to try and give you some information that never came out. I am writing out. I am starting from my boyhood. Our peoples was very poor and not having theirs at fingernail. My father was a carpenter, a house carpenter also. A cabin builder. He built a cabin on steamboat from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati. And of course when I got big enough I had to help provide. My dad was a good one. And I got to handle tools pretty well myself. We were Scott and Irish descent. We had no high school at that time, and I went through the four room we had. And also went to night school. I would work through the day, and play ball of the evening. That how I learnt. But I am telling you, this is how I got good. Well, I never worked work on Saturday afteroon, and we always had a game on that day. Well we were working on a boat. And Saturday some at noon. And I laid off and father come home that evening and told me the Captain told him. He said Son, the Captain said you would either give up baseball on Saturday afternoon or quit. So I quit. And some businessmens got together and formed a club. And I was lucky enough to get a chance. I was played (40.00) a month to play.
I started as a third baseman and our clubs played all clubs coming through here to Pittsburgh. And the managers of those club liked my playing. And I came to get out the following season. I went to Pittsburgh, and played two month. And theys disband. And I didn’t get any salary. Went to Cleveland, an independent club and finished the season. That was the year (1878). And the business of Cleveland got together and went with the National League (1879). I played third base that season. Well, the next year (1880) they decided to put me at shortstop. And there I stayed my career of playing in the National League. I was in Cleveland from 1878 to 1884. And went to St. Louis under Henry Lucas (1885). And got $1,600 for this work. Where I got only a thousand. I want to tell you what happened about this first month of (1880). I was pretty young at that time. I got word my mother was very sick and (not) expect to live, so I come home. After a few days he pass away. I went to club at Cincinnati, I think. And played one game. Don’t think I made a hit in that game. We went to Chicago. I came to bat with three mens on the bases with two out. Goldsmith pitching. He was a good one. And I struck out. Well, we went to
Boston and after I was told to go on the gate (Editor’s note: this means being his salary was a cut of the attendance, instead of a fixed salary). I never asked about it. Our Manager was named Evans. A high hat man. He would put our club up at a hotel and he would go to a better one. I didn’t think he new much about the game. We played 2 games at Boston minus myself. And went to Worcester and still on the gate for those there. Well, we went to Albany to play an exhibition game. I was put I again. Tim Keefe was the pitcher. And I made three hits off him. And one a three baser. That was the one time I was laid off for not hitting in all my career. Then Albany want to buy me, because I guess I maken then those three hits. Evans wouldn’t sell me. I often wonder what would have been my fate if that players put in my place would have done any hitting. He didn’t make a hit in the whole six games. I guess I was lucky. Well, I was in St. Louis in 1880 to 1886, and Mr. Lucas lost money and throwed up the franchise. And then the Indianapolis step in. The fans at St. Louis presented me with a diamond pin. And that fall when Lucas quit, I could have gone to Boston. Theys offered to give me, the St. Louis club, $7,500 for me. And the league stepped and paid us players. And no clubs buy us. That was done so no club to get us and sell us. That was the way we went to Indianapolis, under those conditions. I was three years at Indianapolis. And Mr Brush, President, he got the confidence of the National League. So he owned us. And when the year of 1889 came along, the brotherhood (Editor: brotherhood was The Players Leaguer, a rebellious league formed by players. It was eventually aborbed into the National League), we were sold to New York Club. I think 1889 was my best year as I played great ball. I made 209 hits. And ought to led the league but Brothers. Went to New York in 1889. Led the National League in hitting that year. And that year the Brotherhood and National came together, and I was kept with them. I had a bad year. I went to St. Louis under Von Der Ahe, and sold to Pittsburgh the following year. Was released from Pittsburgh the following year and went to Louisville. And throwed my arm out. Was release and went to Washington D.C., and played a couple month. And hurt my arm again. And that wound up my career in the National League. So you got all my life as a player in the National League. You can look over it, and search out what you want. I was up at St. Paul for three years with Comiskey. But played First Base. Never went back to short stop again. My name have always been Jack Glasscock. But my right name home was always John WEsely. But always been been called Jack