Mickey Welch set what is likely baseball’s longest-standing record. On August 28, 1884, Welch struck out the first 9 batters of a ball game. The record held by the 19th century hurler has stood the test of time, passing through the entire 20th century and on into the 21st. Welch is better known for being the third member of the 300-win club, getting there just one month after former Troy Trojans teammate Kim Keefe.
Keefe and Welch broke into the big leagues together in 1880 with Troy. The two future members of the Hall of Fame had three fellow Cooperstown men on the roster. Five-time batting champion Dan Brouthers, the greatest 19th-century catcher Buck Ewing, and the majors’ career home run leader from 1895-1921 Roger Connor.
In the collection is a letter dated October 12, 1880, the year of Welch’s debut. Penned by Troy Trojans owner Gardner Earl, the correspondence is to the second president of the National League, Hall of Famer William Hulbert.
Baseball letters from the 1800s are difficult to find. Correspondence from the era between an owner and a Hall of Famer are highly desired and rarely found.