Phonney Martin

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Alphonse Martin
Phonney Martin 1870.jpg
Right fielder/Pitcher
Born: (1845-08-04)August 4, 1845
New York, New York
Died: May 24, 1933(1933-05-24) (aged 87)
Hollis, New York
Batted: Unknown Threw: Unknown
MLB debut
April 26, 1872, for the Troy Haymakers
Last MLB appearance
October 21, 1873, for the New York Mutuals
MLB statistics
Batting average.243
Runs batted in37
  National Association of Base Ball Players
Empire of New York (1864–1865)
New York Mutuals (1866–1867, 1870)
Brooklyn Eckfords (1868–1869)
  League player
Troy Haymakers (1872)
Brooklyn Eckfords (1872)
New York Mutuals (1873)
  League manager
Brooklyn Eckfords (1872)

Alphonse Case "Phonney" Martin (August 4, 1845 – May 24, 1933) was an American Major League Baseball baseball player who played two seasons in the National Association from 1872 to 1873.[1]


Martin, born in New York, New York, and an American Civil War veteran,[2] played in organized baseball as far back as 1869 when he pitched for the Brooklyn Eckfords. That year, a reporter for the New York Clipper described him as an "extremely hard pitcher to hit for the ball never comes in a straight line‚ but in a tantalizing curve." If the observation is true, this would pre-date Candy Cummings, the pitcher given credit as the inventor of the curveball.[3] His pitching style led to his nickname of "Old Slow Ball".[4]

Martin officially began his professional baseball career when he joined the 1872 Troy Haymakers of the National Association as a pitcher and right fielder, playing in 25 games, pitching in eight of those games.[1] Later in the season, he returned to the Eckfords, now also in the Association, and played in the same pitcher/outfielder role for 18 games,[1] that year, he is given credit for managing the Eckfords for nine games, with a record of 1 win and 8 losses.[1] There is a level of dispute on this, sabr and list Andy Allison, Jimmy Wood, and Martin as managing the team that year,[5] while list Jim Clinton and Wood as the managers.[6] For the 1873 season, he joined the New York Mutuals, which turned out to be his last season at this level. He played 30 games in the right field, and pitched six games.[1]


Martin died in Hollis, New York at the age of 87, and is interred at Cypress Hills National Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Phonney Martin's Stats". Retrieved 2008-06-06.
  2. ^ "Civil War Veterans Who Played Major League Baseball Project" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-06-06.
  3. ^ "Charlton's Baseball Chronology - 1869". Archived from the original on 2008-12-11. Retrieved 2008-06-06.
  4. ^ Fox (1998). Big Leagues: Professional Baseball, Football, and Basketball in National Memory. p. 201.
  5. ^ "1872 Brooklyn Eckfords". Retrieved 2008-06-06.
  6. ^ "1872 Brooklyn Eckfords". Retrieved 2008-06-06.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Harry Berthrong
Oldest recognized verified living baseball player
April 24, 1928 – May 24, 1933
Succeeded by
Harry Schafer