Joe Start

One of the foremost stars of baseball’s early years, Start first gained prominence with Brooklyn’s Atlantics (1861-70), whom he helped go undefeated in 1864 and 1865 to win the national championship. He played five years with the New York Mutuals of the old National Association and was in his thirties when the National League was formed in 1876. After leading the NL in hits (100) in 1878 with Chicago, he joined the Providence Grays, helping them to a pennant in 1879 and captaining the 1884 pennant winners. Start is credited as the first baseman to play his position away from the bag (although some say it was Charlie Comiskey), an advantage underscored by the fact that his chances per game and putouts per game exceeded those of other first basemen of his time.