Levi Meyerle

Meyerle was an awesome hitter in the earliest days of professional baseball. He won the first batting championship of the first recognized league, with a lofty .488 in 26 games for the National Association‘s Philadelphia Athletics, and his four home runs also led the league. He played all five years of the NA’s existence and was in the Athletics’ (later named the Phillies) lineup for the first scheduled game of the National League in 1876. A quiet gentleman, he was a longtime favorite in Philadelphia, where he played most. Although not an adept fielder, he was versatile, seeing action at every position except catcher. He excelled with the bat, in part because of his impressive, muscular, 6’1″ frame which, in an era of much smaller players, earned him the nickname Long Levi. Despite his past popularity, his death went unremarked by all the Philadelphia newspapers.