Ned Williamson

Cap Anson called Williamson “the greatest all-around ballplayer the country ever saw.” Williamson led National League third basemen or shortstops in assists seven times, double plays six times, fielding average four times, and putouts twice. Though an unremarkable hitter, he used the short rightfield fence in Chicago’s Lake Front Park to set a major league record for doubles, with 49 in 1883, when balls hit over that fence counted for only two bases. In 1884, when the ground rules were changed, he set a ML home run record with an unprecedented 27, nearly doubling the record of 14 set the previous year. The record stood until Babe Ruth hit 29 in 1919.