Deacon White is credited with the first hit in Major League history when he came to the plate as the leadoff batter for Cleveland of the National Association in 1871 and hit a double. That was just the start to an impressive career in baseball’s earliest stage of professional play where White became one of the best catchers during the ‘barehanded era’. He caught more games than any other player during the 1870s and was a part of six championship teams during his twenty year playing career. He played in each of the five seasons of the National Association, and then switched to the National League in 1876 for fourteen seasons, before finishing his career in the Players League for one season in 1890. Deacon White was one of the leading hitters of his time, earning two batting championships, collecting 2,067 hits, 988 RBIs, scoring 1,140 runs, and compiling a batting average of .312 during his career.
-Michael Rinehart Jr.
August 9, 2013