- 2B, OF, SS, 3B, 1B
- Germany, Flying Dutchman
- April 13, 1866
- 5' 8"
- 160 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 4-17-1889 with KC2
A ferocious competitor who searched for every advantage to beat his opponents, shortstop Herman Long was the field leader for the Boston Beaneaters in the 1890s, when the talented team won five National League titles. Most likely the best dfensive shortstop of the 19th century, Long amazed fans with his off-balance throws and acrobatic moves, which had been rarely seen before on the diamond. A formidable batter as well, Long's 12 homers led the NL in 1900, and he hit .300 four times and scored as many as 100 runs seven times.
On May 30, 1894, in a doubleheader against Cincinnati, leadoff man Herman Long scored nine runs to set a record that has never been surpassed.
He was getting to a lot of balls, but he also committed a lot of errors. It's quite possible that for as many eye-popping acrobatic throws that he delivered to first base, he also tossed a few into the bleachers.
Long holds the all-time record for chances per game by a shortstop. Beaneaters pitchers coaxed batters into pounding the ball into the ground, and Long, second baseman Lowe and third baseman Collins gobbled up those grounders. That's not to say that Long didn;t have great range. All indications are that he did. Newspaper accounts from his era are filled with superlatives about his great plays, often describing his long, off-balance throws from deep in the hole.