Once upon a time there was a trio of local hardball masters who were born before the year 1900 and went on to play in the major leagues.
One of those individuals was Montgomery County native Jim Bishop, who was born Jan. 28, 1898, and passed on Sept. 20, 1973, at the age of 75 according to www.baseball-reference.com. Between those two landmarks of his life Bishop pitched for the National League Philadelphia Athletics from 1923-24, going 0-3 his first season with a 6.34 earned run average in 15 appearances. He also had one save and allowed 31 runs, 23 earned, with 11 walks and five strikeouts.
The next year Bishop looked to change his luck, but was only able to get on the mound for 16.1 innings in seven appearances for Philadelphia. In that time the 26-year old hurler went 0-1 with a 6.48 ERA after giving up 14 runs, 12 earned, on 24 hits and seven walks with three strikeouts.
Born March 13, 1877, fellow Montgomery County product Tim Flood also spent some time with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1899. That season he got just 31 at-bats in 10 games, yet was still able to post a .290 batting average with three RBI, four walks and a steal.
After a brief hiatus, the 5-foot-9, 160-pound right hander returned to baseball in 1902 with the Brooklyn Dodgers and exceeded his rookie limits. This included charting 104 hits, 43 runs, 51 RBI, 23 walks and eight steals in 132 games.
Flood then hit .249 in his final season of 1903 on 77 hits in 309 at-bats. The 26-year old second-baseman also had a .291 on-base percentage and a .311 slugging percentage that season with 15 doubles and two triples.
When time finally ran out for Flood, it was June 15, 1929, and he was 52 years old.
The final and most venerable member of this three-man crew was Wellsville's Harry Maupin, a 5-foot-7, 150 lb. pitcher who threw from the right and was born July 11, 1872. His major league career began in 1898 with the Cardinals and featured a record of 0-2 and a 5.50 ERA.
Prior to his passing on Aug. 25, 1952 at the age of 80, Maupin played for the Cleveland Indians in 1899, as well, and went 0-3 with a 12.60 ERA. That year the 26-year old also played in five games and started three, allowing 55 hits in 25 innings pitched.
While these are far from the only superstars to hail from this area, they certainly helped lay the foundation many local athletes who followed launched their on-field careers from. As for that next wave of talent, that's when we start to see the emerging popularity of football. So, if you or anybody you know is friendly with former University of Missouri and Dallas Cowboys defensive standout Dedrick Harrington, tell him he can contact me anytime day or night at email@example.com.