19th Century Baseball Player
Baseball history photo: 1887 - Newmarket, New Hampshire native Tom Gunning demonstrates the catching position while with Philadelphia of the National League. Gunning played in only 147 games over five years in professional baseball. He was the first player to be expelled from the Union Association, 1884, for defaulting on his contract with Chicago and instead signing with Boston of the National League. When lawyer and star player, John Montgomery Ward, organized the Brotherhood of Professional Baseball Players in 1885, Gunning became Boston's representative. The Brotherhood was Ward's attempt to organize a baseball players union. The organization gained notice when it's representatives met with National League owners in November of 1887. The Brotherhood's efforts led to the formation of the Players' National League (PL) in 1890. When Gunning moved to Philadelphia in 1887, he became the Brotherhood rep there. He retired from Philadelphia of the American Association in 1889; however, turned up as an umpire in the PL for its only campaign. After fining Ward in June during a game in Brooklyn, Gunning was subject to boos and insults every time he entered the field and was forced to retire again. Note the shape and position of the pre-1900 home base. Click photo to return to previous page.