October 17, 1861|
Buffalo, New York
|Died: June 28, 1944
|August 17, 1880 for the Buffalo Bisons|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 14, 1889 for the Kansas City Cowboys|
Daniel Eckford Stearns (born October 17, 1861 in Buffalo, New York – June 28, 1944 in Glendale, California), commonly known as "Ecky" Stearns, was a Major League Baseball first baseman from 1880-1889. He played for the Buffalo Bisons, Detroit Wolverines, Kansas City Cowboys, Baltimore Orioles, and Cincinnati Red Stockings (AA).
At the start of the 1882 season, clubs playing in the American Association had their players wear non-matching silk uniforms, with a different color and/or pattern corresponding to each position in the field. Accordingly, on Opening Day for the Red Stockings, Stearns wore an unusual candy-striped jersey.
On September 11, 1882, Stearns was involved in a notable milestone, when pitcher Tony Mullane of the Louisville Eclipse pitched the first no-hit game in the history of the American Association against Stearns and his teammates on the Cincinnati Red Stockings, a 2–0 win by Louisville. Stearns made the game's final out by bouncing into a fielder's choice that forced runner Pop Snyder at second base. The Red Stockings had the last laugh, however, ending the year as the AA's inaugural champions.
Stearns spent the 1887 season with the Topeka Golden Giants of the Western League, leading that league in hits. That team finished with a dominant record of 90–25, and is sometimes described as the strongest minor league baseball club of the 19th century.
- Nemec, David. "The Official Rules of Baseball Illustrated", Globe Pequot, 2006, p. 11. ISBN 1592288448
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