February 29, 1836|
Brooklyn, New York
|Died: September 18, 1908
|May 18, 1871 for the New York Mutuals|
Last MLB appearance
|October 6, 1877 for the St. Louis Brown Stockings|
|Runs batted in||137|
Richard J. "Dickey" Pearce (February 29, 1836 – September 18, 1908) was an American professional baseball player and one of the sport's most famous early figures. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, and began playing with the Brooklyn Atlantics in 1856. He continued his career in the National Association and the early years of Major League Baseball. It is possible Pearce was one of the first baseball players to earn money for playing the game professionally. Pearce is given credit for pioneering the shortstop position. Pearce introduced his "tricky hit" to baseball, known today as the bunt. For much of his career, the rules permitted the ball to roll foul and still be a hit.
Pearce played professionally for 22 years, spanning the generation from the game's beginnings to the National League. In the June 30, 1868 edition of the St. Louis Times, the paper said of him: "Pearce has been noted as a superior shortstop for ten years and to-day has no equal in the base ball field. He bats with great judgment and safety..." After retiring from playing, Pearce umpired into the mid-1880s.
- Dickey Pearce at baseball-reference.com, URL accessed November 18, 2009. Archived 11/18/09
- Dickey Pearce at baseballlibrary.com, URL accessed November 18, 2009. Archived 11/18/09
|Oldest recognized verified living baseball player
February 23, 1900 – September 18, 1908
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