John Ward Celebrity LifeJohn Montgomery Ward or John Ward was an American Baseball professional. He was born on March 3rd, 1860 and passed away on March 4th, 1925. He featured as a shortstop, pitcher, second baseman, and later as a manager. His birthplace was Bellefonte in Pennsylvania and spent his early days in Renovo. He was behind the formation of the new league for baseball, the Players’ League.
Ward went to the Bellefonte Academy before moving to Pennsylvania State University aged 13. He helped start a baseball program and is said to be responsible for coming up with the first curveball. His parents passed away in 1874 and he tried his hand in other trades but failed, returning him to baseball.
Ward completed a successful first season with the Grays with an ERA of 1.51 and a record of 22-13. He was their only pitcher and in the following couple of seasons, he also featured as an outfield player and located at third base.
His most successful seasons as a pitcher came in 1879 and 1880. In the former, he made 2.15 ERA, 239 strikeouts, and a record of 47-19. In 1880, he made 39-24, 1.74 ERA along with 230 strikeouts.
Ward switched teams to the New York Gothams in 1883. His pitching career came to an abrupt end as he sustained a right arm injury during 1884. He learned to throw left-handed since his right hand was not fully healed and returned to action before complete recovery. He was the team’s manager in the last 16 matches of the 1884 season.
Ward married Helen Dauvray in 1887. The Giants made a top-ranked finish in the National League in 1888. They won a series of playoffs, which is known as World Series today. They battled the St. Louis Browns of the American Association to get their hands on "Dauvray Cup"
Ward was a part of the team which set out on a world tour. The Giants traded Ward for the Washington Nationals for a record price at that time. Ward reacted strongly against this and left the tour at the primary stages. He demanded a part of his sale price if he was to feature for the Washington outfit.
Eventually, his new team refused the deal and brought it to a close. These issues did not affect his performances though as he made .299 to guide the Giants to their second successive World Series glory in 1889. He also found time as an author and wrote ‘Base-Ball: How to Become a Player’. It contained the history of the game as well as its explanation.
The Players' League
Ward understood that the talks with the owners were not leading anywhere and threatened to start a Players’ League. It had a profit distribution system for the players.
The league started in 1890 with more than half the players of the National League featuring in it. Ward played and managed the Brooklyn team.
He made a seventh-place finish in the league scoring a batting average of .335. The teams grew uncomfortable when the profit failed to come as expected and the owners gradually sold the teams to the opposing league’s teams.
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