Thursday, August 11, 2011


1882-1883 Pottsville Anthracites.  One of the county's earliest professional baseball teams was the Anthracites.  Organized in 1881.

Top Row, Left to Right: Chicotte or Alcott 3B, Kelly CF, Annis RF
Middle Row: Barney McLaughlin P, Snapper Lang 2B, Jim Knowles SS, Mascot 1B.
Bottom Row: Dad Reynolds P, Jack Grady C, Jack Milligan C, Iron Arm Miller P, 2B.

The names of Barney McLaughlin, Snapper Lang and Jack Milligan were watch words in Schuylkill County baseball, their deeds having been handed down from generation to generation.

The Famous Old 1894 State League Champions "The Pottsville Colts"

Top Row, Left to Right: Charlie Nyce SS, Tom Golden OF, Kid Diggins C, Mox Hill OF.
Middle Row: Jack Tighe 2B, Ben Elis 3B, Phenomenal Smith, Manager, Willie Claire P, Andy Fuller 1B.
Bottom Row: Speedy Wilson P, Red Hughes P, Paddy Fox P.
Doc Potts, regular left fielder, was absent when the picture was taken.

The Pottsville Y.M.C.A.  1890 Team.  The team that lead up to the famous 1894 Colts.

Top Row, Left to Right: Tot Shumway, John Reber, Charlie Smith, William Wolfe, Charles Focht, Paul Sheafer.
Middle Row: Hal Womelsdorf, Billy Pugh, John P. Ryon, Billy Burkhart, Billy Williams.
Bottom Row: Mox Hill, Harry Dewald.

The team was organized from members of the Y.M.C.A.  The team was gradually built up until it became one of the best amateur teams in Pennsylvania.

Great games were played a Dolan's Park and attendance grew from a handful at the start, to great numbers at the end.  The Philadelphia Nationals were brought here for an exhibition game near the close of the season.
Together with the Ivy Leaf, and other excellent local ball clubs, baseball's interest was worked up to a high pitch, with the results that both clubs amalgamated in 1892 under the name, of Y.M.C.A.  In 1893, the team had become professional in class though not in fact.

It was this club which led directly to the great Pottsville team of 1894, Mox Hill and Paddy Fox graduating directly from the combined Y.M.C.A. and Ivy Leaf aggregation to the State League Championship outfit.

The Tuscaroras
Top Row, Left to Right: Paul Sheafer, Lee Russel, Baird Snyder.
Middle Row: Joy Reilly, Horace Bartholomew, John Carpenter, J.P. Ryon.
Bottom Row: Walter Whiting, Claranec Walker.

The Tuscaroras were a ball club of the 1880's who played in and around Pottsville.  At the beggininig of the two seasons they provided practice for the famous Anthracites, in the days of Barney McLaughlin, Snapper Lang and Jack Milligan.

Of seven of these boys who went to college, six made the varsity team.
Some of the Tuscaroras remained interested in baseball for many years, aiding to build up the Y.M.C.A. teams which led directly to the 1894 champions.

Paul Sheafer and John P. Ryon were well known residents of Pottsville.  Dr. John Carpenter was a famous doctor/specialist who lived in Philadelphia.  Dr. James Carpenter, who held the distinction of pitching the first curve ball in Pottsville, was an older brother and played for the Anthracites.


  1. This was a nice blog and photos to find since my great grandfather on my mothers side is Frank "Snapper" Lang of 1882-1883 Pottsville Anthracites. You made my day!

  2. Thanks for the great photos and history. I'm related to Barney and Frank McLaughlin