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Mar 12

This Day in D.C. Baseball History – The Early Years

William Franklin Hulen born on 12 March.

Hulen was born 1870 in Dixon, California. He broke in with 1892 Los Angeles Seraphs of the California League. Hulen just 22 years old was on a talented roster composed of several players would go on to play in the major leagues.

It was the start of a long minor league career for Hulen. In 1895 he batted .369 for the Minneapolis Millers. This caught the attention of the scouts and he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies, making his major league debut on 2 May. In 88 games he batted a respectable .265.

Hulen was considered a good player but a weak arm forced him to play second base. He signed with Washington in 1899, quick, speedy, he was 28 years old but considered untested. He is on the opening day line-up batting lead-off because of his speed but his inability to hit forces the team to drop him from the top spot. By May he was said to be playing with little spirit and released by the team, his last game on 12 May.

He continues to play minor league ball in the west for teams such as Sacramento and Colorado Springs. Hulen succeeded Billy Hamilton as player/manager for the 1909 Medicine Hat team in Western Canadian League. On 12 July Sporting Life reports that Hulen is through with baseball. A foul tip off his own bat hit him in the eye; the doctors were forced to remove it. Hulen died 1 October 1947 in Santa Rosa, California at the age of 77.