James Edward Ryan B Feb. 11, 1863 D Oct. 26, 1923
Born during the American Civil War, Jimmy Ryan is one of many outstanding players from the 19th century whose career has been seemingly forgotten by baseball historians.
Beginning his major league playing days with the Chicago White Stockings late in the 1885 season, Ryan would patrol the outfield for 18 seasons in the majors, hitting over .300 during 11 of those years. Additionally, Ryan would be pressed into service as a pitcher in 24 games during his career, amassing a 6-1 record with a 3.62 ERA.
First appearing in October of 1885, Ryan would start playing regularly in 1886, hitting .306 in his first full season. Ryan would remain with the White Stockings through the 1899 season.
In 1890, he’d make a brief foray to the Players League, playing for the Chicago Pirates where he’d hit .340 in 118 games.
Returning to the National League Chicago team, known as the Colts from 1891 through 1897, Ryan would hit a career high .361 in 1894.
In 1898 the Chicago franchise changed their name again, this time to the Orphans. Ryan would remain on the Chicago roster through 1900. Ryan’s batting average dropped from .301 in 1899 to .277 in 1900 and he was released by Chicago. He’d spend the 1901 season with the St. Paul Saints of the Western League.
Ryan would return to the majors in 1902 with the Washington Senators then in their second year of play. At age 39, holding the dubious distinction of being the oldest player in the league, Ryan would hit .320 in 120 games. He’d hit .249 in 1903, his career coming to an end in late September.
Always a threat at the plate, Ryan would lead the National League in hits in 1888, doubles also in 1888 and total bases in 1888 and 1889.
For more on Jimmy Ryan: Jimmy Ryan at the Baseball-Reference bullpen
Maurice Joseph (Red) Shannon B Feb. 11, 1897 D Apr. 12, 1970
Shortstop Red Shannon began his major league career by playing in 1 game in October of 1915 for the Boston Braves. Red Shannon’s twin brother Joe was also on the roster of the Boston Braves for 5 games in 1915 giving the Shannon brothers the distinction of being the first twins to play together in the majors. Joe Shannon‘s major league career would end after his brief 1915 appearance.
Red Shannon would be out of the majors in 1916 but would return in 1917 playing in 11 games for the Philadelphia Athletics. He’d play in another 72 games for Philly in 1918.
Beginning the 1919 campaign in Philadelphia, Shannon was traded to the Boston Red Sox after appearing in 39 games in late June. Shannon would play in 80 games for Boston to finish the season.
Shannon would play in 63 games for the Senators in 1920 hitting .288, one of the best showings of his career when he was traded again, this time back to the Philadelphia Athletics for Fred Thomas. Shannon’s average would fall to .170 in 24 games with the A’s.
Appearing in just 1 game with the A’s in 1921, Shannon would be out of the majors until 1926 when he’d appear in 19 games for the Chicago Cubs, his major league career coming to an end in early June.