Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Home Run Joe Marshall Leads Senators

No one could blame Joe Marshall for the Grand Forks Senators being second in the league standings at the end of June 1897. Marshall was on a tear for the first month of the season, and his team narrowly trailed Moorhead for the league lead at a record of 12-9. "Home Run" Joe was the star for Grand Forks, and arguably the entire league through June, posting a .417 batting average, hitting six doubles, scoring twenty runs, and clubbing an incredible seven home runs. Playing in the heart of the "deadball era" of baseball, Marshall's seven home runs was an astounding statistic, especially considering the feat was accomplished in just 21 games. By comparison, the National League home run leader for 1897, Hugh Duffy of the Boston Beaneaters, hit eleven home runs in 134 games played.

Marshall's great month included an otherworldly three games against Wahpeton-Breckenridge June 23-25. Leading the Senators in a three game win streak, Marshall slaughtered the W-B pitching trio of Oliver Berg, Reddy O'Donnell, and Conrad. The Audubon, MN native went 10 for 16 with two doubles, two home runs, and three runs scored, as the Senators welcomed the Methodists to Grand Forks by outscoring them 38 to 14.

Fargo Forum and Daily Republican, Grand Forks Herald, Moorhead Independent box scores from editions May 27 through June 30, 1897.

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