Buffalo Club with Frank Grant, 1887

Hall of Famer Frank Grant, described as a “Spaniard” in the Buffalo Express in 1887, had batted .325 for Meriden, Connecticut, in the Eastern League the previous year. When that team folded in midseason he joined Buffalo and continued his fine play. His reward was to come in for unceasing attack. Ned Williamson, second baseman of the Chicago White Stockings, told Sporting Life: “The Buffalos had a Negro for second base. He was a few shades blacker than a raven, but was one of the best players in the Eastern League [original name of the International League]. The players of the opposing team made it a point to spike this brunette Buffalo. They would tarry at second when they might easily make third just to toy with the sensitive shins of the second baseman. To give the frequent spiking of the darky an appearance of accident the ‘feet-first’ slide was practised. The poor man played only two games out of five, the rest of the time he was on crutches.”

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