George Gore

George F. Gore (May 3, 1854 – September 16, 1933), nicknamed "Piano Legs", was an American center fielder in Major League Baseball who played for 14 seasons, eight for the Chicago White Stockings, five for the New York Giants, one for the St. Louis Browns (1892) of the National League (NL), and the New York Giants of the Players League (1890).

Born in Saccarappa, Maine, Gore led the NL in several seasonal offensive categories. He won his only batting title in 1880 while playing for Chicago, along with league leading totals in on-base percentage and slugging percentage. He also led the league twice in runs scored, bases on balls three times, and games played by a center fielder once. Gore was also the all-time leader for most errors by major league outfielder upon his retirement with 368 total, including a record 346 errors in the National League, records he still holds today. (He made 217 errors for Chicago; 122 for New York; and seven for St. Louis, all National League teams; and 22 for the New York Giants of the Players League.)

Gore played for many successful teams throughout his career. During his eight seasons with the White Stockings, they won the league title five times, including appearances in two World Series. Chicago played the St. Louis Browns in both 1885, which ended in a series tie, and 1886, with St. Louis winning the championship. He was also a member of the New York Giants' two National League championship teams in 1888 and 1889. Both Giants teams went on to claim World Series victories, against the St. Louis Browns in 1888, and the Brooklyn Bridegrooms in 1889.

Twice he set single-game records, one for stealing seven bases, and the other for collecting five extra-base hits. Although he had statistics that put him consistently among the seasonal league leaders, he reportedly had a poor work ethic resulting from an active social life outside of baseball. This behavior did not endear him to his team captain, Cap Anson, which caused them to feud during Gore's time in Chicago. After his career, he had major financial difficulties, having to move from job to job to just support his bare necessities. He died at the age of 79 in Utica, New York.

By Dean Hanley

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