Joe Hornung

Michael Joseph Hornung (June 12, 1857 – October 30, 1931) was an American baseball player and one of the greatest fielders of the 19th century. Michael Joseph Hornung was born in Carthage, New York in 1857.

Prior to starting his career in Major League Baseball in 1879 with the Buffalo Bisons, Hornung played for the 1877 and 1878 London Tecumsehs in London, Ontario, Canada, winning the International Association title in 1877.

Hornung ended his baseball career in 1890 with the New York Giants, but he spent most of his career (1881–1888) with the Boston Red Caps/Beaneaters. He also spent one season (1889) in the now-defunct American Association.

He was remarkable for his nearly flawless play in left field and also known for his peculiar habit of shouting "ubbo ubbo" whenever he got a hit or made a good fielding play. Due to this peculiarity, "Ubbo Ubbo" became Hornung's nickname.

In addition to being an exceptional fielder, Hornung was also a fast baserunner, stealing 39 bases in his final season, and was a fair hitter, batting .302 in 1882. He led all National League outfielders in fielding percentage in 1881, 1882, 1883 and 1886, fielding as high as .948, a very high mark for a time in which most players (including Hornung), didn't wear gloves in the field. Hornung died in 1931 in Howard Beach, New York.

By Dean Hanley

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