Joe Sommer

Joseph John Sommer (November 20, 1858 in Covington, Kentucky – January 16, 1938 in Cincinnati, Ohio), was a Major League Baseball outfielder from 1880-1890. He played for the Cincinnati Reds, Cincinnati Red Stockings, Baltimore Orioles, and Cleveland Spiders.

Sommer and Jimmy Macullar unsuccessfully attempted to engineer the departure of Pop Corkhill and Chick Fulmer from the Reds in 1883, and as a consequence Sommer and Macullar were sent to Baltimore that offseason. There, they helped engineer a turnaround for the Orioles in 1884, which secured the status of manager Billy Barnie. Cincinnati replaced Sommer that season by signing Browns outfielder Tom Mansell, with a $400 raise as an inducement.

In 1886, Sommer set the record for the lowest single-season batting average (.209) by a player with 500 or more at-bats. His record was broken in 1888 by Al Myers of the Washington Nationals, who hit .207 that year.

In the 1880s, the New York Clipper praised Sommer as one of the strongest defensive outfielders in baseball.

By Dean Hanley

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