A forgotten Cub: Danny Green

Christopher Morel garnered a lot of attention when he made at least 1 hit in his first 13 games after rejoining the Cubs.

Only 3 Cubs have had longer streaks to start any season:

Vance Law, 16 games, in 1988

Stan Hack, 15 games, in 1938

Danny Green, 15 games in 1901

If you are old enough, you may remember Law, manned third base for the Cubs in 1988 and 1989, at ages 31 and 32.

Hack, also a third baseman, played for the Cubs in 1932-47. His 1,938 games rank seventh in team history, behind Ernie Banks (2,528), Cap Anson (2,277), Billy Williams (2,213), Ryne Sandberg (2,151), Ron Santo (2,126) and Phil Cavarretta (1,953).

But who the heck was Danny Green?



Although known as Danny, the outfielder's true first name was Edward.

He batted left and threw right.

His height and weight are not recorded.

His date and place of birth are: Nov. 6, 1876, in Burlington, N.J.

At age 19, he made his professional debut with Carlisle, Pa., of the Cumberland Valley League.

The next year, 1897, Green batted .301 and stole 45 bases for Springfield, Mass., of the Eastern League.

He returned to Springfield the following season and was batting .323, with 27 steals, through 87 games, in mid-August.



That's when the Cubs, then known as the Orphans, found themselves short of outfielders. They signed Green and rushed him to Boston, about 90 miles east of Springfield, to make his big league debut on Aug. 17, 1898.

"There was one redeeming feature of the game," the next day's Chicago Tribune said of the Orphans' 2-6 loss. "It was Green day.

"Young Green was captured by Manager [Tom] Burns, who kidnapped the youngster and brought him down to join the Cripples. He went to center [field] and captured everything that floated out in that direction in clever style, and with two slashing drives secured the only hits Chicago managed to make off [Kid] Nichols . . . "



Green went hitless the next afternoon, as the first-place Beaneaters routed the Orphans, 10-0.

He had been at the top of the order in those games. He batted third when he Orphans played again, 2 days later, at Chicago's West Side Grounds, against the Bridegrooms, today's Dodgers.

"[I]t was Green, Danny Green, the newest recruit, who set the stands cheering," the Tribune reported. "At bat and in the field he played with great speed and before the third inning had passed he was a hero and was cheered from every part of the field. The youngster fielded brilliantly and hit well."

Green singled and stole second in the first inning, singled in the fifth and laid down a bunt in the seventh.

"The youngster looks like a winner and he will be a big help to the crippled team," the Tribune declared.


Green ultimately played in 47 of the Orphans' final 48 games. In the season finale, he made 2 hits and threw a runner out at home as the Orphans beat the Pirates, 9-5, to finish 85-65-2 overall -- and 30-17-1 since Green had joined the team.

Green's slash line was .314/.342/.431, for an OPS of .773 and an OPS+ of 121. His 4 home runs tied for second most on the team. The leader had 5.


Over the next 2 seasons, appeared in 220 of the Orphans' 298 games. His batting average/OPS were nearly identical: .295/.756 in 1899, then .298/.755 in 1900.

The Orphans wound up 65-75-6 in the latter year. By Opening Day of 1901, only 3 regulars remained from the previous season: second baseman Cupid Childs, shortstop Barry McCormick and Green, who moved from right field to center.



The Orphans won their opener, 8-7, at St. Louis, on April 19. Green, slowed by "a severe charley horse," struck out twice, but also smacked a double.

He singled and tripled in the next game, then singled in the 2 after that. The Orphans lost all 3, by a combined score of 23-33.

Green's ailing leg had forced him to leave the last of those games and sat out the home opener on April 26 against the Reds. But his replacement was injured during that game, so Green limped back onto the field the next day. He made a single as the Orphans lost a fifth straight game.

He singled twice the following day, but was picked off first after the second hit, and the losing streak continued.

It came to an end the following day, a Monday, in front of only 700 fans. The Orphans broke a scoreless tie with 6 runs in the third inning, opened a 9-0 lead in the seventh and held off the Reds, 9-6.

Green walked 3 times, then singled in his final at bat to extend his hitting streak to 7 games.

He made 2 singles and a double in the series finale. In the ninth, with the Orphans trailing, 6-7, and 2 out, he was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Charlie Dexter then slammed a ball over the center fielder's head for a game-winning 2-run double.



The Orphans, now 3-6, began the month of May with 4 games at Pittsburgh.

They won the first, lost twice, then won the last. Green made 3 singles in the series opener and 1 in Game 2, then missed the next 2 as his leg injury flared up again.



Green was not in the lineup again when the teams met 24 hours later in Chicago, then entered the next game in the seventh inning after a teammate was ejected. He came to bat once and walked, which under scoring rules kept his hitting streak intact, at 10 games.

Then he sat out 4 more games. By the time he finally started again, the Orphans had played 18 games and were 6-12.



In Green's return, on May 11, he and Topsy Hartsell each made 3 of the Orphans' first 6 hits in a 12-2 rout of the Cardinals. The second of Green's 3 was a triple on a line drive that broke a board on the outfield fence.

He contributed a double to a 6-3 win the next day, after which the Orphans embarked on a 4-city road trip that would last through May 30.



Their 3-game winning streak ended in an 0-3 loss at New York. Green extended his hitting streak to 13 games with an infield hit in the ninth inning.

He made 2 hits the next day, but the Orphans were shut out again, 0-4.

The scoring drought ended quickly in the third game of the series. With 2 out in the first inning, Green singled and went to third on a hit by Jack Doyle.

When Doyle took off for second, the pitcher whirled and threw to the base. As he did, Green took off for home and beat the throw to the plate.

Green added a second single as the Orphans rolled to an 11-3 victory.

The Orphans now had played 23 games, winning 9.

Green had played in 15 and made a hit in them all, putting together a slash line of .431/.492/.552, for an OPS of 1.044.

His 25 hits, in 58 at bats, were 20 singles, 3 doubles and 2 triples. He had walked 6 times and struck out 7.



Green's streak ended the next afternoon, May 17, during a 4-0 win over the Giants.

The Tribune made no mention of the fact, because the game had featured a first-class ruckus.

"Riot, assault and battery, and wild disorder marked the victory of Chicago and the downfall of New York this afternoon," the paper said. "In the fifth inning Freedman's hirelings, stung by the futility of their own efforts, and seeing Loftus' men gradually accumulating a winning lead, resorted to desperate tactics."

With 2 outs, the Orphans had runners on the corner. The runner on first took off for second. When catcher Jack Warner threw there, the runner on third headed for home. Shortstop George Davis fired the ball to Warner, who applied the tag, but umpire Billy Nash called the runner safe.


Davis stormed to the plate "and poured out a torrent of profanity" at Nash, according to the Tribune. "Warner, wild with anger, began kicking Nash on the shins, pushing him around and stamping on his feet with his spiked shoes.

"Nash, cut and bruised, yelled for the police. Fifty Tammany policemen lined up around the grounds laughed at him, but would not move.

"The great crowd was wild. It seemed as if any moment that crowd might sweep down on the field.

"Nash kept his nerve. He ordered Warner out of the game, and Warner went, after tramping on his feet a few more times. Davis continued to abuse the umpire. Nash ordered him off the field.

"The crowd was frothing and the game continued in a turmoil."

When the game ended, fans from the bleachers made a rush toward Nash, but he managed to leave the field before they reached him.



Green put together 7 more hitting streaks of at least 5 games during the rest of the season, including 11 straight games, June 29-July 10, and 15 games again, July 29-Aug. 18.

He had an even better slash line in the second 15-game streak than he had in the first: .468/.507/.694 to .431/.492/.522. The second streak featured 29 hits: 23 singles, 4 triples and 2 home runs.

The longest streak by any teammate in 1901 was 12 games.

Jim Casey would match Green's 15-game streak in 1903. So would Joe Tinker, in 1908.

Solly Hofman then broke Green's record by hitting in 19 straight games in 1910.

Heinie Zimmerman topped Hofman with 23 games in 1912. Hack Wilson raised the mark to 25, in 1927, then 27, in 1929.

Ron Santo claimed the record in 1966, with 28, then Jerome Walton hit safely in 30 straight in 1989.

The Cubs' longest streaks since then were 20 games, by Alfonso Soriano, in 2007, and 21, by Derrek Lee, in 2009.



After their win on the day that Green's streak ended, the Orphans were 10-14, in seventh place among the league's 8 teams.

An 0-4 loss at Philadelphia the next day dropped them to eighth, and they remained there after each of their next 91 games, by which time they were 47-68.

They were just 6-18 the rest of the way, only once winning consecutive games, yet managed to wind up sixth, at 53-86, by 1 percentage points over the Giants (52-85) and 1 game over the Reds (52-87).


Green ended the year batting .313/.364/.421, for an OPS of .785 and an OPS+ of 131.

He ranked second on the team, behind Topsy Hartsel, in average, slugging and OPS. He also was runnerup to Hartsel in hits (168), doubles (12), triples (12), home runs (6), walks (40) and steals (31).



Neither Hartsel nor Green was with the Orphans on Opening Day of 1902, as both jumped to the rival American League.

Hartsel went to Philadelphia, where he led the league in runs, steals and walks.

Green signed with the AL champion White Sox, for whom he posted another fine season: .312/.388/.391, .779, and an OPS+ of 122.

In 1903, he improved his OPS to .800 and his OPS+ to 145.

Then his production declined sharply over the next 2 years, to .695/124, followed by .653/117.


When he struggled in spring training of 1906, Green was sent to Milwaukee of the American Association. He never made it back to the Major Leagues.

He continued to play through 1910, at age 33, closing out his career with Burlington, Iowa, of the Class D Central Association.

In his 8 big league seasons, Green's final numbers were .293/.359/.391, for an OPS of .750 and an OPS+ of 123.

During his 4 years with the Orphans, he was .304/.352/.416, .768 and 118; with the White Sox, he was .284/.366/.370, .736 and 126.



Green lived for only slightly more than 4 years after his final minor league game.

He died on Nov. 9, 1914, just 3 days past his 38th birthday.

Green has no full biography by the Society for American Baseball Research. A brief entry about him in the BR Bullpen at says:

"While playing for Minneapolis, he was beaned on the head and never recovered. His New York Times obituary says he died several years later 'in an institution.' "

But Green never played for Minneapolis. He may have been hit at Minneapolis while playing for Milwaukee in 1906-08.

I could not locate the account of his death in the New York Times, even after going through its obituaries, day by day, from the day after his death through the rest of that month.

Nor could I find an obituary of Green in any other newspaper in New York or Chicago that was available online.

But I ultimately did find the following, which appeared on the front page of the Camden, N.J., Morning Post, the day after Green died:





Famous Ball Player Passes

Away Yesterday at County






Base ball lost one of its famous characters in the death yesterday in the county hospital of Danny Green, famous as a member of the Chicago White Sox.

Struck on the head with a pitched ball while playing with the Minneapolis [sic] team several years ago, Green was badly injured, later suffering paralysis, which affected his mind.

Unknown to friends he was for a long time confined to a sanitarium in Forest Hills, near Chicago, and when two friends the famous old base ball player, Policeman Albert Keaser and Wright Cox, learned of his plight they brought him to Camden.

He was as helpless as a child, but cognizant of his surroundings and he was optimistic over his condition, because of his again being among friends. . . .

Like the proverbial successful ball tosser Danny Green was a "good fellow" and the money he made went for the entertainment of his base ball friends. But the friends who were staunch, his local acquaintances, stuck by him and the last few days of his waning life were spent here."

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