A Timeline of the Events that Shaped Cap Anson's Life
Cap Anson led a storied life, filled with both triumphs and tragedy. My thanks to author Howard W. Rosenberg for compiling and contributing much of the information contained in the following timeline of Anson's life.
1826 Birth of Henry “Hank’’ Anson, Cap’s father
1829/30 Birth of Jeanette Rice, Cap’s mother
1846 Iowa becomes a state and Marshall County, Iowa., gets its name
Marriage of Hank Anson and Jeanette Rice
1846/47 Birth of Melville Anson, Cap’s eldest brother (died between 1856 and 1860)
1850 Birth of Sturgis Anson, Cap’s one other sibling besides Melville
1851 For the first time, Hank Anson and later the rest of family arrives in future town named Marshall in Marshall County
1852 Birth of Adrian Constantine ”Cap” Anson
1859 Death of Jeanette Anson, 29 or 30
Birth of Virginia “Jennie’’ Fiegel, Cap’s future wife
1860 Aunt Emily comes to living with the Anson family, helping raise Cap and Sturgis
1863 Marshalltown, Iowa, Cap’s birthplace, officially gets its name
1866-68 Cap and Sturgis sent to boarding school at Notre Dame
1868-70 Cap and Sturgis attend University of Iowa
1868 Henry Anson marries Olivia Putnam, his second wife
1870 Al Spalding’s Rockford team plays at Marshalltown
1871 National Association, the first professional baseball league, is formed
Cap plays his first season of professional baseball for National Association’s team from Rockford, Illinois - the Forest Citys
1872-75 Cap plays for National Association’s team from Philadelphia - the Athletics
1874 Cap goes on baseball and cricket tour of England, Ireland and Scotland
1875 National Association disbanded
Al Spalding signs with Chicago White Stockings; enlists Cap to play for Chicago in upcoming season
1876 First year of the National League
Cap signs with Chicago White Stockings after long attempt to have his contract voided
Chicago wins the first National League pennant
Cap marries Virginia “Jennie’’ Fiegel in Philadelphia
1877 Daughter Grace is born (first of seven children)
Spalding retires after season as Chicago’s captain-manager
1879 Cap assumes post of Chicago’s captain-manager
Enactment of reserve clause by baseball owners effectively binds players to their teams
1880 For the first time with Cap as captain-manager, Chicago wins NL pennant
1881 Chicago wins second NL pennant under Anson
1882 Death of National League’s Founder and Chicago White Stocking’s President William A. Hulbert, age 49
Al Spalding becomes Chicago president and John R. Walsh co-majority owner
Son Adrian Hulbert Anson is born, dies weeks later
Chicago wins third consecutive NL pennant under Anson
1882-91 Existence of American Association, longest rival to National League through 1900
1883 On field, Cap vows not to play against black player Fleet Walker of Toledo, then backs off when forfeiture of gate receipts is threatened
1884 Daughter Adele is born
Cap again vows not to play against African-American Fleet Walker, Toledo plays without him
With brother-in-law Remy, Cap attends Pierce’s Business College during baseball’s off season
1885 Chicago makes first Southern spring training trip as we know it
Chicago wins fourth NL pennant under Anson
In billiards, Cap wins the first public 14-inch balkline match
1886 Anson fined by an umpire for first time
Chicago wins fifth NL pennant under Anson, his last
Starting in December, Cap helps run toboggan slide on Chicago’s grounds
1887 Cap reportedly vows not to play against George Stovey; Newark supposedly backs off
Son Adrian C. Jr. is born
Cap manages Spalding’s racket courts in offseason
1888 Adrian C. Jr. dies
Baseball writers begin calling Chicago team the Colts; nickname soon replaces White Stockings
On field, Cap objects to playing against Walker of Syracuse; Syracuse backs off
Cap makes stage debut, a one-nighter in a Hoyt play
1888-1889 Cap goes on Spalding’s baseball tour around the world
1889 Daughter Dorothy is born
1890 Players’ League’s one year of existence; Cap stays loyal to National League
Cap starts being called a “Grand Old Man’’ with some frequency in newspapers
1891 Jim Hart becomes Chicago president; Spalding and John R. Walsh still CO-majority stockholders
Cap ventures into ginger beer in offseason
1892 Birth and death of Cap‘s son John Henry Anson
1895 Cap shaves his mustache for good
Cap ejected from game for first time
Cap has star billing in “A Runaway Colt"
1896 Cap take up golf as a hobby
1897 Chicago friends arrange a day in his honor
Cap retires from the National League
1898 With Cap no longer with Chicago; Orphans becomes the team nickname
Daughter Grace marries
Cap tries unsuccessfully to buy Chicago club
Cap manages NL’s New York Giants for a few weeks
1899 Cap leases a building in Chicago and opens billiard hall and bowling alley
Eldest grandchild Anson Clough is born
Daughter Virginia Anson is born (last of seven children)
1900 Cap’s autobiography "A Ball Player's Career" is published
1901-02 Cap umpires amateur games in which black players appear
1903 Cap elected second vice president of the American Bowling Congress (serves until 1907)
Cap elected sergeant-at-arms of Chicago Democratic Club
1905 Cap elected city clerk of Chicago (serves until 1907)
Death of Henry Anson, age 79
Cap sells his accumulated stock in Chicago’s National League team, officially ending his involvement with the team
1906 Cap loses in Democratic primary for sheriff of Cook County
1907 Cap purchases and manages semi-pro team in Chicago, Anson’s Colts (through 1909)
1908 Cap appears in court for bankruptcy proceedings
Daughter Dorothy marries
Cap plays in semipro games against all-black teams (also in 1909)
1909 Cap, because of finances, is forced to sell billiard hall
1910 Cap’s bankruptcy leads to loss of longtime home to default
Cap makes solo vaudeville skit debut with George M. Cohan material
1911 Death of Sturgis Anson, age 60
Cap writes series of articles on his life in Chicago Journal and Boston Globe newspapers
Albert Spalding publishes his memoirs ”America’s National Game”
1913 Death at Cap’s residence of Aunt Emily Anson (married name Haviland), age 75
1915 Death of Albert Spalding, age 65
1916 Death of wife Virginia “Jennie’’ Fiegel, age 56
Cap, Adele and Dorothy appear on vaudeville tour together for first time
1918 At Oakland, Cap filmed on the field, including catching honorary first pitch and throwing ball back
Daughter Virginia marries
1919 Death of Jim Hart, 64, Chicago president from 1891 to 1905
1921 Cap, Adele and Dorothy go on their last vaudeville tour
1922 Cap hired to manage new Dixmoor Golf Club on South Side
Death of Cap Anson, three days short of his 70th birthday
1923 Unveiling of National League monument to Cap
1924 Death of Fleet Walker, age 67
1930 Death of Emeline Anson, 91, likely Cap’s last surviving aunt or uncle
1939 Cap elected to the Hall of Fame
1967 Death of Grace Anson Clough, 89, eldest of four daughters
Death of Anson Clough, 68, eldest grandchild
1970 Death of Adele Anson Cherry, 86, second of four daughters
1972 Death of Dorothy Anson Dodge, 83, third of four daughters
1986 Death of Virginia Anson Shanvall, 86, last surviving child
2005 Death of Virginia Sherwood, 85, last surviving grandchild
Cap Chronicled - The Cap Anson Website - is launched