It's Friday, so let's try something silly.

Give us a random number between 1 and 4950, and we'll track down that :lnp: player and tell you as much as we can about their career.

With the third pick in the Friday numbers, @Louisa selects:

#9 Henry Austin, retired former centerfielder for the Philadelphia Athletics and St. Louis Browns.

Henry Austin (#1337)—part I 

Some quick information:

Born: October 5th, 1845, in unknown (spoopy).
Height: 5'10".
Weight: 175 lbs.

Salary: Not a damn thing, as he's retired and this is long before baseball came to its senses and started having pensions for players.

Henry Austin (#1337)—part II 

So, Henry Austin played 1283.1 total innings and all but 11.2 of them in center field.

Even at the time, and combined with his lanky frame, that usually meant a fast player who could take extra bases, steal bases, and maybe draw some walks to frustrate pitchers.

Austin was good at exactly zero of those things.

Those 14 walks in 1874-75?

Only ONE was unintentional. He was the beneficiary of batting behind actual ballplayers.

Henry Austin (#1337)—part III, conclusion 

Of course, a center fielder is also a very important defensive position, so you might imagine Philly and St Louis kept him on for his fielding skills.

Unfortunately you'd be wrong, because he was, at best, a warm body that happened to occupy center field.

That's probably because Henry Austin should've been in *right* field, but no one told the Athletics or Brown Stockings, so he was paid to play a position he didn't know well.

No lesson here, we think.


Henry Austin (#1337)—part IV, actual conclusion 

By the way, we don't know what our simulator's on about: we know perfectly well where the real Henry Austin was born, and it wasn't in 1845, either.

But he was, in fact, a terrible defensive centerfielder who couldn't hit, and it is pretty spoopy that he died in Amityville.

Henry Austin (#1337)—part IV, actual conclusion 

Henry Austin (#1337)—part IV, actual conclusion 

@Louisa Maybe if he’d been born a year later he’d have figured that out.

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