Photo Courtesy, Library of Congress
Born, October 24, 1857
Died, March 3, 1894
Ned Williamson primarily has 3 claims to fame in Chicago Cubs baseball history. Although, he played with the organization before the name Cubs had been added. The team name was Chicago White Stockings.
First, in 1883, Williamson set a than major league record for doubles in a single season hitting 49 that year.
Second, Williamson became the first player in franchise history to hit 3 HR's in a game on May 30, 1884 against the Detroit Wolverines
Third, Willamson's 27 HR's in 1884 was a new major league record for home runs in a season. The record would stand until Babe Ruth hit 29 home runs in 1919.
Now, the caveat to all of this is that the dimensions at Chicago Lake Front park were extremely short : (186", CF 300" and RF 196). 1884 was the first year that a ball hit over the fence was ruled a home run. So, since in 1883, a ball hit over the wall was considered a double, those numbers appear to be inflated given the dimensions of the field and 1884 was a top year for HR's after the rule change occurred. The team left Lake Front Park after 1884 and Williamson never topped double digits in home runs for the remainder of his 12-year career.
Bleed Cubbie Blue ranked Ned Williamson ranks #73 on the list of all-time greatest Chicago Cubs (White Stockings)