• Count Sensenderfer

    Posted by on December 28th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    Happy Birthday, Count!

    More on him via Wiki:

    John Phillips Jenkins “Count” Sensenderfer (December 28, 1847 – May 3, 1903) was a professional baseball player who played for the Philadelphia Athletics from 1866 to 1874.

    Sensenderfer joined the Athletic club at the age of eighteen in 1866, and “The Count” (he got the nickname from his moustache and aristocratic air) quickly became of the top players in the country. Originally playing second base before moving to center field, Count was one of the first players to score two hundred runs in a season, for the championship Philadelphia team of 1868. The following year, Athletic turned professional; in 1871 the club helped form the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, baseball’s first all-professional league.

    It was in 1871 that Sensenderfer (still a solid hitter with a .323 average) began to be plagued by a series of injuries; he was unable to play in the championship contest played October 30 in Brooklyn. (Right fielder George Bechtel took Count’s place in center, while Nate Berkenstock, a 40-year-old amateur retired from Athletic for five years, played right; it was his only big-league appearance.) Athletic defeated Chicago, 4-1, clinching the title.

    Sensenderfer’s injuries kept him out of all but one game in 1872; he returned as the club’s regular center fielder in 1873 but his average slipped to .279. He played five more games for Athletic in 1874 before retiring.

    After his baseball career, Sensenderfer was involved in politics, serving two terms as Philadelphia County Commissioner. He was also an active member of the Democratic Committee of Philadelphia as well as the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee.

    Count Sensendefer died in Philadelphia in 1903, at the age of 55.

    Interestingly, the nickname “Count” was used on a few players during the 1800’s. And, of course, there’s always the pride of Brookdale Community College

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