Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted

Sport: Baseball
Inducted: 1985
Country: United States
Born: May 25, 1845 in New York City
Died: October 10, 1893

Accepting twenty dollars a week to play third base for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1866, Lip Pike became baseball's first professional player. Other top players soon followed suit, and within three years, the first all-pro team was born in Cincinnati.

In 1871, the National Association— the first professional league— was founded, and "Lip" Pike played and managed the N.A. Troy Haymakers, batting .351. His six-year National Associa­tion batting average was .321. His five-season National League average was .306, with 5 home runs, 36 doubles, 16 triples, and 88 RBIs.

Pike was also baseball's first homerun champion. Although the exact number of roundtrippers is not known, it is recorded that he hit six homers in one game in July 1866.

Primarily an outfielder, Pike played every position and batted and threw left-handed. His career spanned the years 1865 to 1887, as a player, player-manager, or managing numerous teams in six different leagues. Among his teams were the Brooklyn Atlantics, Philadelphia Athletics, Lord Baltimores, Troy Haymakers, St. Louis Brown Stockings, Cincinnati Red Stockings, Hartford Nutmegs, and the original New York Mets.

Pike's athletic career was not confined to baseball. Known for his remarkable speed, he ran competitively, often running for cash purses in chal­lenge races. He once raced and beat a famous trotting horse named "Clarence" in a 100-yard sprint (in 10 sec­onds flat), winning a $250 prize.

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