I recently stumbled across this article in Reddit and found it interesting. In honor of our hard-working doctors keeping us safe during this pandemic, it lists an All-Physician Team! Actually, it lists 40 players who earned a real medical degree, either before, during, or after their baseball careers.
It includes some that are very familiar, more recent players such as Dr. Ron Taylor of the 1969 Miracle Mets, and Dr. Bobby Brown (3B) and Doc Medich (P), both former Yankees. It also includes the likes of Right Fielder Moonlight Graham (Dr. Archibald Graham), made famous in ‘The Field of Dreams’. But of course, the doctor most important to us is the lead-off hitter, so to speak.
Shortstop: Doc Adams – One of baseball’s founding fathers, Daniel Lucius Adams is credited as creating the shortstop position, though we might think of it as a short-fielder position today. In the early days of baseball, teams would often play with more than nine players, and defenders would space themselves out the way you play wiffle ball at the company picnic — a pitcher, a catcher, three infielders (the second baseman playing straight up the middle), and everyone else in the outfield. Adams, realizing outfielders were having difficulty throwing the homemade ball back to the infield from the depths of the outfield, positioned himself as a shallow outfielder (or deep infielder) in order to help with taking throws and then quickly relaying them into the infield — like a train making a “short stop” between distant stations. Adams, as an umpire, also invented the called strike, and as a member of the Knickerbocker Baseball Club he literally wrote the rules of baseball — instituting nine-inning games, nine-man teams, 90 feet between bases, and the “fly-catch” (previously, if you caught a ball on one bounce, the batter was out; his rule required it to be caught in the air). He was an early manufacturer of both balls and bats and helped standardize their size, weight, and materials. The son of a doctor, Adams received his medical degree from Harvard University in 1838 and operated a practice first in New Hampshire, then Boston, and ultimately New York City. He died in 1899.
The article is definitely worth a read and we express out deepest gratitude and admiration for all the healthcare professionals on the front line fighting this pandemic.
For more on Daniel Lucius ‘Doc’ Adams medical career, you can check out the following: