Arguably the best player on the American League's 1901 Milwaukee Brewers would have turned 139 today.
On this day in 1873 John Anderson was born in Sarpsborg, Norway. He was 20 when he made his major league debut as a member of the 1894 Brooklyn Grooms (Dodgers), and played his first six seasons in the National League.
In 1900, though, Anderson jumped over to the fledgling American League's Milwaukee Brewers and he was there in 1901 when the league gained designation as a major league. "Honest John," as he was known, was clearly the best position player on the 1901 team, hitting .330/.360/.476 and driving in a career-high 99 runs.
Following the 1901 season the Brewer franchise moved to St. Louis to become the Browns, and Anderson went with them. He played seven more major league seasons as a member of four teams after leaving Milwaukee, and finished his career with 1843 hits.
As you might have guessed, there haven't been many major leaguers born in Norway. Anderson is one of just three, and the only one to appear in more than 400 major league games.
- 2011-12 Brewer Shaun Marcum, who turns 31.
- 1998 and 2002 Brewer Marcus Jensen, who turns 40.
- 1992-99 Brewer Dave Nilsson, who turns 43. We covered his birthday in this space last year.
- Seattle Pilot and 1970 Brewer Greg Goossen, who would have turned 67.