On this day in 1875 William Joseph Sullivan Sr. (Billy) was born in Oakland, Wisconsin. He was 24 when he made his major league debut as a catcher for the 1899 Boston Beaneaters, who would later become the Braves.
The Deadball Era was a different time for baseball, and Hamilton's batting record clearly shows it. He played in 1147 games over 16 major league seasons despite batting just .213/.254/.281 over nearly 4000 plate appearances. He caught 137 of the White Sox's 152 games in 1908 despite batting just .191 with a .228 slugging percentage. The White Sox weren't hurt too much by having his bat in the lineup, as they still won 88 games.
Sullivan was also a player/manager for the White Sox in 1909, going 78-74 in his only season as a skipper and finishing fourth in the eight-team American League. His son, Billy Jr., also caught in the majors from 1931-47.
Today is also the 20th anniversary of the A's signing Kevin Seitzer as a free agent, ending the first leg of his Brewer career. We covered that event in this space last year.