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Russell Steinhoff

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James Russell Steinhoff was born June 12th, 18561 or 18572 in Middlesex County, Canada3, was a professional baseball player from 1885-1896, as well as a professional baseball umpire from 1897-1898. Steinhoff lived in Little Rock, AR, circa 1883-1895.

Biography

Steinhoff with the Acid Iron Earth team, 1886.
Steinhoff with the Acid Iron Earth team, 1886.
Steinhoff was born near London, Canada, to Elizabeth Uptegrove and Samuel Henry Steinhoff1, a Baptist farmer of German heritage4. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on February 23, 1880 in Chicago, IL3. Later that year, he was stationed at Fort Brown in Brownsville, TX5. However, by 1883, he was living and playing baseball in Little Rock, AR. On February 24th, 1885, he was discharged at Little Rock3.

Despite his 5'4" stature3, Steinhoff was a very good baseball player. In July, 1884, Steinhoff travelerd to Memphis, TN, with the amateur Little Rock Browns to play a local team known as the Eckfords6. Steinhoff seemingly impressed the Memphis baseball figures, as did his teammate William Kolley7. Consequently, when the Memphis Reds joined the Southern League in the spring of 1885, both Steinhoff and Kolley were sought out and signed to play with the team8. In forty games with Memphis, however, Steinhoff hit only .120.

The following year, Steinhoff was signed by the Acid Iron Earths, a Mobile, AL, team in the small Gulf League9. His stay in Mobile, however, was relatively short, for later that year, he returned to Little Rock and played professionally with the independentLittle Rock Base Ball Club. Steinhoff became one of Little Rock's most regular baseball figures, playing with various local teams, including the minor league Little Rock Giants in 1887 and Little Rock Rose Buds in 1894. He was also manager of the Uncle Joes baseball club10, which played the first night game in Little Rock in July, 1894.

Steinhoff maintained residence in Little Rock until at least 189511 before moving to Texas and playing for various teams in the Texas Association. In 1897, he began umpiring league games and continued to do so for several years.

By 1900, Steinhoff was residing in Galveston, TX12 where he spent most of the rest of his live working various jobs. Steinhoff died on June 3rd, 1931 at John Sealy Hospital in Galveston1.

Career

The following is a record of Steinhoff's baseball career:

YearTeamLeague
1885MemphisSouthern League
1886Acid Iron Earths (Mobile, AL)Gulf League
1887Little RockSouthwestern League
1894Little RockArkansas State League
1895Fort Worth
1896DenisonTexas League
----ParisTexas League
1897San AntonioTexas League
1897(Umpire)Texas League
1898(Umpire)Texas League


Stats

Statistics at Baseball-Reference.com.

Excerpts

"The famous Little Rock third baseman, Steinhoff, arrived in the city last Friday and has gone to practicing with Werden and East."13

"Steinhoff, who played third base for Memphis part of last season, will play second base for Mobile and captain the team. He hails from London, Can."9

"W. A. Kolley and R. A. Steinhoff, two of Little Rock's best ball tossers, will play with the Memphis club this season."14

"R. Steinhoff, third base, of last year's Little Rock Browns, a base runner who has few equals a fine baseman and a player of great promise."15

"Steinhoff has been signed as short stop and arrived this morning."16

"Shortstop Steinhoff has been released and was signed by Manager Works of the Galveston team. He was guyed unmercifully by the local youth, who fairly swarm everywhere except between home plate and the pitcher's box. He did fairly well on second for his new manager"17

"Steinhoff is playing second. He was given a trial at short and played a [?] turned [?]. When Galveston came here they were short of men and they played Jim at second and he showed up all right. Galveston did not keep him, so Manager Richards has put him on second base and playing Flanagan at short and the change has been a success."18

"George Steinhoff . . . little Steinhoff, who was with Fort Worth . . . Steinhoff has a job in a local business house . . . "19

"Steinhoff, the second baseman who started out with the Indians the first of the season, and Martz and Waldrop, who were released some time ago, expect to play with the Paris team. Steinhoff left this morning for Paris and Martz and Waldrop will follow later on."20

"Umpire Steinhoff up to date has put out half a dozen men for differences of opinion that didn't go with the umpire."21

1. Texas Death Certificate at Ancestry.com. (List under name "James Russell Steinholl")
3. U.S. Army Enlistment Records at Ancestry.com
4. 1871 Census of Canada at Ancestry.com
5. 1880 U.S. Census
7. Memphis Daily Appeal, 3/31/1885
8. Arkansas Gazette, 3/31/1885
9. Sporting Life, 3/10/1885, p.1
10. The Sporting News, 3/3/1894, p.2
11. Little Rock City Directories as Ancestry.com
12. 1900 U.S. Census
13. Memphis Daily Appeal, 3/3/1885, p.4
14. Arkansas Gazette, 3/31/1885
16. Dallas Morning News, 5/22/1895, p.3
17. Fort Worth Gazette, 5/28/1895, p.1
18. The Sporting News, 6/8/1895, p.2
19. Sporting Life, 12/7/1895, p.9
20. Dallas Morning News, 5/5/1896, p.6