Phil Hanly

Phillip Hanly was a young African-American boy who was struck by a baseball bat on August 2nd, 1873 in Helena, AR. He died on August 7th, marking the first known baseball-related death in Arkansas.


The Arkansas Gazette reported Hanly's death on August 8th, 1873:

"A serious misunderstanding occurred last Sunday in a game of baseball among the colored boys when one of them struck the other with a bat. The lick did not break the skin, but appears to have paralyzed the boy, who died on Thursday night. The name of the boy is Phil. Hanly."1

The Morning Republican reported the death the same day:

"The baseball season in Arkansas opens up briskly. At a match in Helena, one Tom Curtis struck Phil Hanly with the bat, from the effects of which he died. The season promises well."2
1 Arkansas Gazette, 8/8/1873
2 Little Rock Morning Republican, 8/8/1873