Mike Griffin (outfielder)

Mike Griffin
Center fielder
Born: (1865-03-20)March 20, 1865
Utica, New York
Died: April 10, 1908(1908-04-10) (aged 43)
Utica, New York
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 16, 1887, for the Baltimore Orioles
Last MLB appearance
October 15, 1898, for the Brooklyn Bridegrooms
MLB statistics
Batting average .296
Runs scored 1,406
Runs batted in 720
Stolen bases 473

As Player

As Manager

Career highlights and awards
  • 6 seasons with a .300+ batting average
  • 10 seasons with 100+ runs scored
  • 8 seasons with 30+ stolen bases

Michael Joseph Griffin (March 20, 1865 April 10, 1908) was an American Major League Baseball center fielder who hailed from Utica, New York. He played in 1511 games spread over 12 seasons for teams in the American Association, Players' League, and National League. He had 1,755 hits, resulting in a .296 batting average, and was a prolific base stealer who swiped 473 bases during his career. In his last year in the majors, he was also the player-manager for the Brooklyn Bridegrooms for a short period of time.[1]


Scouted and signed by Billy Barnie of the Baltimore Orioles, while playing for the local Utica professional team, he was one of the premiere ball players at the time, leading his league in runs scored in 1889 and doubles in 1891. On April 16, 1887, he became the first major league player to hit a home run in his first plate appearance.

Griffin was team captain of Bridegrooms in 1897 and 1898 and served as interim manager for a part of 1898, a total of four games, winning one. After the 1898 season, Brooklyn signed him to a $3,500 contract to manage the following season. But before the season started, Brooklyn and Baltimore merged and Baltimore manager Ned Hanlon was named Brooklyn's manager instead. Griffin was offered a $2,800 contract to play by Brooklyn, but he refused to sign. Brooklyn released him to the Cleveland Spiders, who then released him to the St. Louis Perfectos. After failing to receive a contract he felt he was worth from any team, he sued Brooklyn for the salary he believed they owed him from the contract he had signed and won a judgment of $2,300 from the club. He then unofficially retired from major league baseball.[2]

Griffin returned to Utica where he became involved in the management of local breweries. It was here that he died from pneumonia, at age 43, and was laid to rest at St. Agnes Cemetery.[3]

See also


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