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September 9, 1907: Abraham Lincoln Wade

Abraham Lincoln Wade simply must be one of the greatest baseball names of all time, "cup of coffee club" or otherwise. Born in Spring City, Pennsylvania less than 15 years after the 16th President of the United States was assassinated. The ballplayer simply became known as "Ham" instead of "Abe", the nickname popularized by the American president.

After playing in more than 200 minor-league games, an astounding figure in the early stages of farm systems, Wade got his shot with the New York Giants on this day 112 years ago. Playing against the Boston Doves in one of two games of a doubleheader at the South End Grounds, Wade finally had his number called as a pinch hitter.

The outfielder didn't have a chance to knock a base hit into the outfield, because he was quickly plunked with the pitch and awarded first base. He had no way of knowing it in the moment, but the bat was taken out of his hands for good as he never got to step up to the plate again. However, he did get two chances in the outfield and made good on both, giving him a career on-base percentage of 1.000 to go with a career fielding percentage of 1.000. Still, Wade never got an official major league at bat, only slightly more than we can say for the famous Moonlight Graham.

Wade ended up playing one more professional season with the Class-B Meriden Silverites where he hit just .212 in 453 at bats. That lackluster performance spelled the end of his baseball career at just 28 years old. His baseball career proved simply a prelude to a very long life, which lasted all the way until 1968, more than 100 years after the man who inspired his name died. Wade passed away at 88 in Riverside, New Jersey and is buried at Lakeview Memorial Park in Cinnaminson, New Jersey.


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