The Aberdeen Baseball Club has made great strides over the past season to advance the sport of baseball in the northeast of Scotland; club membership has nearly doubled, and now they have a permanent field to call home.
When naming, a field teams tend to either look for sponsors to name the field after, or they draw on inspiration from the community. The latter is what has been decided upon in Aberdeen.
Like Bobby Thompson Field in Edinburgh, the baseball field in Aberdeen will be named after another Scottish MLB player, George W. Chalmers.
George W. Chalmers was born in Aberdeen in 1888 and played six complete seasons in the MLB for the Philadelphia Phillies. But Chalmers is not just a man from Aberdeen who played at the highest level of baseball, he was the first European born player to pitch in a World Series.
Chalmers was a bit of a rarity in the fact that he is one of only seven major league players to have been born in Scotland, and one of only 4 to have played after 1900.
In the majors, Chalmers compiled a 29-41 win-loss record, 6 saves, and a career ERA (Earned Run Average) of 3.41. He pitched 646.1 innings over 121 games while striking out 290 batters.
On October 12, 1915, George W. Chalmers became the first European born player to pitch in a World Series. The Phillies played the Boston Red Sox, a team that had a future legend in Babe Ruth on their roster in only his second professional season.
Chalmers took the mound for game 4 of the series with Philadelphia down 2 games to 1, in a best of 7 series. Even though he was credited with the loss, George Chalmers pitched a very respectable game: he threw 8 innings surrendering 8 hits and 2 runs, while walking 3 and striking out 6, including future Hall of Famer Harry Hooper. At the plate, George went 1 for 3 with a strikeout.
After the 1915 season, Chalmers had high hopes for the 1916 season but these would be cut short with the return of an arm injury. Having to sit out the last two months of the season, the Philadelphia Phillies would release Chalmers and he would eventually retire from the sport after a short stint with the Kansas City Blues in 1917.
George W. Chalmers, born in Aberdeen in 1888, would live out his remaining days in The Bronx in New York CITY working as a small-claims adjuster. He died in 1960 at the age of 72, and is buried in Lutheran All Faiths Cemetery in Queens, New York. He was survived by his wife Elizabeth, and their children George and Jean.
The Aberdeen Baseball Club is honoured to call their home George W. Chalmers Field. The field is located next to the Sport Aberdeen Lynx Ice Arena next to the beach.
Sources: For this piece, an article written for the Society for American Baseball Research by Bill Lamb was used for biographical details. Game and career statistics were gathered from baseball-reference.com.