A dedication ceremony took place at Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago last Saturday, November 6, at which a headstone was unveiled for 19th Century Cubs (White Stockings in his time) legend Edward Williamson. This was a project funded and commissioned by the 19th Century Grave Marker Committee of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).
Edward Nagle “Ned” Williamson was a talented and powerful third baseman during the 1880s for the Chicago White Stockings, now known as the Cubs. In 1883 the team moved into a new ballpark near the shore of Lake Michigan. Due to the park’s unusual dimensions — the distance to the right and left field foul lines was less than 200 feet — balls hit over the fence were considered ground-rule doubles. Williamson promptly set a new National League record with 49 doubles. In 1884, those balls were allowed to be home runs and Williamson slugged a record-setting 27 homers. It was the most home runs ever hit by a National League ballplayer in the 19th century and was the major-league single-season record for 25 years, until Babe Ruth hit 29 homers in 1919.