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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

QUINN, Joseph J.

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QUINN, Joseph J. (Sydney, Australia, Dec. 25, 1864 – St. Louis, MO, Nov. 12, 1940) Quinn and his parents moved to Dubuque in 1872. His parents remained there the rest of their lives. A second baseman, he played 17 seasons in major league baseball. He was the only Australian-born player to reach the major leagues until 1986.

Quinn started his career in 1884 with the Union Association's St. Louis Maroons, which won the pennant. He was one of few players from that league to later find success in the National League. Throughout his career, Quinn was known for his defensive skills, and he led National League second basemen in fielding percentage twice.

Quinn also had two stints as a big league manager, with the St. Louis Browns in 1895 and the Cleveland Spiders in 1899. His Browns club went 11–28 under his guidance, and the Spiders were even worse, going 12–104. His career .148 winning percentage is one of the lowest in baseball history.

He was the best hitter on the Spiders team that he managed, which is considered to have been the worst team in major league history. His last game was played on July 23, 1921.

In the off-season, Quinn was a mortician and owned a funeral home after his playing days ended. (1)

Quinn's older brother, Patrick Francis Quinn, formed P. F. QUINN'S SOCIAL QUADRILLE BAND.

As Player

   St. Louis Maroons (1884-1886)
   Boston Beaneaters (1888-1889)
   Boston Reds (1890)
   Boston Beaneaters (1891-1892)
   St. Louis Browns (1893-1896)
   Baltimore Orioles (1896-1898)
   St. Louis Browns (1898)
   Cleveland Spiders (1899)
   St. Louis Cardinals (1900)
   Cincinnati Reds (1900)
   Washington Senators (1901)

As Manager

   St. Louis Browns (1895)
   Cleveland Spiders (1899)



1. "Municipal Molecules," Dubuque Daily Herald, December 24, 1892, p. 4



Nicholls, Rochelle. Writer. Unpublished manuscript of the history of Joe Quinn. e-mail, Mar. 9, 2013