Although best known as a long-time major league manager mainly with the Baltimore Orioles, Billy Barnie started as an early pioneer player in professional baseball history. He broke into pro ball with Hartfords of the National Association in 1874 under manager Lip Pike during the dead ball era. In that season Billy Barnie batted .184 in 184 at bats spanning 45 games. Defensively he played 23 games as a catcher, 21 in RF and 1 game at shortstop.
The next year, 1875, Billy Barnie played 10 games with the New York Mutuals and 10 games with the Keokuk Westerns, splitting his time equally defensively with 10 games in the outfield and 10 games as a catcher. After the National Association folded at season’s end, he played locally.
Managing during the Dead Ball Era:
In 1883 with the start of a new major league, the American Association, AA, Bald Billy Barnie started managing the Baltimore Orioles and managed the team until 1889. Then managed the following teams: Buffalo/Brooklyn AA 1890… Philadelphia Athletics AA 1891… Bal Orioles AA 1891… Washington Nationals of the National League 1892… Louisville NL 1893-94… Brooklyn 1897-98. He posted his best records as a manager with the 1884 Baltimore Orioles, 63-43, and the 1887 Orioles with a 77-58 record.
Born in New York City on January 26 1853… died in Hartford, Conn. on July 15 1900. Baseball Historian