Early Baseball History One of the leading players in major league baseballs beginnings, George Bechtel joined the Philadelphia Athletics of the National Association - baseball's first professional league - in 1871. A solid batsman during the dead ball era, he excelled on defense in right field, and also, was a well-regarded pitcher. A career .278 hitter, Bechtel hit a career-best .319 in his first pro season, 1871, for the Philadelphia Athletics. He signed with the New York Mutuals for a higher salary in 1872, batted .302 and scored 64 runs in the team's 54 game schedule.
After going 3-1 W/L on the pitching mound for the 1875 Athletics, he signed in early-season with their cross-town rivals - the Philadelphia Centennials - but managed to post a poor 2-12 record for the lousy hitting team. He also played in the National League in its first year of existence - 1876... George Bechtel career stats: National Association: .278 BA, 276 hits in 204 Games, 214 Runs... Pitching 7-21 W/L... National League: .200 BA in 1876...
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