George Gore was an on-base stud during the early days of baseball. Because of his exceptional on-base skills, he is on the short list – make that really short list – of players that averaged a run scored per game. Some sources list Hall of Famer Billy Hamilton and American Association legend Harry Stovey as the only men to accomplish this feat, but Gore did so as well.
Gore broke into the Major Leagues in 1879 with the old Chicago White Stockings of Cap Anson. Anson’s charges had yet to become great but were destined to bust out with a solid core of young stars. The bust out party came in 1880 with Gore busting out like a greyhound at the racetrack. Gore led the league with a .360 batting average, .399 on-base percentage and a .463 slugging average. Joining Gore in this amazing lineup was Hall of Famers Cap Anson (.337) and King Kelly (.291) and stellar 1800s stars Ned Williamson and Abner Dalrymple. This core allowed Chicago to post an amazing 67-17 record.
Gore followed up his monster season by leading the league in runs scored the next two seasons. George hit .334 in 1883 while his Hall of Fame teammates hit worse: Anson hit at a .308 clip and the overrated King Kelly hit just .255. The White Stockings finished second in ’83 then fell to fifth in 1884 – the first year Gore’s on-base percentage would eclipse .400 ( he would have five such seasons) – when he led the league in walks.
In 1886 he set a record (since broken) when he drew 102 walks during the season. His exceptional pitch recognition skills allowed him to reach base and score a great number of runs. In just 118 games in ’86, Gore scored 150 runs (his fourth straight year of 100 or more runs). The White Stockings were champs in 1886 with the devastating lineup of Gore, Anson, Kelly, Dalrymple and Jimmy Ryan, but Anson broke up the team, selling Gore to Jim Mutrie’s Giants and ridding himself of Nightlife King Kelly.
Joining the Giants in 1887, Gore won another title with Mutrie’s charges in 1888. The aging Gore was in a talented lineup consiting of Hall of Famers Roger Connor, Buck Ewing, John Ward and Orator O’Rourke which propelled New York to the upper division. Although it looked as if George was losing steam in 1888, he rebounded in 1889 and posted three straight years of 100 or more runs scored. He ended his career in 1892, splitting the season between the Giants and Browns. He was in the Top Five in on-base percentage eight times during his career.
G 1,301/R 1,324/H 1,611/2B 257/3B 95/HR 46/RBI 617/BA .303/SA .412