In my zeal to learn more about Canadian baseball history, I sometimes stumble upon nuggets of information that I just have to share. Yesterday, when I was perusing Louis Cauz’s book on Toronto’s baseball history, “Baseball’s Back in Town,” I discovered that Cito was not the only Gaston to participate in Hogtown’s professional baseball scene.
Providing further evidence that Cito was destined to manage in Toronto, a player named Welcome Gaston – yes, Welcome – pitched for the Eastern League’s Toronto Canucks in 1897 and 1898.
According to Baseball Reference.com, Welcome Thornburg Gaston was born in Senecaville, Ohio on December 19, 1874. The American southpaw enjoyed his finest pro season in Toronto, when he won 16 games and pitched 268 innings in 1898. He also played three games in the outfield and hurled briefly with Hamilton that campaign. Later that season, he would take to the mound for the National League’s Brooklyn Bridegrooms, pitching two games and recording his sole big league win. He would compete in one more National League game with Brooklyn the following year and finish out his career with minor league stops in Dayton, Detroit, Cleveland and Colorado Springs. He died on December 13, 1944 in Columbus, Ohio.
Very little information seems to be available on the other Gaston, so if anyone has more information, it certainly would be – ahem – “Welcome.”
Team names back in the 1800s weren’t designed to strike fear in the heart, were they? The Brooklyn Bridegrooms?
That’s going to be some tough research. Have you thought about contacting Cito directly?
Thanks for the comment, Charles. I’ll ask Cito if he have the opportunity. I’m going to tap into my contact list of SABR (Society of American Baseball Research)members to see if they can help me out. Thanks again.