Ebeneezer Kittel

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Ebeneezer "Eb" Cornwallis Obadiah Kittel, born Eberhard Caspar Ottfried Kittel (December 18, 1865), nicknamed "The Man Mountain", was a Major League Baseball (MLB) player. Kittel is considered one of the greatest players ever and is in the Hall of Fame, having received the most votes of any player on the 1936 inaugural Hall of Fame Ballot.

Ebeneezer Kittel

Early Life[edit]


Born in Herrenberg, Germany, in an area known as the Gaeu, Kittel had been working on the local cotton fields until he passed the age of 12 and his family decided to emigrate to the United States, moving to Norfolk, Nebraska. Primary working as a miner, he started playing baseball in is spare-time. He spent his first years in baseball as a member of the Norfolk Germans, the semi-professional Norfolk Red, and the Omaha Fingers. He then went to try out for the Anniston Steelers of the semi-pro Tennessee-Alabama League, with his father's stern admonition still ringing in his ears: "Don't come home a failure". After joining the Steelers for a monthly salary of $50, Kittel promoted himself by sending several postcards to Abelard Weston Siegel, the sports editor of the Atlanta Journal under several different aliases. Eventually, Siegel wrote a small note in the Journal that a "young fellow named Kittel who seems to be showing an unusual lot of talent." After about three months, Kittel returned to the Fingers. He finished the 1885 season hitting .247 in 39 games.

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