When Jack Harper was inducted posthumously into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame in 2019, he was the 27th baseball player to be so honored by the organization, which enshrined its first class in 1982.
To suggest Harper's tenure on the diamond was quite an odyssey would be an understatement.
Starting his pro career in 1898, the Franklin, Pennsylvania native made his Major League debut on Sept. 18, 1899 and stayed in the "bigs" for eight seasons, pitching for the Cleveland Spiders (later the Indians) in 1899, the St. Louis Cardinals (1900-01), the St. Louis Browns (1902), the Cincinnati Reds (1903-06) and the Chicago Cubs (1906).
Along the way, Harper posted an 80-64 record that included 115 complete games, 10 shutouts, one save, 466 strikeouts and a 3.55 earned run average. His best season was in 1904 when he was 23-9 with a 2.30 ERA as member of the Reds. Among the batters he faced during his career were Honus Wagner, Frank Chance, Johnny Evers Joe Tinker, Willie Keeler, Hugh Jennings and Nap LaJoie, among others. He even broke in Branch Rickey Sr. as a catcher.