Today someone asked us: who was the first player to wear glasses in a Major League game? Bruce Markusen of Bronx Banter/Baseball Toaster answered this question in 2008:
"The first major leaguer to wear glasses during a major league game was 19th century workhorse Will 'Woop-La' White, who completed 394 out of 401 starts in his career. (I wonder what his pitch counts were like.) In 1877, White wore a pair of eyeglasses for the Boston Red Sox Stockings, who were then a National League franchise. [Does anyone out there have a photo or a card of Woop La?] After White finished donning the spectacles for Boston, no other major leaguer would sport glasses for another 38 years. In 1915, pitcher Lee "Specs" Meadows cracked the 20th century glasses barrier with the Cardinals. Like White, Meadows was a very good pitcher, a winner of 188 games over a 15-year career.
Up until 1921, only pitchers dared wear glasses during games. That changed when George 'Specs' Toporcer became the first position player to make the transition. A singles-hitting middle infielder who played for the Cardinals, Toporcer wore glasses for the balance of his eight-year career in St. Louis."
Do you have any other insights about spec-wearin' players? Since both Lucy (our daughter the card collector) and moi have been known to sport spectacles, we have another urgent question. We'll print it embiggened for everyone who might be nearsighted:
What's the best baseball card ever made of a player wearing glasses?