John Deasley – Baseball Player
Born: January 1861
Died: December 25, 1910
Plot: Section 133, Lot 81
John was the son of William and Margaret Gable Deasley and the younger brother of Thomas “Pat” Deasley, a fellow Mt. Moriah Notable. Both Pat and John were baseball players, but John remained in the shadow of his older brother; never reaching the same level of success. In 1884 John married Gertrude Bicking and they would have three children, Gertrude, Alfred John and Ruth. Sadly, Ruth would die in 1904 at age 5.
The history of baseball is complicated and the game has undergone many changes through the years. In 1869, players were considered “professionals” because that is the year they were first paid to play. Prior to that, teams often consisted of men who held other jobs to take care of their families and played for the love of the game. During the 1880’s, when John was playing, minor league teams and players came and went quickly. While major leagues teams were associated with the larger cities, their brother teams in the minors were often created in smaller towns. You will find a multitude of clubs, associations, leagues and teams that materialize and disappear within a single season. Although not all were long lasting, these minor leagues served as the training ground for many players who would move into the major leagues. They were home to the up and coming as well as the used to be players of the time.
John, a shortstop, made his professional, major league baseball debut on June 17, 1884 at age 23 as a member of The Union Association (a major league association that existed only for the 1884 season). He would play first for the Washington Nationals and then the Kansas City Cowboys also known as the Kansas City Unions. His last game was played on September 8, 1884. In his 44 major league games, John had 174 at bats with a batting average of .207. Following this season, John continued to drift in and out of the minor leagues until 1890. Census records also show John worked as a cigar maker and at the time of his death in 1910 he was storekeeper. John died on Christmas Day 1910. He is buried in Mt. Moriah Cemetery. Also interred there are his wife Gertrude, daughter Ruth and other family members.