Charles B. Baldwin spent a good part of his boyhood in the Michigan town of Hastings. He was a southpaw – a leftie -  that pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1884, Detroit Wolverines from 1885–1888, Brooklyn Bridegrooms in 1890, and Buffalo Bisons in 1890.

He was given the name “Lady” and referred to throughout the rest of his life as Charles “Lady" Baldwin, or C.B. “Lady” Baldwin. Why the ‘lady’ nickname? The answer coming soon.

Baldwin was born on April 8, 1859 in Oramel, New York. While only a boy, his family moved to Michigan and landed in Barry County. First to Johnstown Township, then settling in Hastings. While a teen, Charles played baseball for the Hastings ball team and from there entered a pro career in 1883, playing for Grand Rapids, a member of the Northwestern League. The following year at 25 years old, he was pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers.

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In 1885, he joined the Detroit Wolverines, where he spent the most time. In 1886 he was responsible for half of that team’s winnings – 42, to be exact, a major league record for a leftie pitcher - and has the record for the second highest single season total by a left-hander.

In 1887, Baldwin injured his shoulder and was told to stay home – without pay. He was allowed to return toward the end of the season and ended up winning seven of the team’s last eight games. In 1888 he only pitched in six games, his arm overworked from the previous years.

Okay, so as for his nickname “Lady”…..were the other team members insulting him or not? It’s been said that he was given that name because the others considered him kind of a ‘goody-goody’ type of guy. Oh, they liked him and were buddies, but his ways were not like the others. He didn’t drink alcohol, swear, or smoke, was quiet and more reserved than the others.

Charles tried a comeback in 1890 by splitting his time with the Brooklyn Bridegrooms and the Buffalo Bisons. His final game was on June 26, 1890, released by Buffalo in July 1890.

He went back to Hastings and became a successful orchard owner and farmer. In 1910, he broke his collarbone after falling off a hay mow and again in 1914 by falling off a ladder; by now, he couldn’t walk for months. Hard to do the manual labor anymore, he turned to real estate.

At age 77, Charles “Lady” Baldwin passed away on March 7, 1937 and was buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Hastings.

Charles "Lady" Baldwin: Forgotten Baseball Player from Hastings


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