Joe Stabell, Baseball Player

See Also:
     Home Page for This Genealogy
     Staebell Family

A man named Joe Stabell, who also went by "Joe Staples", played baseball for the Buffalo Bisons in the 1885 season. At that time the Bisons were a team in the National League. Earlier in the 1885 season Joe was a member of the St. Louis Browns, but I have found no record that he played in any games with them.

Profiles of Joe Stabell's baseball career can be found on these web sites:

Joe's major league career with the Buffalo Bisons was not spectacular. He played in only seven games, with one hit in 22 at bats. His record makes me think of Moonlight Graham. Nevertheless, playing baseball at this level is an impressive achievement.

Bill Staples (no relation), who is documenting Joe Stabell for the Society for American Baseball Research, provided several newspaper clippings that provide more information about Joe. (Thank you, Bill!) Also mentioned is Joe's brother George.


Joe Stabell of Buffalo: Genealogical Records

There were four men named Joseph Stabell or Staebell of ballplaying age living in the Buffalo area in the 1880's. One lived in Buffalo and the other three lived in Alden. Almost certainly, the Joseph Stabell living in Buffalo is the ballplayer.

This section provides more information Joseph Staebell of Buffalo. The next section will discuss the other three.

In the 1892 census and 1900 census, Joseph and George are living together in Buffalo.

Joseph and George were third cousins of my great-grandfather Frank Anton Staebell.
Here is how Joseph and George are descended from our common ancestor:

  1. Francois STAEBELL (1730-1814) + Gertrude JAEGER (1730-1793)
  2. Joseph STAEBELL (1767-1833) + Anna Maria SEILER (1765-1826)
  3. Joseph STAEBELL (1791-1870) + Marie Eve FIX (1793-1830)
  4. Francois STAEBELL (1825-1886) + Martha KOLB (1829-1890)
  5. Joseph F. STABELL and George J. STABELL

Here is how my great-grandfather Frank A. Staebell is descended from the same common ancestor:

  1. Francois STAEBELL (1730-1814) + Gertrude JAEGER (1730-1793)
  2. Francois STAEBELL (1760-1836) + Maria Eva HOEHE (1758-1816)
  3. Francois Antoine STAEBELL (1784-1856) + Barbe MEYER (1801-1864)
  4. John STAEBELL (1829-1893) + Catherine SCHENCK (1829-1883)
  5. Frank Anton STAEBELL (1857-1937)


Three Joe Staebells in Alden

Besides Joseph Stabell in Buffalo, there were three other men with the same name in the Buffalo area at this same time. By coincidence, all of them had brothers named George. All of them lived in Alden. They are:

  1. Joseph Staebell
  2. Joseph Staebell
  3. Joseph Stabell

The spelling of the name with or without an "e" -- "Staebell" or "Stabell" -- is not significant. Many of these immigrant families were experimenting at that time with how to spell their name in America.

Of the four Joseph Stabells, the one who lived in Buffalo is almost certainly the baseball player, because:

  1. The middle initials of the baseball brothers -- Joseph F. Stabell and George J. Stabell -- are given in newpaper articles.
    These match the middle initials for Joseph and George in Buffalo in the 1900 census.
  2. Joseph in Buffalo is a "Contractor" in the 1900 census.
    Joseph the ballplayer played for the "Builders' Exchange" according to an 1893 news story.
  3. The Josephs of Alden are older than Joseph of Buffalo,
    making them less likely to be active in baseball in the late 1880's and early 1890's.
  4. Getting to games and practices in Buffalo would have been a lot more convenient for a person living in the city than for a person living in Alden.
  5. At least two of the three Alden Josephs were busy raising large families during the time that baseball Joseph was actively playing.

The best evidence would be for some present-day descendant of the baseball player to come forward and identify their ancestor. It seems like a story that his family would pass down through the generations.

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