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HOFFMAN, FRANK J. (?–?). Frank J. Hoffman, nicknamed the "Texas Wonder" and reported to be a native of Houston, may have been the first native Texan to play major-league baseball. He pitched in twelve games in 1888 for Kansas City in the American Association, which at that time was considered a major league. He won three games and lost nine, with an earned run average of 2.77, for a last-place team, and never again appeared in the major leagues. He played in the California League from 1890 to 1892, two years with Sacramento and one with San Francisco. Some believe that Hoffman's claim to be the first native Texan in the major leagues may be false. Though the Society for American Baseball Research lists him as the first major leaguer born in Texas, one baseball historian believes that he was actually born in the Midwest. The same may be true of Bush Bates and Duff Cooley, supposedly the second and third native Texans to reach the majors. The first two undisputed Texas natives to play major league baseball were William Kemmer, born in Texas in February 1878, and Anderson McFarlan, born in Gainesville, Texas, on July 15, 1873. Kemmer debuted with Louisville of the National League in June 1895, and McFarlan debuted with the same team in September 1895.


John Thorn and Pete Palmer, Total Baseball (New York: Warner, 1989).

Martin Donell Kohout


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Martin Donell Kohout, "HOFFMAN, FRANK J.," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed October 04, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.