Harry Wright (January 10, 1835 - October 3, 1895) was a 19th century professional baseball player, manager, and organizer. He established, managed and played center field for baseball's first fully professional team, the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, and is credited with introducing the ideas of backing up plays in the outfield and shifting defensive alignments based on hitters' tendencies.
Born in Sheffield, England and originally a cricket player, Wright formed the Red Stockings with his younger brother George - the team's star shortstop and captain - after several years of play in New York. The huge success of the club in overrunning all its opponents over two years enabled the formation of the National Association as the game's first professional league in 1871, and the eventual creation of the National League as its successor in 1876, marking the beginning of Major League Baseball with a firm schedule of championship play.
During this early era, the rules of the sport for many years prohibited substitution during games except by mutual agreement with opponents, and the role of a team manager was not as specifically geared toward game strategy as is true in the modern era; instead, managers of the period combined the role of a field manager with that of a modern general manager in that they were primarily responsible for signing talented players and forming a versatile roster, as well as establishing a team approach through practice and game fundamentals. Wright managed the Boston Red Stockings (1871 - 1875), Boston Red Caps (1876 - 1881), Providence Grays (1882 - 1883) and Philadelphia Quakers (1884 - 1893). His teams won six league championships (1872 - 1875, 1877, 1878) and he finished his managerial career with 1225 wins and 885 losses for a .581 winning percentage.
Wright was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953. He was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 2005. His brother George Wright is also a member of both Halls; a third brother, Sam, also played professionally.