Sherwood Robert “Sherry” Magee
Born: August 6, 1884 - Clarendon, PA
Died: March 13, 1929 - Philadelphia, PA
Career BA: .291
Philadelphia Phillies NL (August 6, 1884 - March 13, 1929)
Boston Braves NL (1915–1917)
Cincinnati Reds NL (1917–1919)
Why isn’t Sherry Magee in the Hall of Fame? Taking a hard look at his stats, Magee measures up against many who are in Cooperstown’s hallowed Hall. The prototypical five-tool player, Sherry Magee was one of the true stars of the Deadball Era. An outstanding offensive and defensive player, Magee scored 100-plus runs twice, was the NL RBI champ four times (1907, 1910, 1914, 1918), the NL batting champ in 1910, and played for the World Champion Reds in 1919. He knocked in 1,176 runs and had 2,169 hits over his brilliant 16-year career. Magee’s best year was 1910 when he batted .331 and led the league with 110 runs and 123 RBI. That year he also had a sparkling .445 on base percentage, and let’s not forget his .507 slugging percentage. Magee was also a whiz on the basepaths, swiping 441 bases.
Known for his hot temper and orneriness, he developed a reputation as a troublemaker. During a game in 1911, Magee punched out an umpire, sending him to the hospital with a broken nose, and ended up suspended for most of the season. Many fans enjoyed getting on Magee during games because they felt he always put himself ahead of his team. He eventually wore out his welcome wherever he played and found himself back in the minors as was very common in those days. Magee played for another seven seasons in the minors and had some outstanding offensive years.
It is ironic that after so many scraps with umpires over his career, he worked as an umpire in the New York-Penn League and the National League after his playing career ended. However, Magee’s career as umpire was cut short when he contracted pneumonia in early March of 1929 and died two weeks later at the age of 44. A great hitter? Certainly. A great defensive player? Undoubtedly. A Hall of Famer? Unfortunately, Sherry Magee has not yet made the grade.
– Tom and Ellen Zappala, The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players. For more information on their book and/or to order a copy at a special PSA discount, visit http://crackerjackplayers.com/PSA_order.html