John Edwin Hummel
Born: April 4, 1883 - Bloomsburg, PA
Died: May 18, 1959 - Springfield, MA
Career BA: .254
Brooklyn Superbas/Dodgers/Robins NL (April 4, 1883 - May 18, 1959)
New York Yankees AL (1918)
John Hummel must have loved cities that began with the letter B. He was born and raised in Bloomsburg, PA, and remained there to study at the University of Bloomsburg. Eventually, he would play 11 seasons with Brooklyn on teams known as the Superbas, Dodgers and Robins from 1905–1915. Known as “Silent John,” Hummel let his play do the talking over a 12-year career that ended with the Yankees in 1918.
A dependable doubles and RBI man, Hummel was a bit of a free swinger who led the National League in whiffs in 1910. He had over 140 hits in the 1908, 1909 and 1910 seasons, but that offensive consistency was in direct contrast to his defense. With 548 games at second, 293 in the outfield, 160 games at first base, and just for fun, another 74 at shortstop, Hummel wasn’t just versatile, he was a one-man roster. In the field, Hummel had as much quality as quantity. He registered a combined career fielding percentage of .969 and led all second sackers in that statistic in 1910 (.965) and 1911 (.972).
Known as a loner, Hummel was sometimes hard to figure. He was quiet, unassuming and nearly aloof, yet had a reputation for his violent slides on the base paths, spikes high with bad intentions. In 1909, he was ejected from games on three different occasions. Maybe Hummel did it on purpose. The Superbas lost 98 games that season. In fact, Hummel’s Brooklyn clubs lost over 500 games over the course of his first six seasons. We include Hummel in our group of second baseman, but his all-around skills are a testament to a man who, for 12 seasons, talked softly and carried a big glove.
– 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