Max George Carey
Born: Maxmillian George Carnarius
Born: January 11, 1890 - Terra Haute, IN
Died: May 30, 1976 - Miami, FL
Career BA: .285
Managerial Record: 146–161
Pittsburgh Pirates NL (1910–1926)
Brooklyn Robins/Dodgers NL (1926–1929; manager: 1932–1933)
In his twenty Major League seasons, Max Carey hit above .300 eight times. He is ninth all-time in steals with 738, and is one of baseball’s greatest triples hitters with 159. The quintessential five-tool player, Carey could catch, throw, hit for average, run, and hit for power. That last tool could be debated given Carey’s career total of just 70 home runs, but he played in an age when the home run was not valued as an offensive weapon.
Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1961, Carey led the National League in stolen bases 10 times, and is still the league leader in steals of home. At various times he led the league in games, at-bats, walks and triples. Carey played 17 seasons for the Pirates, and although he hit .343 in 1925, his best year, arguably, was in 1922. That season, he batted .329, had career highs in home runs (10) and RBI (70), and led the league with his 80 walks and 51 steals.
Born and bred in Indiana, Carey had a strict upbringing and attended divinity school for a short time. His given surname of Carnarius was changed early on so Carey could play in Indiana’s Central League without losing his amateur status. As a Pirates rookie in 1910, Carey was reportedly being groomed to replace Honus Wagner at shortstop, but he soon staked his claim in the Pittsburgh outfield. Carey’s wife credited her husband with being the first player to use flip-down sunglasses in the field. He managed in Brooklyn for a short stint, but was replaced in 1934 by a young pup in his first managerial gig named Stengel. Carey stayed in the game until 1950 as a Minor League manager and league president of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. He later authored a book on baseball strategy.
– 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