Oscar Harland Stanage (1883-1964) was an exceptional catcher with a strong and accurate arm as he led all catchers in assists three times and caught stealing as a catcher twice during his 14-year career. The native Californian began his Major League career with the Cincinnati Reds (1906), but after only one at-bat he was shipped to the St. Louis Cardinals, where he did not play a single out, and was eventually purchased by the Detroit Tigers where he played the remainder of his career (1909-1920, 1925). Oscar’s bat had little pop and virtually no power, but his strength was evident behind the plate. In his second season in the Motor City (1910), Stanage became the Tigers everyday backstop. In 1911, he had one of the best years behind the plate of any catcher in history as he led all catchers in the American League in putouts (599), caught stealing (156) and assists (212) – a single season record for a catcher that stands to this day. It was also his best year at the plate as he had career highs with a .264 batting average, 133 hits 45 runs scored and 51 RBI in 141 games. In 1912, Oscar had another stellar year behind the plate as he once again led in assists (168) and also double plays turned by a catcher (14). From 1910 to 1916, Stanage had seven straight seasons with 100 assists or more capped by his record setting 1911 year of 212. HE did appear in the 1990 World Series in which the Tigers fell to the Honus Wagner-led Pittsburgh Pirates in seven games. Oscar Stanage hit .234 over his 14-year career with 819 hits, 248 runs and 321 RBI in 1,096 games. Behind the plate he added a .961 fielding percentage with 1,381 assists and a 41% caught stealing percentage. He is second to Bill Freehan (1,581) in games caught for the Detroit Tigers.
|Pos||Grade||Thumbnail||Pedigree and History|