Samuel Lester “Slam” Agnew (1887-1951) is yet another player whose legacy is connected to the great Babe Ruth after catching The Babe’s two World Series winning games in the 1918 Fall Classic. During that 1918 World Series, the Hartford Courant referred to the duo as “Ruth and Agnew Regarded as One of the Strongest Batteries in Majors.” However, Agnew was far from strong in any facet of the game posting a career .204 batting average, never driving in more than 24 runs in a season, and leading in the American League in errors for a catcher (1913, 1915) and in passed balls (1914, 1915). Ironically, when the St. Louis Browns signed him in 1913, he was reported to be the only catcher in the United States, catching more than 100 games, to not have a passed ball. However, his success with the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League did not translate into Major League success. Sam caught for seven seasons in the Majors with the Browns (1913-1915), the Boston Red Sox (1916-1918) and the Washington Senators. Agnew’s best year offensively was his final season when the hit.235 in 42 games with Washington. Sam Agnew won the 1918 World Series with the Red Sox, over the Chicago Cubs, but he was unable to reach base in nine at-bats. Sam Agnew finished his career with a .204 batting average, 314 hits, 105 runs, and 98 RBI in 563 games. Behind the plate, he added a .955 fielding percentage and a 51% caught stealing percentage despite having a fairly inaccurate arm.
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