Amos Aaron Strunk
Born: January 22, 1889 - Philadelphia, PA
Died: July 22, 1979 - Llanerch, PA
Career BA: .284
Philadelphia Athletics AL (1908–1917, 1919–1920, 1924)
Boston Red Sox AL (1918–1919)
Chicago White Sox AL (1920–1924)
Crazy fast, graceful, outstanding defensively, dependable offensively, and injury prone are some of the words that describe the career of Amos Strunk. Nicknamed “The Flying Foot” and “Lightning,” he was the type of runner who could create havoc for the opposition. Base stealing was not his forte but Strunk was so fast that he would sometimes score from second base on a squeeze play following the guy at third. Connie Mack loved him from the day he was called up to the Bigs in 1908.
From a defensive standpoint, some considered him the best outfielder in baseball, even better than Cobb. Strunk led American League outfielders in fielding percentage four times, and played in five World Series with two teams, the A’s and the Red Sox. Unfortunately, he did not fare well in those Series, batting only .200 in 65 at-bats. When he was healthy though, he was an outstanding contact hitter. In 1916, Strunk batted .316 on the worst team in modern baseball history. That was the year Connie Mack dismantled his exceptional team, and the A’s proceeded to lose an amazing 117 games. Wonder how the karma was in that locker room.
Plagued with injuries throughout his career, Strunk was hurt in 12 of his 17 seasons. In 1921, he did manage to bat a tidy .332 after being traded to the White Sox, but in 1924 he sustained a serious head injury when he collided with teammate Roy Elsh in the outfield during spring training, essentially ending his MLB playing days. Strunk then became a player-manager in the New York-Penn League but hung up the spikes in 1925. After baseball, Amos Strunk moved on to a 50-year career in the insurance business and dabbled in photography.
– 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