John Phalen “Stuffy” McInnis
Born: September 19, 1890 - Gloucester, MA
Died: February 16, 1960 - Ipswich, MA
Career BA: .307
Managerial Record: 51–103
Philadelphia Athletics AL (1909–1917)
Boston Red Sox AL (1918–1921)
Cleveland Indians AL (1922)
Boston Braves NL (1923–1924)
Pittsburgh Pirates NL (1925–1926)
Philadelphia Phillies NL (manager: 1927)
An excellent defensive first baseman with a .307 lifetime batting average as well as 2,405 hits over his great 18-season career, John “Stuffy” McInnis’ numbers are better than some current members of baseball’s most elite club. Besides being a solid hitter, McInnis was one of the best defensive first basemen in the game. In 1921, with the Red Sox, he committed only one error in 1,651 chances over 152 games; and his 1,300 errorless chances at first base set a league record. To top that, between May 31, 1921, and June 2, 1922, he raised the bar with 1,700 chances without an error over 163 games. These records would stand the test of time until 2007.
Nicknamed during his Minor League days, when fans would shout “That’s the stuff, kid!” after his sensational plays, McInnis was signed by Connie Mack when he was only 18 years old. As first baseman for some of the great A’s teams, he was part of the famed $100,000 infield along with Eddie Collins, Home Run Baker and Black Jack Barry. Over his storied career, McInnis played on five pennant-winning teams and four World Series Champs. Offensively, his best year was in 1912, when he batted .327 for the A’s, but McInnis had some other great years batting .315 for the Braves and .307 for the Red Sox. All in all, he batted over .300 on twelve different occasions, but is known more for his excellent fielding at first base. His one-handed style combined with the “knee reach” and use of the new claw-type first baseman’s glove was cutting edge at the time.
McInnis ended his pro career with an unsuccessful one-year stint as manager of the Phillies. He later coached baseball at Norwich University and Cornell before moving on to coach six seasons at Harvard. In our opinion, John “Stuffy” McInnis should be a candidate for the Hall of Fame. Cooperstown should take a hard look at this guy. As a matter of fact, he was given close consideration for the Cracker Jack All-Star Team, but was nosed out by Jake Daubert, another guy who belongs in the Hall.
– 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