Roger Thorpe Peckinpaugh
Born: February 5, 1891 - Wooster, OH
Died: November 17, 1977 - Cleveland, OH
Career BA: .259
Managerial Record: 500–491
Cleveland Naps/Indians AL (1910, 1912–1913, manager: 1928–1933, 1941)
New York Yankees AL (1913–1921, player-manager: 1914)
Washington Senators AL (1922–1926)
Chicago White Sox AL (1927)
Considering that his career overlapped with Honus Wagner’s for eight years, it would be a stretch to call Roger Peckinpaugh the best defensive shortstop of his generation. Still, his howitzer arm was widely deemed the best of the Deadball Era. Peckinpaugh played 17 seasons and had a respectable .259 career batting average. He was also an excellent baserunner with terrific speed. Of his 1,876 career hits, 331 were either doubles or triples. Peckinpaugh used his speed afield as well, leading the American League in assists as a shortstop four times.
As the ball came alive in baseball, so did Peckinpaugh’s production. After 1920, he experienced a marked increase in home runs, RBI, and batting average. In 1925 at age 34, he won the American League MVP Award playing for Washington. That season, Peckinpaugh had 124 hits and batted .294 with 64 RBI and an OBP of .367. Ever the team player, Peckinpaugh was perennially among the league leaders in sacrifice bunts as well. In 1914, Yankee manager Frank Chance was so enamored with the 23-year-old Peckinpaugh’s character that he named him team captain, and he became player-manager for the last 20 games of the season after Chance resigned.
Peckinpaugh spent nine seasons in New York. His last, 1921, saw the Yanks lose to the Giants in the World Series. Peckinpaugh would gain revenge over the Giants in 1924 as a member of the Senators. He hit .417 in the Series as Washington won the title in seven games. Peckinpaugh was born in Wooster, Ohio, and attended East Tech High School in Cleveland. He broke into the Bigs in 1910 with the Cleveland Naps. Fittingly, when his playing career ended, Peckinpaugh returned to Cleveland as a manager and executive with the Indians. Peckinpaugh was a true Buckeye with one heck of an eye for the baseball.
– 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