Reuben Henry “Rube” Oldring
Born: May 30, 1884 - New York, NY
Died: September 9, 1961 - Bridgeton, NJ
Career BA: .270
New York Highlanders/Yankees AL (1905, 1916)
Philadelphia Athletics AL (1906–1916, 1918)
A slick-fielding outfielder that could hit and run with the best, Rube Oldring had a successful yet injury-prone Major League career which was spent mostly with the Athletics. His best offensive year was 1910 when he batted .308, but a leg injury kept him from playing in the World Series that year. Oldring led the American League in fielding percentage in 1910, 1911 and 1913. The fleet-footed Oldring also snagged 197 stolen bases over his career.
An integral part of the 1911 and 1913 World Champion A’s teams, Oldring also helped the A’s take the AL pennant in 1914. In Game 4 of the 1913 Series, he made an incredible shoestring catch to hold runners on base. That catch is considered one of the greatest in World Series history. Oldring was so popular with the fans in 1913 that he was voted the Athletics’ top player and was presented with a brand new Cadillac. Plagued with injuries off and on throughout his playing years, Oldring was also not in the best playing shape on occasion, which of course resulted in more injuries. As a matter of fact, Connie Mack once suspended both Oldring and his teammate Chief Bender for a little too much carousing.
After his MLB playing days, Oldring went on to manage and play in the minors through 1926. He finally hung them up and retired at age 42 to become a gentleman farmer in New Jersey. Oldring is credited with making many contributions to various youth baseball programs. As a matter of fact, the Rube Oldring Field, part of the Dreams Park Little League Complex in Cooperstown, NY, was dedicated to Oldring in 1997 for his many contributions to youth 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