Baseball - The Big Three: Secretariat Image Gallery

Johnny Bates played nine seasons in the majors from 1906 until 1914. Bates played for the Boston Beaneaters, Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs in the National League, and finished his career with the Baltimore Terrapins of the Federal League. In 1154 games, Bates recorded 1087 hits, 25 home runs and 417 RBI with a .278 batting average.

Jake Beckley gained election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971, 53 years after his death, most baseball fans had no idea who he was or why he should be honored with a plaque in Cooperstown. Beckley's reputation suffered because he never played on a pennant winner, and only one team he played for (the 1893 Pirates) finished as high as second place. Still, the colorful "Eagle Eye" compiled a .308 lifetime average, hit .300 or better in 13 of his 20 seasons (including the first four seasons of the Deadball Era), and retired in 1907 as baseball's all-time leader in triples. Beckley still stands fourth on the all-time list of three-baggers, behind only Sam Crawford, Ty Cobb, and Honus Wagner. He held the career record for games played at first base until 1994, when Eddie Murray passed him, but he still leads all first basemen in putouts and total chances.

American Indian. Innovator. Renaissance man. Charles Albert “Chief” Bender lived a unique American life, fashioned a Hall of Fame career, and was an important member of modern baseball’s first dynasty. He silently struggled against racial prejudice, became a student of the game, and was a lifetime baseball man. His legacy, however, is less nuanced than all of that. Bender is known foremost for a rare ability to pitch under pressure. “If I had all the men I’ve ever handled, and they were in their prime, and there was one game I wanted to win above all others,” said Philadelphia Athletics icon Connie Mack, who managed fellow all-time pitching greats Lefty Grove, Herb Pennock, Eddie Plank, and Rube Waddell, “Albert would be my man.”

Jack Bliss, played from 1908 until 1912, for the St. Louis Cardinals, primarily as a catcher. He spent most of his career as a reserve, but was the Cardinals' primary catcher in 1911. He was a .219 lifetime hitter.

From 1901 to 1904 Bill Bradley was arguably the best young player in the American League. Wielding a heavy bat he nicknamed Big Bennie, the 6-foot, 185-pound right-hander was one of the junior circuit's most feared hitters, becoming the first player to homer in four straight games in 1902, and batting .300 or better three consecutive years. A natural power hitter who was out of place in the run-deprived Deadball Era, Bradley was not a fan of the "inside" strategies championed by many of the game's leading figures. "Brilliant coaching makes me tired," he once bluntly declared. "This idea...that coachers, teamwork, and the so-called inside ball ... makes or unmakes a team, is foolishness." Yet Bradley was no simple-minded basher; he was admired throughout the league for his aggressive base running and brilliant fielding at third base, where he led the league in double plays three times and fielding percentage four times. And when a series of injuries sapped his power, Bradley transformed his game, adopting inside tactics to help his team win. In 1908 the man who had ranked second in the league in home runs just six years earlier laid down 60 sacrifices, the second most in baseball history.


A versatile athlete who played all nine positions at the major-league level, Roger Bresnahan is generally regarded today as the Deadball Era's most famous catcher, as well known for his innovations in protective equipment as for his unusual skill package that made him one of the first catchers ever used continuously at the top of the batting order. Catchers almost always batted eighth in the Deadball Era, but Bresnahan was adept at reaching base (he had a .419 on-base percentage in 1906) and possessed surprising speed despite his 5'9", 200-pound frame. Like his close friend and mentor, John McGraw, the .279 lifetime hitter had a quick temper and was inherently tactless. One reporter described him as "highly strung and almost abnormally emotional," but he also had a soft heart. During his five years as a big-league manager, Bresnahan reportedly fined more players and took less money than any of his peers.


George Browne played in Major League Baseball for the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Giants, Boston Doves, Chicago Cubs, Washington Senators, Chicago White Sox, and Brooklyn Dodgers between 1901 and 1912. A member of the 1905 World Series champion Giants, Browne hit .227 with one RBI and two runs scored in the World Series.[2] Moonlight Graham, whose one-inning major-league career became famous through the movie Field of Dreams, replaced Browne in his lone appearance for the 1905 Giants. Browne's "World's Champions" jersey, which the Giants wore during the 1906 season, was exhibited at the Baseball Hall of Fame. After leaving the Giants following the 1907 season, Browne played one season with the Boston Doves and was sold to the Chicago Cubs; the Washington Senators then purchased him early in the 1909 season. He remained there until mid-1910, when he was sold to the Chicago White Sox. For his career, he compiled a .273 batting average, 303 runs batted in, 614 runs scored, and 190 stolen bases.

John Butler came up to the majors out of Fordham University to play just 1 game for the Brewers in 1901. A catcher who was weak offensively and defensively, he played four seasons in the big leagues with three different teams. He had a total of 119 at bats with an on-base percentage of .231 and a batting average of .134, which are not great numbers. Around his three MLB tours, Butler played ten seasons in the minors, mostly for the Kansas City Blues of the American Association, and then the Jersey City Skeeters and the Rochester Bronchos of the Eastern League. He retired at 31 after batting .247 in 2,478 minor league at bats. After his playing career ended, he did some coaching with the White Sox.

More remembered for scandals than sliders, Ed Cicotte was one of the nastiest men to ever toss the horsehide. Aptly nicknamed “Knuckles,” the fiery Cicotte became notorious as one of the eight Chicago White Sox players who threw the 1919 World Series. Before his socks turned black, Cicotte was a devastating hurler. In a 14-year career, he posted an ERA of under 2.00 five times. This frugality was mixed with ferocity as Knuckles whiffed over 100 batters in a season eight times. Cicotte was little more than a .500 pitcher in four and a half seasons with the Red Sox. He continued that trend after being sold to Chicago in 1912. Things changed in 1916 as the 32-year-old Cicotte went 15–7 with a 1.78 ERA. It was a sign of things to come. He broke out in 1917, leading the American League with 28 wins, a 1.53 ERA, and a Herculean 346.2 innings pitched. In the 1917 World Series, Cicotte was 1–1 with 13 Ks and an ERA of 1.57 as Chicago beat the Giants in six games. In that Series, Cicotte surrendered 23 hits in 23 innings pitched. In fact, he gave up a nearly 3,000 hits in his career, but allowed just over 1,100 runs. Cicotte was 29–7 in that fateful 1919 season and 1–2 in the tainted World Series loss. He would win 21 games in his final season of 1920 before being banned for life by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis. Ultimately, Cicotte’s legacy of awesome pitching is forever tarnished by awful decision-making.

Louisville Colonels NL (1898) St. Louis Cardinals NL (1905) Cleveland Naps AL (1908–1909) Boston Rustlers NL (1911) Josh “Pepper” Clarke, brother of the great Hall of Famer Fred Clarke, was a backup outfielder who did not have his brother’s talent. He managed to bat .242 in 492 at bats in 1908 for the Naps, but did not play much in his other four MLB seasons. In 1908 he swiped 37 bases, good for fifth in the league, and he was fourth in the league in bases on balls with 76. Clarke was up and down in the minors throughout his career, playing for the Des Moines Undertakers and the Sioux City Packers in the Western League and the St. Paul Saints, the Toledo Mud Hens, the Columbus Senators, and the Kansas City Blues in the American Association. He was Sioux City’s player/manager from 1913 to 1915. Over his 14 seasons as a minor league player, he batted .289 in 5,863 at bats. After his playing days ended in 1915, Clarke managed the Lincoln Links in the Western League in 1924 and 1925. He came back in 1936 when he was 57 to manage the Omaha Robin Hoods/Rock Island Islanders in the Western League.

Fate: “The supposed force, principle, or power that predetermines events.” [1] Some people believe in it, some do not, though no one can be certain of its existence. But Fred Clarke was a believer in fate. In an interview with a reporter from the New York Herald in 1911, Clarke admitted, “I attribute my success to fate. ... Life is a funny game, and a little thing, almost a trifle, may make a splash in your affairs so big that the ripples from it will be felt as long as you live.” [2] Skeptics might write off Clarke’s words as the ramblings of a highly successful sports figure exuding false modesty as he nostalgically looked back on his career. However, a close study of Clarke’s life shows that the fiery player-manager may have had a better feel for what was happening to him than any skeptic could imagine.

Rockford Red Sox IIIL (1904) Dubuque Shamrocks IIIL (1905) Dubuque Dubs IIIL (1906) Peoria Distillers IIIL (1907) Indianapolis Indians AA (1908–1909) Omaha Rourkes WL (1909) Rock Island Islanders IIIL (1910–1911) Dubuque Hustlers IIIL (1911) Seattle Giants NWES (1911) Paul Davidson had a steady career in the minors, playing for nine different teams. An outfielder with a pretty good glove, Davidson also pitched in 1911 for the Rock Island Islanders and the Dubuque Hustlers, going 1–4. His 1908 Indianapolis Indians team was managed by Charlie Carr. Davidson’s best season was 1910, when he batted .296 for Rock Island. After eight seasons in the minors, he retired in 1911 with 883 hits in 3,402 at bats and 911 games.

For Josh Devore, the third time was definitely the charm. A native of Murray City, Ohio, Devore broke into the Bigs with the New York Giants in 1908. Pennant bridesmaids in Devore’s first three seasons, New York finally made it to the World Series in 1911, only to lose in six games to the Philadelphia Athletics. Devore and the Giants returned to the Fall Classic in 1912, but again were vanquished, this time by the Red Sox in seven games. The year 1913 was a whirlwind for Devore. He played for the Giants, Reds, and Phillies before landing with the Boston Braves just in time for another trip to the World Series. In his third chance at glory, Devore’s team came through as the “Miracle Braves” beat the A’s in a four-game sweep. Devore was no Mr. October, batting just .204 in 14 career World Series games, but he was a steady contributor to all of his clubs. A fantastic leadoff man, Devore was adept at the arts of bunting and stealing. He once swiped four bases in a single inning. He also made many a game-saving play in the outfield, including a memorable snag in Game 3 of the 1912 World Series. Some 36 years before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, Devore and the Giants played in the Cuban-American Major League Club Series versus two Cuban clubs, Almendares Park and Havana Park. Devore hit over .300 just one time, in his first full season with the Giants, but he finished with a respectable career batting average

While only one major-league pitcher has lost 20 games in a single season during the twenty-first century, the now dubiously recognized feat did not carry the same stigma a century ago. In fact, during the 1901-1910 decade, 12 different pitchers for Boston’s National League entry produced 18 seasons of 20 or more losses. Among them were Hall of Famer Vic Willis; 20-game winners Irv Young, Togie Pittinger, and Chick Fraser; and eight other lesser known hurlers including Augustus Dorner. Gus Dorner was a 5-foot-10, 175-pound right-hander who compiled a 35-69 lifetime record with a 3.37 ERA over a six-year major-league career that spanned 1902-1909 and included stops in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Boston (NL). A hard-luck loser who played for poor teams and received little run support, Dorner joined the fraternity of major-league pitchers who lost 20 or more games in a season when his name appeared in the loss column a National League-leading 26 times in 1906.

Best known as the player who Cleveland would not trade for the young Ty Cobb or as the man who won the American League batting title with the lowest average prior to 1968, Elmer Flick was more than just an answer to a trivia question. An underrated Hall of Famer whose on-the-field accomplishments are nearly forgotten today, Flick was a hard-hitting, fleet-footed outfielder who had his major league career curtailed by a mysterious gastrointestinal ailment.

Standing just 5'5" and a stocky 169 pounds, Topsy Hartsel used his small size to become the most effective leadoff batter of the Deadball Era. During his 10 seasons with the Athletics, Hartsel led the American League in walks five times, on base percentage twice, and runs scored once. His 121 free passes in 1905 remained the American League record until Babe Ruth shattered it in 1920. Batting at the top of Connie Mack's order and playing a solid left field, he set the table for some of the era's best teams as his Philadelphia Athletics won four pennants during his ten year tenure with the club. The Sporting News said on reporting his death in 1944, "Though never an outstanding batsman, Hartsel, who was only five feet five inches tall, was one of the game's greatest leadoff men. He was a lefthanded hitter, very fast, with an uncanny eye at the bat. And once he got on base he was a difficult man to stop."

In 1908 Hayden played for the Indianapolis Indians, who won the American Association pennant under manager Charles Carr. Hayden led the league in hits with 186 (and led in doubles and triples) and in batting average, at .316. The Chicago Cubs were in a three-way battle for the National League pennant, which they ultimately won by just one game over the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Giants. Both the Reds and Cubs selected Hayden in the September 2 draft, and he wound up with Chicago, helping out after center fielder Jimmy Slagle injured his leg. Jack was ineligible to play in the World Series, having joined the club after the August 31 deadline – but he’d hit only .200 in 45 at-bats, scored three runs and driven in two. But he had apparently contributed – he “helped to win several games by his hitting on the last crucial Eastern trip,” wrote the correspondent for Sporting Life in the October 31 issue, also noting that Hayden had been “forgotten” when Series shares were allotted. Columnist W.A. Phelon, writing in January, said that “Coakley and Hayden did not do very much for the Cubs late fall, but what they did was done well, and the goods were delivered at just the proper time.”


Before Ray Chapman, Mickey Cochrane, Tony Conigliaro, Dickie Thon, and Adam Greenberg, the list of careers compromised by pitched baseballs claimed Danny Hoffman. On July 1, 1904, a Jesse Tannehill fastball caught the dynamic Philadelphia Athletics outfielder above his right eye, nearly killing him. Hoffman returned after months of recovery, and, despite significant damage to his eyesight, persevered to play another seven major-league seasons. But, like others who followed him, one pitch forever changed the trajectory of his baseball life.

An above-average centerfielder and one of the Deadball Era's finest utility men, Artie Hofman was a timely hitter and one of the fleetest men in the game. Known as "Circus Solly," a nickname some attributed to a comic strip character from the early 1900s, while others swore it came from his spectacular circus catches, Hofman garnered attention with his playing style and also his lively antics. He is "serious only when asleep," jibed Baseball Magazine. Along with fellow free spirits Frank "Wildfire" Schulte and Jimmy Sheckard, Hofman completed what Ring Lardner once called "the best outfield I ever looked at." During his tenure with the Cubs, Hofman played every position outside of the battery and was universally regarded as the game's best utility man before he became a regular in center field in 1909. Perhaps he is most famous as the outfielder who fielded Al Bridwell's single and called Evers' attention to the fact that Fred Merkle had not touched second base. Merkle's baserunning blunder and the disputed game forced a one-game playoff with John McGraw's Giants, allowing the Cubs to capture the 1908 flag. Hugh Keough, a newspaper writer who was friendly with Hofman, claims that the irrepressible Circus Solly fielded the ball and fired a curve to Evers, who missed it, allowing the ball to be picked up by Joe McGinnity, who lobbed it into the grandstand.

As both a slick-fielding second baseman and legendary manager, Miller “Mighty Mite” Huggins definitely left his mark on our National Pastime. The diminutive 5-foot, 6-inch Huggins was bitten by the baseball bug while attending the University of Cincinnati. Although he graduated with a law degree, Huggins never practiced law, opting for a baseball career instead. Huggins proved to be fleet-footed, stealing 324 bases over his playing career, and was adept at getting on base. The perfect lead-off hitter, Huggins led the league in walks four times. He became a steady influence at the pivot position for both his Reds and Cardinals teams. Even though he was a skilled second baseman, Huggins found his true calling as a manager. He became player-manager of the Cards, and had some success in St. Louis but his teams never finished higher than third place. It is said that Huggins tried to buy the franchise when it was for sale in 1918, but his offer was rejected. Huggins then left the Cards, but Jake Rupert, owner of the Yankees, saw something in his management style, and the rest is history. Once in New York, Huggins took a group of undisciplined carousers and turned them into a spectacular baseball team. He systematically rebuilt the Yankees by bringing in new talent. Huggins corralled the great Babe Ruth, and recruited future stars Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri and Earle Combs. His 1927 “Murderer’s Row” team is considered one of the best of all time. Huggins led the Yankees to World Series wins in 1923, 1927 and 1928, and to the pennant in 1921, 1922 and 1926.

In 1907 38 year-old Hughie Jennings became the sixth manager in seven years of the downtrodden Detroit Tigers. Aided by a young phenom named Ty Cobb, Jennings proceeded to lead the Tigers to three consecutive pennants in his first three seasons with the club. Though he never won another pennant after 1909, Jennings continued to manage the Tigers through the 1920 season, accumulating a .538 winning percentage and guiding the club to 10 first division finishes in 14 seasons. Even though he had to deal with the temperamental Cobb during his entire tenure with Detroit, Jennings was the most colorful, animated and cheerful manager in the game. He sported a boyish, infectious smile on his freckled, red-headed Irish face. Umpire Tim Hurst called it "the grin that echoed." During the game he was constant motion, continually hollering his signature "Ee-yah!" and "Attaboy" from his third base coaching box while plucking the grass bare. Perhaps not surprisingly, given his gift of gab, in the off-season Jennings was a highly-regarded trial lawyer in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania. He achieved all this success despite a string of freak accidents--including three separate serious head injuries--unparalleled in the history of the sport.

In his interview with Lawrence Ritter for Ritter's classic book The Glory of Their Times, Davy Jones described the kaleidoscope of players who enlivened the Deadball Era. "Baseball attracted all sorts of people in those days," he explained. "We had stupid guys, smart guys, tough guys, mild guys, crazy guys, college men, slickers from the city, and hicks from the country." At times, Jones himself could seem a bit like all of the above. A rare collegian who possessed a law degree and later went on to a prosperous career in pharmacology, the intelligent Jones could also be quick-tempered and impulsive. Jones had run-ins with umpires, managers, players and fans, and once even bounced a knife-wielding robber from his drugstore. During his first years in the pros he jumped so many contracts that the press nicknamed him "The Kangaroo." "He signed so many contracts last winter that a half dozen lawyers could not have made a worse tangle," the Chicago Tribune quipped in 1902. When he finally settled down with the Detroit Tigers, the fleet-footed and pesky Jones became one of the game's best, though oft-injured, leadoff hitters. His most successful season in Detroit came in 1907, when he helped spark the Tigers to the first of three consecutive American League pennants.

For nine seasons Addie Joss was one of the best pitchers in the history of the American League, posting four 20-win seasons, capturing two ERA titles, and tossing two no-hitters (one of them a perfect game) and seven one-hitters. Of Joss's 160 career victories 45 were shutouts, and his career 1.89 ERA ranks second all-time only to his long-time rival Ed Walsh among players with 1,000 innings pitched. An exceptional control pitcher with a deceptive pitching motion, the right-handed Joss employed a corkscrew delivery, turning his back entirely to the batter before coming at him with a sidearm motion that confused most hitters. "Joss not only had great speed and a fast-breaking curve," Baseball Magazine observed in 1911, "but [also] a very effective pitching motion, bringing the ball behind him with a complete body swing and having it on the batter almost before the latter got sight of it." After nearly pitching the Naps to their first pennant in 1908, illness and injury limited Addie's endurance during his final two major league seasons, before his life was tragically cut short at the age of 31 by a bacterial infection.

Outfielder Joe Kelley’s sensational play on the diamond earned him the well-deserved title “Kingpin of the Orioles.” He along with John McGraw, Willie Keeler, and Hughie Jennings made up the “Big Four” of the great Baltimore teams of the middle 1890s. Kelley was fleet of foot, sure-handed in the field, and blessed with a powerful throwing arm. At the plate, Joe was a prolific hitter who once connected for nine consecutive hits in a doubleheader. In the outfield, he was one of the best defenders of his day. Joe reportedly hid extra baseballs in the outfield grass on the sly in case the one in play got by him. Dubbed “Handsome Joe Kelley” by his multitude of female admirers in Baltimore, he kept a small mirror and comb in his back pocket in order to maintain his well-groomed appearance during games. In a 1923 interview, Kelley’s former teammate and future Hall of Famer John McGraw told a reporter, “Joe had no prominent weakness. He was fast on the bases, could hit the ball hard and was as graceful an outfielder as one would care to see. He covered an immense amount of ground and had the necessary faculty, so prominent in [Tris] Speaker and others, of being able to place himself where the batter would likely hit the ball.” Kelley played on six pennant-winning teams during his 17-year stint in the major leagues. He finished with a .317 career batting average, 443 stolen bases, .402 on-base percentage, and 194 triples. He knocked in 100 or more runs in five straight seasons and scored over 100 runs six times. Defensively, Joe was outstanding, posting a lifetime .955 fielding percentage in the outfield to go along with 212 assists. When his glory days on the diamond ended, he continued on in the game as a manager, scout, and coach.

Cincinnati Reds NL (1907) Cleveland Naps AL (1910) Boston Doves NL (1910) Kansas City Packers FL (1914–1915) After 4 years with the Oakland Oaks in the Pacific Coast League, Art Kruger launched his MLB career with the Reds. In 1907 he batted a paltry .232 and was promptly sent back down to the minors. He played two seasons for the Columbus Senators in the American Association, batting .290 in 1909, and was again promoted to the big leagues. After playing only 16 games split between the Naps and the Doves, Kruger was sent back down to the Portland Beavers in the Pacific Coast League. He had several good seasons there, hitting as high as .299 in 1912. The 1914 season found Kruger back in the majors, playing for Kansas City in the Federal League, where he batted .259 with 114 hits, 47 RBI, and 11 stolen bases in 441 at bats, his best season by far. After the 1915 season, he finally called it quits when he was 34 years old.

Ed Lennox played in Major League Baseball for the Philadelphia Athletics, Brooklyn Superbas, Chicago Cubs, and Pittsburgh Rebels. While playing for the Rebels in 1914, Lennox hit for the cycle on May 6, becoming the only Federal League player to do so. He also hit pinch-hit home runs in consecutive games on June 10 and 11, a feat that was not accomplished again until Victor Martinez of the Detroit Tigers did so against the Miami Marlins on April 4 and 5, 2016.

Brooklyn Superbas NL (1904–1910; player/manager: 1909) In the 20th century only one rookie led his league in triples and homers, and his name was Harry “Judge” Lumley. As a 23-year-old rookie in 1904, Lumley also finished second only to Honus Wagner in total bases and second only to “Bad Bill” Dahlen in RBI. He developed into one of the most feared sluggers of his era and Brooklyn’s most popular player. By the time Lumley was included in the T206 set in 1909, his once-bright career was in full decline due to ongoing weight issues and resulting injuries. An injured ankle led to a .216 average in 1908, and he only played 55 games in 1909 due to a shoulder injury, hitting .250 with no homers as the Superbas’ player/manager. He went just 55–98 (.359) as Brooklyn’s manager, and was replaced in 1910 by Bill Dahlen. Lumley was player/manager of the Binghamton Bingoes in the New York State League for three seasons. He retired in 1913 as a career .335 minor league hitter and ran a tavern in Binghamton.

Doc Marshall was a professional baseball player who played catcher from 1904 to 1909. He briefly managed the Chicago Whales during the inaugural Federal League season. In 1907, while playing for the Cardinals he led all catchers in assists and errors. Marshall was purchased by the Chicago Cubs on May 29, 1908 and made a number of appearances that season, but did not play in the 1908 World Series for the champion Cubs. He also played with the Des Moines Undertakers of the Western League and the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Paul Saints of the American Association. After retiring from baseball, he became a doctor and practiced medicine for 45 years in Clinton.

If there were a Hall of Fame for pinch hitters, one of the first to enter would be Harry Elwood "Moose" McCormick. In 1922, when asked how he explained his pinch-hitting success, McCormick said, "It was because I never worried when I went to the plate. I always thought this when I was asked to bat for another: ''Well, if I fail, no fault can be found with me, for if everybody on the team had been hitting I would never had been called on.'"

Although he was one of the biggest men in the major leagues at the dawn of the 20th century, at 5-foot-11 and 206 pounds, he was hardly a power pitcher. In his prime years, he relied almost exclusively on a baffling, rising curve ball that was so dear to him he gave it a nickname, “Old Sal.” He used a peculiar underarm pitching style but also sometimes threw a devastating sinker with a more conventional overhand motion. John McGraw often said he thought the use of two radically different pitching motions may have lessened the strain on his arm and contributed to making him so durable. He said that when pitching his doubleheaders, McGinnity would sometimes throw one game overhand and work the other game with underarm motion. “He was a close second to McGraw when it came to needling players,” Ed Burkholder once wrote in Sport. “When he was on the mound, an enemy baserunner was in a constant state of nerves, and his bantering with the batter in the box contributed much to his success.”4 Legendary manager Connie Mack described simply described McGinnity as “a magician,” noting that “he knew all the tricks for putting a batter on the spot.” McGinnity also mixed in a healthy dose of guile and an almost unmatched understanding of how to manipulate batters. He occasionally blended in a spitball, was expert at using the quick pitch, and never hesitated to brush back a hitter who stood too close to the plate. His 40 hit batsmen in 1900 are still the major-league record.

Back in an era when a manager's responsibilities often included both the duties of a modern skipper plus those of today's general manager, Pat Moran excelled at each role. In a span of six years Moran took over two mediocre franchises with little history of winning, rebuilt and reassembled their players, and managed each to a pennant. Unfortunately, his place in the pantheon of great managers never solidified due to his unexpected and premature death at age 48. Although Pat Moran never became a star and played in more than 100 games only twice, he nevertheless proved a valuable player on several teams. More significantly, he excelled at all aspects of the manager's job, from assembling the players, to coaching the pitchers, to orchestrating a game, to the handling of men. After inheriting two of the National League's also-ran clubs he finished first twice, including one World Series championship, and second four times in only nine years of managing. For this brief period, Moran managed at as high a level as any manager ever. Sadly, a premature death robbed him of the extensive career he could have enjoyed.

"Red Murray was for years noted as one of the greatest outfielders in the National League," wrote J.C. Kofoed in the April 1924 issue of Baseball Magazine. "His throwing arm was the best ever, his ground covering ability and sureness of eye were classic. Furthermore, he was remarkably fast as a base runner, and noted as a batter as well." In his seven seasons as a regular, Murray led NL outfielders in home runs, runs batted in, stolen bases, and assists a total of 16 times. Despite his impressive statistics in power hitting, baserunning, and fielding, he remains one of the least-recognized stars of the Deadball Era.

MLB Pitching Record: 108–71 ERA: 2.23 Teams: Cincinnati Reds NL (February 2, 1881 - July 14, 1947) Chicago Cubs NL (1906–1910, 1913) Before Orval Overall’s MLB days, he pitched for the University of California at Berkeley and was captain of their football team. It might not surprise you that “Double O” lasted just—you guessed it—7 years in the majors. But they were a great 7 years. His career 2.24 ERA is 13th best in major league history. Overall was a Tigers nemesis during their three straight World Series appearances; he beat them once in the 1907 Series and twice in 1908, including the Game 5 clincher—a 3-hit shutout in which he struck out four batters in the first inning, the only time that has happened in World Series history. Unfortunately, his arm started to give him trouble in 1911, shortening his career. He attempted a comeback in 1913, but ended up retiring that year. He was nicknamed “The Big Groundhog” because his birthday was on February 2. In 1918 he unsuccessfully ran for Congress. He then became a very influential banker in Fresno.

Frank Malcolm Owen (December 23, 1879 – November 24, 1942) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball who played eight seasons with the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox. Born in Ypsilanti, Michigan (and nicknamed "Yip" for it), he pitched the final six innings of Game 2 of the 1906 World Series, replacing Doc White. In 194 career games, Owen had an 82–67 won-loss record with a 2.55 ERA. Owen was the first American League pitcher to pitch complete game wins in both games of a doubleheader, winning against the St. Louis Browns on 1 July 1905.[1] Owen was mistakenly referred to as "Billy Owen" in the 1906 version of the "Fan Craze" board game, released by the Fan Craze Co of Cincinnati.[2] In 1904, as a member of the White Sox, in 315 innings of work, he handled 151 chances (21 PO, 130 A) without an error and also executed 8 double plays.

Starting 217 games as a Browns pitcher and relieving in 49 more, Barney Pelty was, along with shortstop Bobby Wallace, the common thread on a team that flirted with destiny and fell into oblivion. Armed with an excellent curveball that kept opposing hitters off-balance, the 5'9", 175-lb right-hander recorded 22 career shutouts, but also was shut out 32 times, meaning that fully a quarter of his decisions ended as a shutout, one way or the other. In his best season, 1906, Pelty finished with a 1.59 ERA, which still stands as a record for the lowest single season ERA in Browns/Orioles franchise history, and a league-best .202 opponents batting average, but still won only 16 games. A man of cautious intelligence, with handsomely broad features and prominent ears that made him seem slightly older than he was, Pelty was often used by his managers as a field coach, and after his baseball career dabbled in trade and politics. One of only a handful of Jewish ballplayers during the Deadball Era, "the Yiddish Curver" made no attempt to hide his heritage, but was also not a religious person. If he faced anti-Semitism, he certainly never complained publicly or let it be known that it bothered him. He was a proud man who dealt with life the way he dealt with the hard-luck team he played for, with a quiet and dignified professionalism.

A side-wheeling left-hander with a great pick-off move to first base that kept runners close, Jack Pfiester posted a lifetime 2.02 ERA over eight seasons, the third best of all-time for pitchers with at least 1,000 innings, but he is best remembered for his seven shutouts and 15-5 career record against the hated New York Giants. "No longer will Chicago's fans struggle with the pretzel curves of the great southpaw's patronymic; no longer will it be mispronounced by seven out of every eight bugs and bugettes," wrote I. E. Sanborn of the Chicago Tribune after Pfiester's 2-1 victory over the Giants on August 30, 1908. "Pfiester, the spelling of which has been the occasion of as many wagers as its mispronunciation, will be dropped as meaningless and inappropriate, and for the rest of time and part of eternity Mr. Pfiester of private life will be known to the public and the historians as Jack the Giant Killer."

John McGraw once said that Arthur “Bugs” Raymond was the best pitcher he ever tried to manage. Considered one of the best spitball pitchers of the era, Raymond was also one of the game’s biggest boozers. Teammate Rube Marquard once said that Bugs didn’t spit on the ball, he just breathed on it and it came up drunk. His best season was 1909, when he went 18–12 with 2.47 ERA, despite quitting the Giants with six weeks left in the season to tend bar. Sadly, many felt the more he drank, the better he pitched, feeding his habit. McGraw tried to help Raymond beat his addiction, sending him away for treatment, but he was kicked out of the program for horsing around. Finally admitting defeat, McGraw kicked Raymond off the team in 1911 after he left the Giants’ bullpen during a game to go to a local bar. Raymond went back to Chicago and played in the United States League for the Chicago Green Sox for a short time in 1912. In September of that year, 30-year-old Bugs Raymond died of head injuries suffered in a brawl during a game at the same sandlot field in Chicago where he had played baseball as a kid.


According to J.C. Kofoed of Baseball Magazine, Big Ed Reulbach was "one of the greatest pitchers that the National League ever produced, and one of the finest, clean-cut gentlemen who ever wore a big league uniform." A statuesque 6'1", 190 lb. right-hander, Reulbach employed the technique of "shadowing"?hiding the ball in his windup?as well as a high leg kick like that of Juan Marichal (according to Chief Meyers in a 1967 interview) and what was generally regarded as the finest curve ball in either league to become one baseball's most difficult pitchers to hit. He hurled two one-hitters, six two-hitters, and 13 three-hitters, and in 1906 he yielded 5.33 hits per nine innings, still the third-lowest ratio of all time. Reulbach also gave up fewer hits than innings pitched in each of his 13 seasons, a feat that was never accomplished by any pitcher in the Hall of Fame (Christy Mathewson and Cy Young also did it 13 times, but they pitched 17 and 22 seasons, respectively), and on September 26, 1908, he became the only pitcher ever to throw a doubleheader shutout.

Every human being who has lived on this Earth has done so with a shaky psychological underpinning. Most of us manage to hold onto our senses and live out our lives keeping our balance. Then there are those unfortunate ones who lose their psychological balance and go under. Major leaguers are not exempt. Claude Rossman was one of the unfortunates. Sometime after his too-brief major-league career, he had a breakdown. He died in a hospital for the insane at the age of 46. The cause was paresis, or insanity caused by syphilitic alteration of the brain. On May 4, 1907, as a baserunner, Rossman was involved in an unusual triple play pulled off by the Chicago White Sox. All the outs were tag outs. Rossman was on third base and Germany Schaefer was on second when batter Boss Schmidt sent a groundball to shortstop George Davis. Rossman headed for home but retreated to third when Davis threw the ball home, but catcher Billy Sullivan tagged him out before he could get back to the base. Schmidt had reached first, rounded the bag and was tagged out at second. Schaefer, meanwhile, ran for home and crashed into pitcher Ed Walsh, who had taken the throw from second. Walsh dropped the ball, but shortstop Davis scopped it up and tagged Schaefer. According to Baseball Triple Plays online, there have been only 13 all-tag-out triple plays in the major leaguess. Rossman excelled in the 1907 World Series, batting .474 with a .579 slugging percentage on 9 hits, including a triple. He had two runs batted in and scored one. run. Unfortunately Ty Cobb and Sam Crawford did not come through for the Tigers, hitting .200 and .238 respectively. The Tigers fell to the Chicago Cubs in four straight. In 1908, Rossman experienced the best year of his major-league career. He hit for a.294 batting average, with 33 doubles, a slugging percentage of .419, 71 runs batted in and 13 triples. His doubles total was the second best in the American League. In the 1908 World Series against the Chicago Cubs, he was 4-for-19 (.211) with 3 runs batted in. The Tigers again fell to the Cubs in the Series.

Among his banner years with the Cubs, Schulte lived up to his nickname in the 1911 season when he batted .300, led the league in RBI with 107, and assaulted National League pitching with 21 home runs, a remarkable feat during the Deadball Era. That year Schulte became the first player to top the 20 mark in doubles (30), triples (21), stolen bases (23), and home runs (21). Over the years only three other players have earned a place in the 20-20-20-20-club. The other three members? Willie Mays, Jimmy Rollins and Curtis Granderson. Schulte’s 1911 season was so spectacular that he won the Chalmers Award as MVP of the National League. The speedy Schulte also stole 233 bases over his stellar career. A bit eccentric, Schulte refused to use the heavy bats of the era, favoring a thin-handled 40-ounce bat instead, and would typically break about 50 bats each season. He also believed that if he found a hairpin on the street, it would predict his batting success, and he was often seen searching the sidewalks for hairpins before a game. Wildfire Schulte had the distinction of leading the NL in home runs in 1910 and 1911, played on four NL pennant teams (1906, 1907, 1908, 1910) and two World Series Champions (1907, 1908). By the way, he owns a .321 batting average in the World Series. Not too shabby. As his career declined, he was dealt to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Washington, where he ended his Major League career with the Senators. Frank played and managed for another five years in the bushes until 1923. Three days before the World Series in 1949 Wildfire Schulte’s flame went out permanently. He was 67 years old.

Teams: Cleveland Naps AL (1906) Washington Senators AL (1907–1909) “Skipper Bill” Shipke showed promise when he led the Western League in homers in 1905, drawing the attention of the Cleveland Naps. He signed with the Naps, but only had 6 at bats in the majors (without a hit) in 1906 before going back to the Western League to hit .260 and steal 35 bases. Washington bought him from the Des Moines Champs for the 1907 season, and although he finished second in fielding at third base, he hit just .196 and posted his only MLB home run. He only hit .208 in 1908 and was replaced in the starting lineup by Bob Unglaub, who was purchased from the Red Sox midseason. In 1909, Shipke went 2 for 16 (.125) for Washington in his final big league season. Shipke returned to the Western League to play for the Omaha Rourkes until 1914. He managed the Huron Packers of the South Dakota League in 1920 and the Aberdeen Grays of the Dakota League in 1922, and then scouted in the minors until he died in 1940.

Speedy Sammy Strang (born Samuel Strang Nicklin), nicknamed “The Dixie Thrush,” was a very valuable player as a starter and a utility man. Some speculate that John McGraw coined the term “pinch hitter” because Strang always came through in the “pinch” when he came up to bat. He led the league in on-base percentage in 1906 with .423. A base-stealing threat, he had 46 swipes in 1903. He played on the Giants’ 1905 championship team. After his MLB days, Strang played for the Baltimore Orioles in the Eastern League from 1908 through 1910. He also coached at Georgia Tech in 1902 and at the U.S. Military Academy from 1909 to 1917. Strang was manager and president of the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Southern Association from 1919 to 1921 and manager in 1925.

These are the saddest of possible words: “Tinker to Evers to Chance.” Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds, Tinker and Evers and Chance. Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble, Making a Giant hit into a double — Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble: “Tinker to Evers to Chance.” On September 14, 1902, the scorer of the game between the Chicago and Cincinnati team wrote the results of a double play as Tinker and Evers and Chance. The following day, another double play turned by the trio was written Tinker to Evers to Chance. Those were the first and second times a scorer entered in the scorebook a double-play combination that in the history books is the most memorable of all time.

Jacob Weimer, nicknamed "Tornado Jake" (November 29, 1873 – June 19, 1928), was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a pitcher for the Chicago Cubs (1903–1905), Cincinnati Reds (1906–1908) and New York Giants (1909). He batted right-handed and threw left-handed. Weimer was born in Ottumwa, Iowa.[1] He toiled for eight years in the minor leagues, before becoming one of the top left-handers in baseball. In a seven-season career, Weimer posted a 97–69 record with 657 strikeouts and a 2.23 ERA in 1472-2/3 innings pitched. His career ERA ranks 14th all-time, 10th among post-1900 pitchers. He was also a good hitting pitcher in the majors, posting a .213 batting average (115-for-540) with 46 runs, one home run and 36 RBI. Weimer emerged as one of the Chicago Cubs' top starting pitchers in the first part of 20th century. He went 21–9 with a 2.30 ERA in his 1903 rookie season and 20–14 with 1.91 in his sophomore year. After going 18–12 with 2.26 in 1905, he was sent to the Cincinnati Reds for third baseman Harry Steinfeldt and Jimmy Sebring before 1906. In a trade that benefited both teams, Steinfeld hit .327 to lead the Cubs to their first World Series and Weimer won 20 games for Cincinnati, but eventually faded and was sent to the New York Giants after two subpar seasons. He played his final game with the Giants in 1909. Weimer died in Chicago, at the age of 54.


Few names in early 20th-century America incited as much animosity and vitriol as Kaiser Wilhelm II, the emperor of Germany. After assuming the throne in 1888, the bombastic and often tactless leader inaugurated an aggressive foreign policy program that antagonized nations and directly led to World War I, in 1914. No wonder Ohio-born Irvin Wilhelm abhorred the nickname Kaiser. A journeyman right-handed spitballer in the Deadball Era, Wilhelm debuted in 1903 and posted a lackluster 56-105 record in parts of nine big-league seasons, most notably with the Boston Beaneaters and Brooklyn Superbas. Early in Wilhelm’s career, bellicose fans hoped to unnerve him on the mound by shouting the invective “Kaiser!” Gradually, the press took up the moniker, and forever thereafter Wilhelm was known as Kaiser Wilhelm despite his vehement protestations, especially during his short stint as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies (1921-1922). All but forgotten, Wilhelm’s name was revived in 2004 when research led by SABR’s Ray Nemec determined that he held (as of 2015) the minor-league record for most consecutive scoreless innings, an eye-popping 72.1

Owen Wilson is most remembered for hitting 36 triples in 1912, which is not only a major league record, but also a record for all of organized baseball. To the modern fan, that fact conjures up images of a speedy leadoff hitter racing around the bases, but that image does not square with Owen Wilson. At 6' 2" and 185 pounds, the left-handed hitting slugger was powerfully built and not particularly fast (his 1912 stolen base total of 16 was one shy of his career best), and he typically batted sixth or seventh in the batting order. Wilson typically blasted his triples over the heads of rival outfielders. "A three-base hit may usually be made only by driving the ball clear to the fence, particularly toward center field on most grounds," he once said. "I made 36 triples my best year, but not a few of those long drives would probably have been homers had they not been stopped by the fence."

In his interview with Lawrence Ritter for Ritter's classic book The Glory of Their Times, Davy Jones described the kaleidoscope of players who enlivened the Deadball Era. "Baseball attracted all sorts of people in those days," he explained. "We had stupid guys, smart guys, tough guys, mild guys, crazy guys, college men, slickers from the city, and hicks from the country." At times, Jones himself could seem a bit like all of the above. A rare collegian who possessed a law degree and later went on to a prosperous career in pharmacology, the intelligent Jones could also be quick-tempered and impulsive. Jones had run-ins with umpires, managers, players and fans, and once even bounced a knife-wielding robber from his drugstore. During his first years in the pros he jumped so many contracts that the press nicknamed him "The Kangaroo." "He signed so many contracts last winter that a half dozen lawyers could not have made a worse tangle," the Chicago Tribune quipped in 1902. When he finally settled down with the Detroit Tigers, the fleet-footed and pesky Jones became one of the game's best, though oft-injured, leadoff hitters. His most successful season in Detroit came in 1907, when he helped spark the Tigers to the first of three consecutive American League pennants. For years Zimmerman's inconsistency had fueled suspicion among some members of the press that he was a dishonest player, but prior to 1919 the accusations never rose above the level of vague insinuation. Words like "erratic," "episodic," and "problematic" left unspoken the fear shared by many that Zimmerman might have been selling ballgames. The events of 1919, however, removed all doubt. Before the season the Giants acquired the most notorious game-thrower of them all, Hal Chase, from the Cincinnati Reds. McGraw believed that he could reform the corrupt Chase, but instead of turning over a new leaf, Prince Hal repaid McGraw's kindness by shifting his game-fixing operations to a new city, recruiting Zimmerman as his new sidekick.

Hazen Shirley “Kiki” Cuyler (August 30, 1898 - February 11, 1950) played 18 seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1921-1927), the Chicago Cubs (1928-1935), the Cincinnati Reds (1935-1937 and the Brooklyn Dodgers (1938). With great speed and superb hitting ability, Cuyler collected 2,299 hits with 1,065 RBI, scoring 1.305 runs stealing 328 bases and batting a career .321 average. Consistently hitting over .300, Cuyler topped the .350-mark four times highlighted by his 1925 career year, when he hit .357, scored 144 runs leading the league with 26 triples en route to his only World Series title. Four times, Cuyler led the league in stolen bases, once in doubles and once in triples. The Veterans Committee elected Haven Shirley “Kiki” Cuyler to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1968.

Waite Charles Hoyt (September 9, 1899 - August 25, 1984) was one of the most dominant pitchers of the 1920 for the New York Yankees posting an astonishing 157-98 from 1921-1930. Hoyt pitched 21 seasons in the major leagues primarily with the Yankees (1921-1930) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (1933-1937) compiling a record of 237-182 with 1,206 strikeouts and a career 3.59. Nicknamed the Merry Mortician due to his off-season position as an undertaker, Hoyt was a key element in the 1920s Yankee dynasty as they captured 6 American League pennants and three World Series titles (1923, 1927, 1928). He added another AL pennant with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1931. Waite Hoyt retired in 1938 and began a career in broadcasting with the Brooklyn Dodgers, ending up as play-by-play announcer for the Cincinnati Reds for 24 years until 1965. After many years in Alcoholics Anonymous, Hoyt reminisced that he could have topped the 300-win mark had it not been for his excessive drinking. The Veterans Committee elected Waite Charles Hoyt to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969.

Willie Edward Kamm (February 2, 1900 - December 21, 1988) played third base for 13 seasons with the Chicago White Sox (1923-1931) and the Cleveland Indians (1931-1935). Kamm finished his career with 1,643 hits including 348 doubles, 802 runs, 826 RBI and a .281 career batting average.

Joseph Edward Cronin (October 12, 1906 - September 7, 1984) enjoyed a 50-year career in baseball like not others before him nor after serving as a player, manager, general manager, executive and league president. Joe was born in San Francisco six months after the 1906 earthquake that claimed much of his family's belongings. However, growing up in the hot bed of baseball talent in and around San Francisco during the early 1900s, Cronin overcame obstacles and became a very gifted athlete. As a six-foot a tall 14-year old, Joe won the boys' city tennis championship in 1920 and then led Mission High School and Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep to city baseball championships in 1922 and 1924, respectively. Despite being a huge fan of the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League, given that the nearest Major League team was the St. Louis Cardinals, 2,000 miles away, Cronin signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1925. After three years in the Pirates organization and little chance to land a big league spot on the left side of the infield with two of the best in the game in Glenn Wright at Shortstop and Pie Traynor at third, Washington Senators scout Joe Engel purchased Cronin for $7,500. Despite owner Clark Griffith’s disdain for the buy, Joe was able to crack the Senators lineup and bettered his numbers each of his first three seasons in D.C. ultimately setting career-highs in 1930 with a .346 average, 203 hits, 127 runs scored, 17 stolen bases and 126 RBI in a league leading 154 games. The Sporting News and baseball writers named him the league’s most valuable player. Joe finished in the top ten in MVP voting in each season from 1931 to 1933 and started the first three MLB All-Star Games at shortstop for the American League. He was a seven-time All-Star and finished second in MVP voting to Jimmie Foxx in 1933 as Foxx posted extraordinary numbers.

While Mel Ott did not fit the description of a prototypical power hitter, his tenacity and unique swing helped him reach the elusive 500 Home Run Club. With an uncanny ability to pull the ball, Ott was able to take advantage of the short porch in right field at the Polo Grounds, crushing 511 homers in his career. It was only 257 feet down the line! At the time of his retirement, Ott was the NL leader in career RBI (1,860), runs scored (1,859) and walks (1,708). Featured on two different cards in the set, #s 127 and 207, you can see the mean glare on Ott's face. The high-number Ott is the more difficult of the two cards and very difficult to find well-centered. With the stunning red background, it is also more visually appealing, yet both are important cards. Ott was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1951.

Charles Henry “Charlie” Root (March 17, 1899 - November 5, 1970) surrendered Babe Ruth’s alleged “Called Shot” in the 1932 World Series. Root pitched 17 seasons with the St. Louis Browns (1923) and the Chicago Cubs (1926-1941). In 1927, he led the National League in wins (26), games (48), innings pitched (309.0), walks (117) and batters faced (1,316). From 1926-1937, Charlie won 13 or more games in ten seasons. He played on four National League champion Cubs teams (1929, 1932, 1935, 1938) and was a five-time consideration for the Most Valuable Player Award. Charlie Root finished his career with a 201-160 record with 177 complete games, 1,459 strikeouts, 21 shutouts and a 3.59 career ERA.

Eugene Victor “Gene” Hermanski (May 11, 1920 - August 9, 2010) hit only 46 home runs during his nine-year career, but enjoyed one of those once in a lifetime games on August 5, 1948 when he hit three for the Brooklyn Dodgers in one game against the Chicago Cubs. The Brooklyn Dodgers signed Gene in 1939, but he spent much of the next four years in the Eastern Shore League with the Federalsburg A’s and debuted in the Major Leagues in 1943. Just as many of the players of the era had done, Hermanski enlisted in the service during World War II, the United States Coast Guard, and lost two years to the war. He returned to the Dodgers in 1946 serving as a backup outfielder for two year before finding a spot in the everyday lineup in 1948. Hermanski had career highs in games (133), hits (116), doubles (22), home runs (7) stolen bases (15) and RBI (60) while batting .290. Gene helped the Dodgers capture the National League pennant in 1947 and 1949, but Brooklyn lost both World Series to the New York Yankees in each. Hermanski played nine years with the Dodgers (1943, 1946-1951), the Chicago Cubs (1951-1953) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (1953). In the late 1940s, as Brooklyn general manager Branch Rickey was poised to introduce Jackie Robinson to the Major Leagues thereby breaking the color barrier, Hermanski promoted solidarity and tolerance among his teammates. Gene Hermanski appeared in 739 games where he hit .272 for his career with 533 hits, 276 runs, 459 RBI and 46 home runs. He also had a .977 fielding percentage with 1,088 putouts in 1,167 chances.


William Dale “Billy” Goodman (March 22, 1926 - October 1, 1984) was instrumental in Hall of Famer Lary Doby’s decision to play professional baseball as he and Mickey Vernon coerced the young centerfielder while the three were serving together in the United States Navy during World War II in 1945. Billy began playing professionally with the Atlanta Crackers of the Southern Association before the Boston Red Sox purchased his contract in 1947. Goodman played 11 seasons with the Red Sox (1947-1957) and despite showing virtually no home run power, he hit .290 or better in each season from 1948 to 1958, the last two seasons as a member of the Baltimore Orioles (1957) and Chicago White Sox (1958-1961). In 1950, however, Billy led the American League in hitting with a .354 average, one year after becoming an AL All-Star for the first of two appearances. New York Yankees second baseman Phil Rizzuto collected 50 more hits and stole ten more bases than Goodman in 1950, despite hitting 30 points lower as he won the AL Most Valuable Player award with Goodman finishing second. His play in the field and ability at the plate helped the Chicago White Sox win the American League pennant in 1959 for the first time since 1919. Billy retired as a member of the 1962 Houston Colt .45s having amassed 1,691 hits, 807 runs and 591 RBI while batting .300 for his 16-year career. In the field, ha e also posted a .978 fielding percentage.

Luscious Luke Easter (August 4, 1915 - March 29, 1979) hit the longest home run at Cleveland Municipal Stadium in 1949, a shot that reportedly travelled 477 feet. Easter was a giant first baseman that, after just winning the 1948 Negro League World Series with the Homestead Grays, signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1949. Luke was 34-years-old when he joined the Tribe full-time, hitting .280 with 28 home runs, 151 hits and driving in 107 RBI in his rookie campaign. Easter’s time in the big leagues was short-lived as he only played six seasons, all with the Indians, before returning to the minors. Luke Easter posted a .274 Major League career batting average with 472 hits, 93 home runs and 340 RBI. After retiring from the bigs, he played Triple-A ball well into his forties. A holdup man tragically shot Luke to death in 1979 as he was working as a bank messenger.

Warren Edward Spahn (April 23, 1921 - November 24, 2003) is the winningest left-handed pitcher in the history of the Major Leagues with 363 victories. Topping the 20-win mark 13 times during his 21-year career made him one of the most dominant pitchers in the National League in any era. Spahn pitched for the Boston/Milwaukee Braves (1942, 1946-1964) for virtually his entire career, earning 17 All-Star selections. Spahn was the ace of the Braves pitching staff helping the heavy hitting squad to three National League pennants and one World Series Championship in 1957. Warren also captured the Cy Young Award in 1957 after posting a 21-11 record with 18 complete games, 130 strikeouts and a 2.69 ERA. Warren Spahn threw his first no-hitter in 1960 at the age of 39 and his second the following year. At age 42, Spahn’s extraordinary durability was exemplified in 1963 when he faced San Francisco’s Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal in a 16-inning loss where Spahn threw 201 pitches and Marichal hurled 227 to take the 1-0 win. Warren Spahn retired in 1965 with a 363-245 record, 2,583 strikeouts and a 3.08 earned run average. Warren Edward Spahn was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973.

Henry John Sauer (March 17, 1917 - August 24, 2001) is the first player in Major League history to hit three home runs in a game off the same pitcher twice in his career. Sauer started his career in Cincinnati for four and half years (1941-1942, 1945, 1948-1949) before being traded to the Chicago Cubs in 1949. He found excellent success in the Windy City posting over 100 hits in each full season and hit 25 or more home runs five times while in Chicago (1949-1955). Sauer led the National League in home runs (37) and RBI (121) and was named to his second, and last, MLB All-Star Game in 1952 earning that seasons Most Valuable Player award. Hank was one of the beloved Cubs of his era and was often called “The Mayor of Wrigley Field”. Sauer was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for one season (1956) and finished his career with the New York/San Francisco Giants (1957/1958-1959). Hank Sauer finished his career with 709 runs, 1,278 hits including 200 doubles and 288 home runs while batting .266 and driving in 876 RBI.

dwin Donald “Duke” Snider (September 19, 1926 - February 27, 2011) was the hard-hitting centerfielder of the highly power-laden Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1940s and ‘50s. Snider was among three Hall of Fame centerfielders of the era alongside New York Giant, Willie Mays, and New York Yankee, Mickey Mantle. Known as “The Duke of Flatbush,” Snider outgunned the rest of the league during the 1950s, hitting more home runs than any other player with 326. Duke was an eight-time All-Star selection, was a member of six National League pennant winners and helped lead the Dodger to two World Series championships (1955 and 1959). Snider player primarily for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers (1947-1962) with one-year stints with the Mets (1963) and the San Francisco Giants (1964) before retiring at the end of the 1964 season. Duke Snider was the last player to hit a home run in historic Ebbet’s Field in 1957 prior to the franchise moving to Los Angeles. Duke Snider retired with 2,116 hits, 1,259 runs, 1,333 RBI 407, home runs and a .295 career batting average. Edwin Donald “Duke” Snider was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980.

Christian Gerald Van Cuyk (January 3, 1927 – November 3, 1992) Wisconsin native Chris Van Cuyk was more a career minor leaguer than a Major League ballplayer. The 6-foot-6, 215-pound left-handed pitcher compiled a 7–11 record to go along with his 5.16 ERA in three short seasons in the majors. Signed in 1946 by the Brooklyn Dodgers, Van Cuyk put together a 103–61 record in 11 minor-league seasons spent mostly in the Dodgers farm system. In 1947, playing in the D leagues, the 20-year-old southpaw posted a sparkling 25–2 record with a 1.93 ERA. At the AA level, Van Cuyk had three 14-win seasons. Unfortunately, he could not duplicate that success in the majors. Interestingly, Van Cuyk’s older brother, Johnny, was also signed by the Dodgers in 1946, and his pitching career was no better. Chris Van Cuyk retired to Hudson, Florida, and passed away at the age of 65 in 1992.

Outside of Roberts’ 1951 Topps Major League All-Stars super rarity, his most valuable card is not his 1949 Bowman rookie, but rather his 1952 Topps card. It was the first time Roberts appeared in a mainstream Topps issue and he would not reappear in one of their sets until 1956, a year after Bowman ended its competitive run in 1955. The 1952 Topps Roberts is not only part of what many consider to be the most important post-WWII set in the hobby, ensuring a high level of demand, it is also part of the low-number series. Cards 1–80 were manufactured with both red and black ink in a few different areas on the reverse, creating two distinct variations. In addition, perhaps the most challenging, inherent condition obstacle is poor centering. Finally, the card is one of Roberts’ most attractive designs, offering excellent eye appeal in a year when he won a career-high 28 games.

Enos Bradsher Slaughter (April 27, 1916 - August 12, 2002), known for his hustle, is famously remembered for his “Mad Dash Home” from first on a double hit by Cardinals teammate Harry Walker to win Game 5 of the 1946 World Series. The Cardinals beat the Red Sox in seven games to clinch the title. Minor league manager Eddie Dyer chastised Enos, or “Country” to teammates, for loafing onto the field at which time he vowed never to let it happen again. After spending three years serving in World War II, Slaughter returned in the 1946 season to help guide the Redbirds to the title. Slaughter was known for his contact hitting, surpassing the .300-mark ten times in his career. Spending the majority of his career with the Cardinals (1938-1942, 1946-1953), then bouncing around over the next six seasons between the New York Yankees, Kansas City Athletics and Milwaukee Braves, Slaughter earned 10 All-Star game selections and was a member of four World Series champions (1942, 1946, 1956, 1958). Enos Slaughter retired with a career .300 batting average with 2,383 hits, 1,247 runs, 169 home runs and 1,304 RBI. The Veterans Committee elected Enos Bradsher Slaughter to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985.

Edwin Charles “Preacher” Roe (February 26, 1916 - November 9, 2008) caught the attention of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1937 when he struck out 26 batters in a 13-inning game while pitching for Harding University Bisons. Roe played one game for the Cards, then spent five years in the minors until the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired him in 1943. Preacher, who was given his lifetime nickname as a 3-year-old, led the National League in 1945 with 148 strikeouts and posted a 2.87 ERA in 31 starts earning his first of five All-Star selections. During the offseason in 1945, while coaching high school basketball, Roe fractured his skull in a confrontation with a referee and struggled to get back to his winning form. In 1948, Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey, former GM of the Cardinals who sign Roe initially, acquired Preacher, remembering his early brilliance and hoping he could return to form. He pitched seven seasons in a Brooklyn uniform alongside Clem Labine, Don Newcombe and Carl Erskine, helping them capture three National League pennants (1949, 1952, 1953) only to fall to the New York Yankees in each World Series. Preacher enjoyed his best season in 1951 when he went 22-3 with a league leading winning percentage (880), 113 strikeouts and a 3.03 ERA en route to the 1951 The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award. Roe pitched for 12 seasons with the Cardinals (1938), the Pirates (1944-1947) and the Dodgers (1948-1954), earning five All-Star Game appearances. Preacher Roe finished his career with a 127-84 record, 956 career strikeouts and a career 3.43 ERA.

Gerald Lee “Gerry” Staley (August 21, 1920 - January 2, 2008) spent 15 seasons as a Major League Baseball pitcher, and as a member of the 1959 Chicago White Sox led the American League in games pitched (67) and games finished (37). The St. Louis Cardinals selected Staley in the 1942 minor league draft, but he would spend three years in the armed forces during World War II before finally taking to the mound for St. Louis (1947-1954). He put together an 89-76 record with a 4.03 ERA before being traded to the Cincinnati Reds (1955) and then the New York Yankees (1955-1956) before signing with the White Sox (1956-1961). He posted some of his best numbers in Chicago, compiling a 38-25 record and a personal best .261 ERA in 270 games, helped take the squad to the 1959 World Series, where he pitched in four games. He ended his playing days with stints on the Kansas City Athletics (1961) and Detroit Tigers (1961). A three-time All-Star (1952, 1953, 1960), Staley appeared in 640 career regular season games, and posted a 134-111 record with a 3.70 lifetime ERA, 58 complete games, 61 saves, and nine shutouts.

Robert William Andrew Feller (November 3, 1918 - December 15, 2010) was considered “the fastest and best pitcher I ever saw during my career” by Boston Red Sox Ted Williams, who himself has been referred to as the one of, if not the greatest hitter of all time. Not only was his fastball purportedly clocked at 107.6 miles per hour (the second fastest pitch recorded), but he also held the record for most no-hitters at the time of his retirement (3) and still holds the American League record for most one-hit games with 12. (Nolan Ryan also posted 12, with four teams in both the AL and NL.) Feller grew up on a farm in Van Meter, Iowa where his father built a baseball diamond on the family farm so that Bob could continue to improve as a pitcher, already pitching in American Legion Baseball as a 10 year old. At Van Meter High he was the center for the basketball team, but after he went 19-4 with his Farmer Union American Legion team, the Cleveland Indians swooped in to sign the 16-year old in 1936. Uniquely, Bob’s fastball had exceptional movement darting and wiggling around as opposed to the more common straight-line heater. Though originally slated for minor league assignment, Feller bypassed the minors due to a snafu between Indians management and MLB bylaws, thereby making him a free agent if he so chose. But, Bob remained with Cleveland began his career with a 15-strikeout performance against the St. Louis Browns for his first Major League win. He was 17.

Kenneth Edward Holcombe (August 23, 1918 – March 15, 2010) A pitcher with potential, 26-year-old Ken Holcombe had a solid rookie season in 1945. He put up sparkling numbers for the Yankees, pitching a total of 55 innings with a 3–3 record and an excellent 1.79 ERA. Unfortunately, Holcombe developed bursitis and was plagued with arm woes for the rest of his career. He went from the Yanks, to the Reds, to the White Sox, to the Browns, before ending his career with the Red Sox. His best year was 1951 when, as a starter for the Chicago White Sox, he won 11 games with a nice 3.78 ERA. Around his Major League stints, Holcombe toiled in the minors for 14 years, compiling a 133–112 record before retiring in 1954. After baseball, he returned home to North Carolina and worked as a textile manufacturing supervisor. He passed away in 2010 at the age of 91.

Walter William “Billy” Pierce (April 2, 1927 - July 31, 2015) faced New York Yankees Hall of Fame pitcher Whitey Ford 14 times during his career, pitting two of the best left handed pitchers against one another in a bitter rivalry from 1955 to 1960. He beat Ford eight times during that stretch and posted a career 25-37 record against the Yankees. The Detroit Tigers signed Billy prior to the 1945 season, debuting that same season, but didn’t find an everyday spot in a Major League lineup until he was traded to the Chicago White Sox in 1949. Pierce pitched efficiently and effectively for 13 years in Chicago despite the White Sox anemic offense. Billy led the American League three times in complete games and once in strikeouts, wins, ERA and losses. The seven-time American League All-Star threw four one-hitters and seven two-hitter in his career. In 1953, Pierce threw seven shutouts in a season that included 51 consecutive innings pitched without allowing an earned run. He pitched 18 years in the big leagues with the Tigers (1945, 1948), the White Sox (1949-1961) and the San Francisco Giants (1962-1964). Billy won a World Series as a member of the 1945 Tigers team, though he didn’t pitch, and helped the White Sox reach the Fall Classic in 1959, and the Giants in 1962. In 1958, Pierce came within one batter away from pitching the first perfect game by a left-hander in 78 years when backup catcher Ed Fitz Gerald knocked a curveball down the right field line. Pierce was named the 1956 and 1957 AL The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year after back-to-back 20-win seasons. Billy Pierce finished his career with a 211-169 record, 193 complete games, 38 shutouts, 32 saves, 1,999 strikeouts and a 3.27 career ERA in 585 games.

Delbert Rice Jr. (October 27, 1922 – January 26, 1983) A fine defensive catcher, Del Rice had a long 17-year Major League career. A member of the 1946 world champion St. Louis Cardinals, Rice led the National League in fielding percentage in 1948, double plays in 1951, putouts in 1952, and he made the All-Star team in 1953. With the Cardinals for 12 years, Rice’s ability to call a great game was evident as the pitching staff was often among the league ERA frontrunners. Rice became backup catcher for the Milwaukee Braves in 1955, but was starter Bob Buhl’s personal catcher and a contributor on the 1957 world champion Braves team. After his playing career, Rice coached and managed in both the majors and the minors, including a stint as manager of the 1972 California Angels. He was 60 years old and scouting for the San Francisco Giants when he died in 1983 at a banquet held in his honor.

Cornelius Joseph Ryan (February 27, 1920 – January 3, 1996) A versatile infielder, Connie Ryan was a starter and utility player during his 12-year Major League career. The dependable 1944 All-Star second baseman never had glitzy numbers, but he was smart, tough, and competitive. Ryan’s best season was 1947, when he batted .265 with 144 hits for the Boston Braves, and he was a member of the 1948 Braves’ NL pennant-winning team. A bit of a prankster, he got tossed from a game in 1949 for wearing a raincoat over his Braves uniform in the on-deck circle because he thought the game should be called due to heavy rain. After playing, Ryan used his baseball IQ to his advantage for more than 20 years as manager, coach, and scout. The interim manager of the 1975 Atlanta Braves, interim manager of the 1977 Texas Rangers, and US Navy WWII veteran passed away in 1996 at the age of 75.

Emil John “Dutch” Leonard (March 25, 1909 - April 17, 1983) was a member of the 1945 Washington Senators pitching staff that included four knuckleballers alongside Roger Wolff, Mickey Haefner and Johnny Niggeling. Leonard played 20 years with the Brooklyn Dodgers (1933-1936), Washington Senators (1938-1946), Philadelphia Phillies (1947-1948) and Chicago Cubs (1949-1953). Playing primarily for losing teams, Dutch had a winning record in seven seasons topping the 10-win mark twelve times including his 1939 20-win season. He was a five-times All-Star selection but never appeared in the postseason. Spending the majority of his career as a starter, Leonard led the National League in saves in 1935 with eight and finished his career with a total of 44 saves. Considered a highlight of his career, Leonard was called to pitch the ninth inning of a one-run game against the mighty Brooklyn Dodgers with the bases loaded, facing the heart of the order. Leonard set down Jackie Robinson, Gil Hodges and Roy Campanella to end the game and preserve the win. Dutch Leonard compiled a record of 191-181 with 192 complete games over 20 seasons, adding 1,170 strikeouts and a 3.25 career ERA.

Richard Allan “Dick” Sisler (November 2, 1920 - November 20, 1998) hit one of the most famous home runs in Philadelphia Phillies history when he blasted a tenth-inning, game-winning dinger over the wall at Ebbets Field on the final day of the 1950 season to snatch the National League pennant away from the Brooklyn Dodgers. The son of Hall of Fame St. Louis Browns first baseman George Sisler came up playing first and left for the cross-town St. Louis Cardinals in 1946. He began playing professionally in the Cardinals minor league system in 1939 before serving in World War II. In 1946, Sisler joined a cast of Hall of Famers like Stan Musial, Red Schoendienst and Enos Slaughter to capture the National League pennant and World Series over the Boston Red Sox. Dick began and ended his career in a Redbirds uniform (1946-1947, 1952-1953) and played for the Phillies (1948-1951) and the Cincinnati Reds (1952) during his eight-year career. In Philadelphia he helped the “Whiz Kids” which included Hall of Famers Richie Ashburn and Robin Roberts win their first pennant in 35 years, before falling to the New York Yankees in a four-game sweep. Sisler also earned his one and only All-Star game selection that year. Dick Sisler finished his career with a .276 batting average and amassed 720 hits, 302 runs scored and 360 RBI in 799 games. When his playing days ended, Dick managed the Cincinnati Reds from 1964 to 1965, compiling a 121-94 record in 215 games at the helm.

Clyde Edward McCullough (March 4, 1917 - September 18, 1982) spent 16 years as a Major League Baseball catcher, primarily for the Chicago Cubs, during the 1940s and 1950s. Originally joining the New York Yankees in the 1930s, Clyde was relegated to their farm system and unable to break through to the big leagues, prompting McCullough to move to the Cubs, where he spent 11 seasons (1940-1943, 1946-1948, 1953-1956). McCullough posted a career high number of RBI (53) in 1941 along with 95 hits and 41 runs. Though it proved to be one of the best outings of his professional career, McCullough also earned selection to two All-Star Games (1948, 1953) while with the team, along with 230 total RBI, 540 hits, and 33 home runs. Despite four years (1949-1952) as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the fact that he missed two seasons of professional ball while serving in the armed forces during World War II, Clyde is remembered by most baseball fanatics for his tenure with Chicago. McCullough had a .252 batting average with 339 RBI and 52 home runs. After retiring as a player, McCullough served as a coach for the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins (1960-1961), New York Mets (1963), and San Diego Padres (1982). While working as an instructor in the Mets' farm system in the mid- to late-1960s, he is credited with helping finesse such future stars as Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and Tug McGraw.

Montia Calvin Kennedy (May 11, 1922 – March 1, 1997) Hard-throwing lefty Monty Kennedy played his entire career for the New York Giants as both a spot starter and reliever. Because World War II cut short his minor-league development time, Kennedy developed his skills while in the military. Throughout his career, Kennedy’s biggest problem was his lack of command on the mound. As a rookie with the Giants in 1946, Kennedy led the National League with 116 bases on balls. His best season was 1949, when he posted a 12–14 record with a 3.43 ERA. Kennedy appeared in Game Four and Game Five of the 1951 World Series, pitching a total of three innings in relief. After eight years in the majors, he worked as a police officer and detective in Virginia for 20 years, staying close to the game by playing on the police baseball team. Kennedy died in 1997 at the age of 74.

Paul Edison Minner (July 30, 1923 – March 28, 2006) A hard-luck pitcher who played for weak Chicago Cubs teams, Paul “Lefty” Minner signed with the Dodgers in 1941. After spending time in the minors and in the US Army, he joined the big club for good in 1948. The crafty, soft-throwing junkballer pitched the top of the ninth inning for the Dodgers in Game Five of the 1949 Series, becoming the first to pitch under artificial lights in a World Series game. A starter for the sad-sack Cubbies, Minner was a real workhorse, pitching three 200-inning seasons. He led the NL with 17 losses in 1951, but the next year he went 14–9 with a .500 Cubs team. In his final season, 1956, Minner gave up the first of Frank Robinson’s 586 career home runs. He later worked for the Pennsylvania State Insurance Department and passed away in 2006 at the age of 82.

Homer Elliot "Dixie" Howell (April 24, 1920 – October 5, 1990) A pretty good defensive catcher, 27-year-old Homer “Dixie” Howell batted a career-best .276 with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1947, his rookie season. Before that, Howell bounced around the minors for seven years and served two years in the US Army. In 1946, he played with Jackie Robinson on the Montreal Royals in the International League, the first integrated professional baseball team since the 1880s. The Louisville, Kentucky, native was one of the few southern players who welcomed Robinson. After four seasons in Cincinnati, Howell landed with the Dodgers in 1953 and was Robinson’s teammate once again. As backup to Roy Campanella on the 1955 and 1956 Dodgers’ pennant-winning squads, Howell got a ring in 1955 but did not play in the Series. Howell later played and managed in the minors, scouted for the Braves, and worked in insurance. He passed away in 1990 at the age of 70.


John Albert "Bear Tracks" Schmitz (November 27, 1920 – October 1, 2011) A pretty good pitcher for some pretty bad teams, southpaw Johnny Schmitz should have had a more successful career. With the Cubs for eight seasons interrupted by three years in the US Navy, Schmitz returned in 1946 to lead the league with 135 strikeouts and make the All-Star team. In 1948, Schmitz won 18 games for the eighth-place Cubbies and was an All-Star again. Nicknamed “Bear Tracks” for his signature shuffle to the mound, Schmitz had brief stops with six more teams after Chicago. In 1954 at age 33, he had a resurrection of sorts, posting an 11-8 record with a sparkling 2.91 ERA for the Senators. Johnny wrapped up his 13-year MLB career with the Orioles in 1956, finishing with a 93–114 record and a good 3.55 ERA. A golfer and greenskeeper in Wisconsin after baseball, Schmitz passed away in 2011 at the ripe old age of 90.

Roy David McMillan (July 17, 1929 - November 2, 1997) spent 16 years as a Major League Baseball shortstop for three different teams, but enjoyed his greatest success during his 10 seasons (1951-1960) with the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds signed McMillan as an amateur free agent in 1947, and in 1954 recorded a then-record number of double plays (129) plus a career-high number of hits (147). A two-time All-Star (1956, 1957), he also captured three consecutive Gold Glove Awards (1957-1959). After appearing with the Milwaukee Braves (1961-1964) and New York Mets (1964-1966), he retired having played in 2,093 games. McMillan had a .243 batting average with 1,639 hits, 68 home runs, and 594 RBIs. Following his retirement, McMillan managed the Milwaukee Brewers (1972) and New York Mets (1975) – replacing Yogi Berra at the helm of the latter team.

John August Antonelli (April 30, 1930-February 28, 2020) led the National League in winning percentage (.730), ERA (2.30) and shutouts (6) in 1954, earning him his first All-Star Game appearance and the 1954 NL The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year award. Antonelli began his career with the Boston Braves (1948-1950) throwing in spots, but never finding a permanent position in the rotation or bullpen. He spent two years in the armed forces, and then returned to the newly relocated Milwaukee Braves for a season (1953). In 1954, he was traded to the New York Giants where he was added to a rotation that included Ruben Gomez and Sal Maglie. Johnny pitched for seven seasons with the New York/San Francisco Giants (1954-1957/1958-1960), and then finished his career in 1961 splitting time with the Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Braves. He was a six-times All-Star who led the NL in shutouts twice in his 12-year career. In 1954, he helped the Giants capture the World Series over the Cleveland Indians winning Game 2. Johnny Antonelli wrapped up his career after compiling a 126-110 record with a 3.34 ERA, 1,162 strikeouts and 25 shutouts.

John Lester Moss (May 14, 1925 – August 29, 2012) Primarily a backup catcher, Les Moss was a good platoon player for three different organizations. Signed by the Browns in 1941, the 16-year-old backstop played in the minors and served in the US Merchant Marine in the Pacific and in Europe before coming up to the big leagues. A Brownie for most of his MLB career, Moss moved with the team from St. Louis to Baltimore when they became the Orioles. Over his 13 MLB seasons, Moss batted .247 with a .978 fielding percentage, very respectable for a catcher. After his Major League career, Moss went on to scout, coach, and manage in both the minor leagues and Major Leagues. He had short stints as interim manager of the 1968 Chicago White Sox and the 1979 Detroit Tigers. A career baseball guy, Moss retired in 1995 and passed away in 2012 at the age of 87.

Henry Franklin House (February 18, 1930 – March 13, 2005) According to news reports, Alabama native Frank House, a multi-sport star in high school, so impressed the Tigers that they gave him a huge $75,000 bonus plus two cars when they signed him right out of high school. The 6-foot-1 and 190-pound backstop nicknamed “Pig” debuted with Detroit in 1950 and served in the military during the Korean War. Upon his return, House was the Tigers starting catcher for four seasons. A solid backstop known for his handling of pitchers and his strong arm, House was not bad with the bat either. His best year offensively was 1955 when he batted .259 with 15 home runs for the Tigers. After his playing days, House served in the Alabama Legislature and helped establish the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1967. A 1975 Alabama Sports Hall of Fame inductee, House passed away in 2005 at the age of 75.

Like his Hall of Fame teammate, Ernie Banks, right-handed pitcher Bob Rush was just happy to be in the big leagues. “I never really regretted signing with the Cubs,” Rush said. In his 10 campaigns with the North Siders (1948-1957), the “Lovable Losers” finished in the second division every season and never had a winning record. “With the Cubs I was able to step right in and pitch and be a part of the rotation,” added the eternally optimistic yet shy Rush, who debuted as a 22-year-old after splitting his only season in the minors in Class A and Double A. Rush emerged as the Cubs’ workhorse, earned two All-Star berths, and regularly logged 200-plus innings, yet was 30 games under .500 (110-140) during his decade with the team.1 Had he played with perennial or even occasional contenders, Rush would probably be counted among the best pitchers of the 1950s. Traded to the Milwaukee Braves prior to the 1958 season, Rush earned a semblance of poetic justice, twice experiencing the thrill of a pennant race and once a World Series as a productive spot starter and reliever.

Robert Royce Usher (March 1, 1925 – December 29, 2014) was a Major League Baseball outfielder who played in parts of six seasons, appearing first for the Cincinnati Reds during 1946 and 1947, then in 1950 and 1951. He also played for the Chicago Cubs in 1952, and the Cleveland Indians and Washington Senators in 1957.

Owen Lacey Friend (March 21, 1927 – October 14, 2007) Utility infielder Owen “Red” Friend had a longer career as minor-league manager than as a Major League player. Primarily a second baseman, Friend was strictly a part-timer who was not bad with the glove but had a weak bat. After five minor-league seasons, he debuted with the Browns in October 1949 and batted .375 in a total of eight at-bats. Friend never again hit above .237 in the Bigs, but fared better in his 14 years as a minor-league player. In the majors, he played for five teams in five seasons, interrupted by two years in the US Army Medical Corps during the Korean War. After his playing days, Friend managed in the minors through 1975 for the Cardinals, Senators, Orioles, Royals, and Mets. He coached for the 1969 Kansas City Royals and scouted for the Astros, Orioles, and Royals. He passed away in 2007 at age 80.

Delmar Wesley “Del” Crandall (March 5, 1930-) is a retired Major League Baseball catcher who was considered one of the best players of the late 1950s and early 1960s, most memorably as a member of the Boston and Milwaukee Braves. Crandall signed with the Braves as an amateur free agent in 1948 and debuted with the club the following year. He spent two seasons (1949-1950) with the team in Boston, playing in 148 games, before serving two years in the military. Upon his discharge, Crandall returned to baseball and the Braves, now in Milwaukee (1953-1963), where he established himself as the team’s starting catcher. He led the National League in assists six times, in fielding percentage four times, and in putouts three times. He also made an astonishing 11 All-Star Game appearances, four Gold Glove Awards, and was a member of the 1957 World Series championship team. One of his best seasons came in 1954, as he had 79 assists, 664 putouts, and 64 RBI. By 1960, he had 158 hits, 81 runs, 77 RBI, 70 assists, and 764 putouts. After being replaced by Joe Torre as the Braves starting catcher, he was relegated to a supporting role with the San Francisco Giants (1964), Pittsburgh Pirates (1965), and Cleveland Indians (1966). In 1,573 games over 16 seasons, he finished with a batting average of .254 batting average, 179 home runs, and 657 RBI. He later served as manager of the Milwaukee Brewers (1972-1975) and Seattle Mariners (1983-1984), but never enjoyed a winning campaign with either team and finished with a managing record of 364-469.

Edward Thomas “Eddie” Miksis (September 11, 1926 - April 8, 2005) played the majority of his career in a backup capacity and despite anticipation of him becoming the everyday second baseman for the 1948 Brooklyn Dodgers, he was supplanted by color-barrier breaker and reigning National League Rookie of the Year Jackie Robinson at second. The New Jersey native and Trenton High School standout signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1944 as a spry 17-year old. He played in 26 games that season on the militarily depleted roster before he too was summoned to serve in World War II. Eddie returned in1946 and spent seven seasons in a Dodgers uniform (1944, 1946-1951) with his best year coming in 1947 when he hit .267 and helped lead Dem Bums to the National League pennant. Miksis was a key member of the Dodgers team that rallied in the ninth inning of Game 4, down 2-1 with New York Yankees pitcher Bill Bevens one out away from the first ever no-hitter in World Series history. With Al Gionfriddo in second and Miksis on first, Eddie took off when Cookie Lavagetto laced a line drive off the outfield wall in right, breaking up the no0hitter, but more importantly scoring Gionfriddo and Miksis to win the game. The play was reminiscent of St. Louis Cardinals Enos Slaughter’s “Mad Dash” the year prior.

Robert Louis Ramazzotti (January 16, 1917 – February 15, 2000) If Bob Ramazzotti didn’t have bad luck, he would have had no luck at all. A very good prospect coming up the ranks, his career was derailed by a series of injuries, some life-threatening. After serving three years in the US Army, 29-year-old Ramazzotti came up to Brooklyn in 1946 with good potential. Back in the minors in 1947, he was beaned at the plate. His skull was fractured and he developed a blood clot on his brain. In critical condition, Ramazzotti soldiered through operations, a long hospital stay, and rehab to make it back to the majors. The infielder had decent seasons with the Cubs batting .262 in 1950 and .284 in 1952, but was plagued by a series of injuries that kept him from reaching his potential. After retiring from the game, Ramazzotti worked with youth baseball groups. He died in 2000 at age 83.

Joseph Hilarian Hatten (November 7, 1916 – December 16, 1988) Like a pitching meteor, Joe Hatten showed great promise right out of the gate but flamed out quickly. Over his first four seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Hatten compiled 56 wins, but he had just nine wins over his final three seasons. Hatten’s command was not the best. It was not unusual for him to walk a batter or even plunk him. Hatten’s claim to fame is his complete game shutout vs. Cincinnati in 1948 when he threw only 51 pitches for the win. However, it was a five-inning game. By 1952, Hatten found himself back in the minors. He played nine more years, mostly in the Pacific Coast League. The highlight of that period was his 17-win season in 1953 for Los Angeles. Hatten went on to work as a mailman for the US Postal Service and died in 1988 at age 72 from cancer.

oseph Edward Collins (born Joseph Edward Kollonige, December 3, 1922 - August 30, 1989) enjoyed one of the most successful careers in the history of Major League Baseball, winning six World Series in a span of 10 years, the duration of his entire career. The New York Yankees signed Joe in the late 1930s and he spent the better part of a decade in their minor league system until he was eventually called up to play first base. Collins played first for the Yankees during one of the most successful eras in the history of modern sports. Because he batted left and threw left, first was the only infield position for the 6’0” New Jersey native. He was present for the player turnover that ushered Joe DiMaggio and Phil Rizzuto out and Mickey Mantle, Billy Martin and Whitey Ford in with Yogi Berra as a constant. Joe hit a career .256 average over his ten years in pinstripes, but showed little power though he did crack 16 home runs from 1952- to 1955. Collins’ best season came in 1952 when he hit .280 with 18 dingers, 120 hits, 69 runs scored and 59 RBI. He was an exceptional fielder and posted a .990 fielding percentage with 4,555 putouts, 376 assists, 49 errors and 580 double plays in 4,980 chances at first. Joe Collins participated in seven World Series where he hit four significant home runs in 36 postseason games. Joe Collins finished his career with a .256 average, 596 hits including 86 home runs, 404 runs scored and 329 RBI in 908 career games.

Don Richard “Richie” Ashburn, a Hall of Fame outfielder, who made the most putouts of any outfielder in major-league baseball during the 1950s, started out as a catcher, which should not be surprising because throughout his long career in baseball, Richie Ashburn had always been his own man. His independent quality even emerged during his acceptance speech in Cooperstown. After waiting 28 years for induction, he expressed his opinion about the long wait: “They didn’t exactly carry me in here in a sedan chair with blazing and blaring trumpets.” Because of such candor and homespun humor, Ashburn became an iconic figure in fan-gritty Philadelphia during his careers with the Philadelphia Phillies — as a speedy center fielder for 12 years, and as a broadcaster for 34 years. He starred in center field and as a leadoff hitter for 12 seasons, including the pennant-winning Whiz Kids of 1950. Ashburn won two batting titles and earned four All-Star selections. After retiring from the field, he thrilled and amused not only Phillies fans but all baseball fans with his colorful, witty commentary of action on and off the field from 1963 until his sudden death shortly after he broadcast a Phillies-Mets game September 9, 1997. A son of the Plains, Ashburn came into this world on March 19, 1927, in Tilden, Nebraska, as one of a pair of identical twins, Don and Donna, to his parents Neil and Genevieve “Tootie” Ashburn. Nicknames were common in the Ashburn household: Everyone called the male twin by his middle name, Richie, to further distinguish him from his sister; and Genevieve was called Tootie because of her tiny size at birth.

Clyde Edward McCullough (March 4, 1917 - September 18, 1982) spent 16 years as a Major League Baseball catcher, primarily for the Chicago Cubs, during the 1940s and 1950s. Originally joining the New York Yankees in the 1930s, Clyde was relegated to their farm system and unable to break through to the big leagues, prompting McCullough to move to the Cubs, where he spent 11 seasons (1940-1943, 1946-1948, 1953-1956). McCullough posted a career high number of RBI (53) in 1941 along with 95 hits and 41 runs. Though it proved to be one of the best outings of his professional career, McCullough also earned selection to two All-Star Games (1948, 1953) while with the team, along with 230 total RBI, 540 hits, and 33 home runs. Despite four years (1949-1952) as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the fact that he missed two seasons of professional ball while serving in the armed forces during World War II, Clyde is remembered by most baseball fanatics for his tenure with Chicago. McCullough had a .252 batting average with 339 RBI and 52 home runs. After retiring as a player, McCullough served as a coach for the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins (1960-1961), New York Mets (1963), and San Diego Padres (1982). While working as an instructor in the Mets' farm system in the mid- to late-1960s, he is credited with helping finesse such future stars as Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and Tug McGraw.

Robert Clayton “Bobby” Shantz (September 26, 1925-) was said to have possessed the best curve ball in baseball by Hall of Fame hitter Ted Williams during his time as well as a knuckle ball that manager Connie Mack refuse to let him pitch. Bobby signed with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1948 and went 18-7 with a 2.82 ERA with the Class-A Lincoln A’s before becoming a key reliever with the big club in 1949. He played six seasons n Philadelphia and relocated with the team in 1955 to Kansas City (1949-1954/1955-1956). Bobby’s best season came in 1952, when used as a starter, he led the American League in wins (24) and winning percentage (.774) with a record of 24-7, earned his second of three All-Star appearances and won the AL MVP award as he helped the A’s to their last winning record in Philadelphia. In 1957, he was traded to the New York Yankees (1957-1960) and then pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1961), the Houston Colt .45’s (1962), the St. Louis Cardinals (1962-1964), the Chicago Cubs (1964) and the Philadelphia Phillies (1964). In 1957, Shantz led the American League in ERA (2.45) and helped the Yankees win the 1957, 1958 and 1960 AL pennants. That year, Bobby also began a streak of six consecutive years winning the Gold Glove and finished with eight overall. The Yankees beat the Milwaukee Braves in the 1958 World Series; however, Bobby did not pitch in the Fall Classic. Bobby Shantz retired in 1964 having posted a 119-99 record with 1,072 strikeouts, 78 complete games, 15 shutouts, 48 saves and a 3.38 career ERA in 171 starts, 192 games finished and 537 appearances. He is the brother of former A’s and Yankees catcher Bill Shantz.


The Brooklyn Dodgers had great teams in the immediate post-war years, teams that would win pennants or fight for them until the last day of the season (and sometimes beyond). No team can be successful, though, without a significant presence behind the plate. In the early part of the 1946 season, the Dodgers were struggling to find that presence. Manager Leo Durocher knew the men he had—Ferrell Anderson and Don Padgett—were not the answer. Durocher was desperate to trade for a catcher, even approaching the Cardinals manager Eddie Dyer. Dyer demurred, telling Leo he was not going to help his closest rival. Sometimes the trade not made is the best move and such was the case for Durocher and the Dodgers in 1946. Forced to go to their farm system, Brooklyn called up young Bruce Edwards from their Mobile team in the Class AA Southern Association. Edwards, fresh from Military service and mature beyond his years, would be just what Leo needed, solidifying the defense and contributing greatly to the Dodgers successes of 1946 and ’47.

David Earl “Dave” Philley (May 16, 1920 - March 15, 2012) was one of the great pinch-hitters of the late 1950s and in 1958 and 1959 strung nine consecutive pinch-hits together to establish a still-standing Major League record. Philley signed with the Chicago White Sox in 1941, playing only a handful of games before spending four years in the military during World War II. Upon his return, Dave played the outfield for the White Sox where his talent, speed and exceptional range kept him in the lineup for six more seasons. He played first base and the outfield for the better part of 18 years, though his latter exploits were primarily in the pinch-hitting department. Philley played for the White Sox (1941, 1946-1951, 1956-57), the Philadelphia Athletics (1951-1953), the Cleveland Indians (1954-1955), the Baltimore Orioles (1955-1956, 1960-1961), the Detroit Tigers (1957), the Philadelphia Phillies (1958-1960), the San Francisco Giants (1960) and the Boston Red Sox (1962). Though he was a career .270 hitter, Philley did enjoy flashes of power, amassing 84 home runs, and had five seasons of .290 or better. In 1950, Dave set the record for most at-bats during a regulations double-header with 13 and then in 1961, he set an American League record with 24 pinch-hits. He helped the Cleveland Indians reach the 1954 World Series before falling to the New York Giants in a four game sweep. Dave Philley finished his career with a .270 career batting average, 1,700 hits, 789 runs, 101 stolen bases and 729 RBI in 1904 games. In the field, Dave would have garnered consideration for the Gold Glove as he led all American League outfielders in assists three times and outs once. (The presentation of Gold Gloves began in 1957.) He retired with a .982 fielding percentage, 4,094 putouts, 216 assists, 117 double plays and 79 errors in 4,389 chances.

Lawrence Eugene Doby (December 13, 1923 - June 18, 2003) was the first black player in the American League when he began playing for the Cleveland Indians in 1947. Doby began his professional career with the Newark Eagle in the Negro Leagues before being signed by Cleveland, four months after Jackie Robinson inked his contract with Brooklyn. Doby was a nine time All-Star selection, twice with the Eagle and seven more with the Indians. During his 13 seasons in the Major Leagues, Larry played for the Indians (1947-1955, 1958), the White Sox (1956-1957, 1959) and 18 games with the Tigers in 1959. He was a member of two American League pennant winner s in Clevland and helped the Indians clinch a World Series victory in 1948 with 7 hits, a .500 slugging percentage and a .318 average during the six game series. Lary Doby retired with 1,515 hits, 970 RBI 253 home runs and 960 runs scored while posting a career .283 batting average. The Veterans Committee elected Lawrence Eugene Doby to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.

Alfonso Carrasquel Colon, better known as Chico Carrasquel (January 23, 1926 - May 26, 2005) was a superb shortstop for four different teams during his 10-year Major League Baseball career, including the Chicago White Sox (1950–1955), Cleveland Indians (1956–1958), Kansas City Athletics (1958), and Baltimore Orioles (1959). He was the first Venezuelan-born shortstop (paving the way for such figures as Luis Aparicio and Ozzie Guillen), and the first Latin American player in baseball history to start an All-Star Game. Chico began his career in 1946, playing professional baseball in Venezuela for the Cerveceria Caracas, and hitting the first home run in Venezuelan Professional Baseball history. The Brooklyn Dodgers signed Chico as a free agent in 1949 but soon sold his contract to the White Sox, where he replaced future Hall of Famer Luke Appling at short and paired with Nellie Foxx at second to become one of the game’s best double play combinations. As a rookie, Carrasquel hit for career-high .282 in 141 games and established a 24-game hitting streak. The next season, he became the first Latin American player to start an All-Star Game in what would be his first of four appearances (1951, 1953-1955), and also set an MLB record by handling 297 consecutive chances in 53 games without committing an error. Arguably, his best season came in 1954, as Chico posted career-highs in home runs (12), RBIs (62), hits (158), runs (106), extra base hits (43), and (85); he also led all American League shortstops in double plays and fielding percentage. A strained relationship with Sox manager Marty Marion prompted the team to trade Carrasquel to Cleveland, where he played 2-1/2 seasons before being sent to Kansas City and finally to Baltimore (in exchange for Dick Williams), where Chico finished his professional career. Always a disciplined hitter, Chico had 1,199 hits, 55 home runs, and 474 RBI in 1,325 games played. After leaving the game, he played and managed ball clubs in Venezuela, which coupled with his status as a big league ballplayer, elevated him to national hero status in his native land.

George Robert “Birdie” Tebbetts (November 10, 1912 - March 24, 1999) was one of the top catchers during the 1940s and 1950s, but also enjoyed success as a Major League manager for 11 seasons. Birdie backstopped a Detroit Tigers pitching staff that included Dizzy Trout, Schoolboy Rowe and Tommy Bridges while producing effectively at the plate in a lineup that included Hall of Famers Hank Greenberg, Earl Averill and Charlie Gehringer. Tebbetts played 14 years behind the plate with the Tigers (1936-1942, 1946-1947) the Boston Red Sox (1947-1950) and the Cleveland Indians (1951-1952). Tebbetts was a four-time American League All-Star and helped lead Detroit to the 1940 World Series, where they lost to the Cincinnati Reds in seven games. Birdie Tebbetts finished his playing days with a .270 career batting average with exactly 1,000 hits and 469 runs batted in. Behind the plate, he posted a .978 fielding percentage with a 46% caught stealing percentage. Following his playing days, Tebbetts managed for 11 seasons with the Cincinnati Redlegs (1954-1958), the Milwaukee Braves (1961-1962) and the Cleveland Indians (1963, 1964-1966) compiling a 748-705 record in 1,455 games managed.

Chester Raymond Nichols Jr. (February 22, 1931 – March 27, 1995) If you ever wondered who finished second to Willie Mays for the 1951 National League Rookie of the Year Award, the answer is Chet Nichols. The Rhode Island native broke in with the Boston Braves and led the NL in ERA with a sparkling 2.88 mark. Nichols won 11 games and hurled three shutouts for the Braves, but his success was halted by a two-year stint in the US Army. In 1959, Nichols returned to Boston, this time with the Red Sox. He won just five games in four seasons, but was a solid reliever in 1961 and 1962. Nichols finished his career with the Reds in 1964. A banker in Rhode Island, Nichols helped save the bankrupt minor-league Red Sox team, the Pawtucket Red Sox, by urging pal Ben Mondor to buy the club in the mid-1970s. Nichols died of cancer in 1995 at age 64.

Leo Ernest Durocher (July 27, 1905 - October 7, 1991) was a decent player, but made his name at the helm as manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers (1939-1946, 1948), the New York Giants (1948-1955), the Chicago Cubs (1966-1972) and the Houston Astros (1972-1973). He guided the Dodger to a National League pennant and the Giants to two National League pennants and on World Series championship (1954). Known as “Leo the Lip” for his trouble with authority, Durocher fired up his teams, compiling a record of 2,009-1,709 and was named Manager of the Year three times. As a player Durocher won World Series titles with the New York Yankees (1928) and the St. Louis Cardinals (1934) and retired as a player with 1,320 hits, 567 RBI and a .247 batting average. Yankee manager Miller Huggins saw managerial greatness in Durocher due to his competitive nature and ability to remember situations. The Veterans Committee elected Leo Ernest Durocher to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994.