Big Sam Thompson: The First Great Clutch Hitter

Big Sam Thompson Main

In the 1880s, a new baseball star appeared on the horizon. He was 6′ 2 1/2″ tall and around 225 pounds, a pretty big fellow for his era, and his teammates, and the fans, called him “Big Sam”. Samuel Luther “Big Sam” Thompson was indeed a formidable force with a bat in his hands. He […]

400 Hitters Don’t Always Win Titles

Ed Delahanty

In 1894, the Philadelphia Phillies claimed four .400 hitters, yet Boston’s Hugh Duffy won the batting title with a .440 clip. The four Phillies .400 hitters were batting race runner-up Tuck Turner at .418, followed by right fielder Sam Thompson and left fielder Ed Delahanty, each with .407, and center fielder Billy Hamilton with .404. […]

Nap Lajoie: First Among AL Legends Of The Game

Napoleon Lajoie (1905)

“He glides to every ball–no one can hit anything past him,” exclaimed an opposing manager. Nap Lajoie was indeed one of the smoothest-fielding second basemen in history, as supremely proficient on defense as he was overpowering on offense. There has never been an American League second baseman rated higher than Lajoie. He was one of […]

Over 100 RBIs With No Home Runs

Hughie Jennings

Since 1900, only one player has ever knocked in 100+ runs without hitting a home run. The brilliant third baseman Lave Cross, while playing with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1902, tallied 108 RBIs without hitting a single round-tripper. However, the record belongs to Hall of Fame short stop Hughie Jennings. In 1896, Jennings knocked in […]

Tris Speaker: The Grey Eagle

Tris Speaker

Tris Speaker is on most lists as one of the top 5 center fielders of all time. On many rankings, he is the top defensive center fielder, and he is generally evaluated as one of the top 6 position players ever. How did this sometime champion calf-roper achieve such a lofty status in baseball lore? […]

Over The Hill And Over .300

Luke Appling

Hall of Fame shortstop Luke Appling has an amazing record. He is the only Major Leaguer to bat over .300 in a season–3 times–after turning 40 years of age. He batted .306 in 1947, .314 in 1948, and .301 in 1949. Only Barry Bonds, Paul Molitor and Hall of Famer Cap Anson have achieved the […]

Season-high OBP For Right-Handed Hitters

RogersHornsby

Only 4 right-handed hitters have ever recorded an on-base percentage of .500+ for a single season. Rogers Hornsby, the greatest right-handed hitter in history, achieved a .507 OBP in 1924. Joe Kelley chalked up a .502 OBP figure in 1894, as did the remarkable Hugh Duffy in 1894. Ed Delahanty, one of only 3 hitters […]

Shoeless Joe Jackson: The Natural

Shoeless Joe Jackson Featured

If there was ever The Perfect Swing it was created by Shoeless Joe. It was described as “elegant” and “balletic”–a “natural” swing. And, it produced some of the most amazing numbers in the game. In 1910, Shoeless Joe Jackson was traded to the American League’s Cleveland franchise. It was the beginning of an astounding eleven […]

Most Inside-The-Park Homers

Jesse "The Crab" Burkett of St. Louis at South Side Park in 1903.

Hall of Famer Jesse Burkett holds the top career spot for most inside-the-park homers with 55. Next is Sam Crawford with 52, followed by Ty Cobb and Tommy Leach with 49 each.┬áHonus Wagner, generally considered the best all-around player of the first quarter of the 20th century, is next with 43, followed by the superb […]

Addie Joss: Standard of Excellence

Joss' career record of a 0.97 WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) is the best in baseball history.

Addie Joss starred for the American League’s Cleveland franchise in the earlier part of the 20th century (1902-1910). Cleveland’s team name eventually became the Indians, and featured great players such as second baseman Nap Lajoie, left fielder “Shoeless Joe” Jackson and center fielder Tris Speaker. At about the dawn of the 1900s, a young man […]