David James "Beauty" Bancroft (April 20, 1891 – October 9, 1972) was an American professional baseball shortstop and manager. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Giants, Boston Braves and the Brooklyn Robins between 1915 and 1930.
Born in Sioux City, Iowa, Bancroft played in minor league baseball from 1909 through 1914, at which point he was bought by the Phillies. The Giants traded for Bancroft during the 1920 season. After playing for the Giants through the 1923 season, he became player-manager of the Braves, serving in that role for four years. After he was fired by the Braves, Bancroft played two seasons for the Robins and ended his playing career with the Giants the next season. He coached with the Giants, then managed in the minor leagues and the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
Bancroft was part of the Giants' World Series championship teams in 1921 and 1922. He was also a part of the National League pennant-winning teams of 1915 and 1923. Considered an excellent defensive shortstop and a smart ball player, Bancroft was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1971. However, his election was not without controversy, as the Veterans Committee included former teammates of Bancroft, resulting in charges of cronyism against the Veterans Committee.
|Shortstop / Manager|
|Born: April 20, 1891|
Sioux City, Iowa
|Died: October 9, 1972 (aged 81)|
|April 14, 1915, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 31, 1930, for the New York Giants|
|Runs batted in||591|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the National|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Election Method||Veterans Committee|
Bancroft was born in Sioux City, Iowa, the youngest of three children of Ella (née Gearhart) and Frank Bancroft. Frank worked as a news vendor on the Milwaukee Railroad. Bancroft attended Hopkins Grade School and Sioux City High School.
In the summer after his junior year of high school, at the age of 18, Bancroft began his professional career in 1909 with the Duluth White Sox of the Class-D Minnesota–Wisconsin League. Bancroft did not have immediate success, registering a .210 batting average and .917 fielding percentage in 111 games, but he developed a positive reputation in the league. The Superior Blues acquired Bancroft at midseason, and he remained there through the 1911 season. Bancroft finished the 1911 season with a .273 batting average and 41 stolen bases, and the Blues won the league championship.
The Portland Beavers of the Class-AA Pacific Coast League (PCL) drafted Bancroft from Superior for the 1912 season. He struggled in 1912, batting .207, and was demoted to the Portland Colts of the Class-B Northwestern League in 1913. After batting .244 for the Colts, he was promoted back to the Beavers in 1914, where he batted .271 and drew comparisons to former Beavers star shortstop Roger Peckinpaugh as the team won the PCL championship. While with the Beavers, Bancroft earned the nickname "Beauty", for his habit of referring to pitches as "beauties" while he batted.
Before the 1915 season, the Philadelphia Phillies purchased Bancroft from Portland for $5,000 ($123,832 in current dollar terms). Portland's manager was quoted as saying he did not expect Bancroft would last with the Phillies. In his rookie season, Bancroft finished second in the National League (NL) to teammate Gavvy Cravath in walks (77), third in runs scored (85), and tied Fred Luderus for sixth in home runs (7). For his ability to hit with power from both sides of the plate, The Pittsburgh Press declared he was developing into "a second Honus Wagner". The Phillies won their first NL pennant in 1915, but lost the 1915 World Series to the Boston Red Sox. Bancroft's offense contributed to the Phillies' victory in Game 1, as he had an infield hit leading to the Phillies' winning run. Though the Phillies batted .182 as a team in the series, Bancroft batted .294.
Bancroft batted third in the Phillies' lineup in 1916. However, he slumped to a .212 batting average that season, the lowest of his career. Despite his offensive struggles, he gained recognition for his fielding skills, and an injury to Bancroft late in the season contributed to the Phillies' poor play late in the season.
Bancroft feuded with Cravath, who became the Phillies' manager in 1919. Before the 1919 season, Bancroft requested a trade to the Cincinnati Reds, but the trade request was not granted. John McGraw, manager of the New York Giants, coveted Bancroft due to his intelligent and hard-nosed style of playing. Upon McGraw's urging, the Giants traded Art Fletcher, Bill Hubbell and $100,000 ($1,250,664 in current dollar terms) to the Phillies for Bancroft on June 7, 1920.
With the Giants, Bancroft was an able performer. His 102 runs scored during the 1920 season were second only to new Giants teammate George Burns. On June 1, 1921, in a game the Giants won against the Phillies, Bancroft hit for the cycle. His 153 games played in the 1921 season tied for second in the NL with several others, behind only Rogers Hornsby. He also tied teammate Frankie Frisch for second with 121 runs scored, behind only Hornsby, while his 193 hits were eighth-best and his .389 on-base percentage was ninth-best in the NL. However, he only batted .152 in the 1921 World Series, which the Giants won over the New York Yankees in eight games.
Bancroft played in all 156 games in the 1922 season. He tied Jack Smith for third with 117 runs scored, finished third with 209 hits, and tied Bob O'Farrell for second with 79 walks. His .321 batting average was his career-high. He set an MLB record for the most fielding chances by a shortstop in a season (984). Though the Giants swept the 1922 World Series from the Yankees in four games, he again had a poor World Series, batting .211.
Serving as team captain, Bancroft began to suffer through leg injuries in 1923. He was also hospitalized with a case of pneumonia during the season. Bancroft returned by the postseason, but batted .091 in the 1923 World Series, which the Yankees won in six games.
With a young Travis Jackson ready to succeed Bancroft as the Giants' shortstop, and with Bancroft desiring an opportunity to manage, McGraw traded Bancroft to the Boston Braves with Bill Cunningham and Casey Stengel for Joe Oeschger and Billy Southworth after the 1923 season. McGraw was also looking to aid his former star Christy Mathewson, who was then the General Manager of the Braves.
Bancroft served as player–manager for the Braves for three seasons, from 1924 through 1927. Upon becoming manager, he became the youngest manager in the National League (NL). He missed time during the 1924 season with appendicitis. After finishing in last place in the eight-team NL, Bancroft overhauled the Braves' roster for the 1925 season. However, he lost the services of Rube Marquard and Joe Genewich, and the Braves finished in fifth place. Bancroft suggested that Bob Smith, ineffective as an infielder, become a pitcher; Smith's successes as a pitcher benefited the Braves' starting rotation. The Braves lacked offense going into the 1926 season, but hoped their pitching and defense could lead them into contention. The Braves finished in seventh place in the NL in 1926 and 1927.
Failing to turn the Braves into a winning team, Bancroft requested his release from the team after the 1927 season. He signed with the Brooklyn Robins the same day. Stating that he was happy to no longer have the stress of managing, he played for the Robins for the 1928 and 1929 seasons. During his time with the Robins, he was seen as a possible successor to manager Wilbert Robinson.
The Robins released Bancroft after the 1929 season, and he returned to the Giants as assistant manager and coach, serving under McGraw. He ended his MLB playing career in 1930. He remained as a coach, filling in for McGraw when he was too ill to manage. During the 1930 offseason, he led a team of MLB players on an exhibition trip to Cuba. When McGraw retired in 1932, the Giants appointed Bill Terry as player-manager. Surprised and disappointed that Terry was chosen over him, Bancroft left the Giants.
After retiring as a player, Bancroft managed in minor league baseball. He managed the Minneapolis Millers of the Class-AA American Association in 1933. Though the Millers reached the championship series, he was not retained for the 1934 season, as the Millers sought a player-manager to help the team reduce costs.
After the season, Bancroft interviewed for the managerial job with the Cincinnati Reds; however, the Reds hired O'Farrell. Bancroft next managed the Sioux City Cowboys of the Class-A Western League in 1936. He appeared in one game for Sioux City as a player. Bancroft then managed the St. Cloud Rox of the Class-C Northern League in 1947. In the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, Bancroft managed the Chicago Colleens in 1948 and South Bend Blue Sox in 1949 and 1950.
Grover Cleveland Alexander, Bancroft's teammate in Philadelphia, and Hughie Jennings, his coach in New York, considered Bancroft one of the best shortstops in MLB. Sportswriter Frank Graham called Bancroft "the greatest shortstop the Giants ever had and one of the greatest that ever lived." Bancroft is still considered to be among the top fielders in baseball history. He was also considered one of the fastest shortstops in baseball. In contrast to other great fielding shortstops, Bancroft was noted for his offensive ability.
After failing to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA), the Veterans Committee elected Bancroft in 1971. Former Giants teammates Terry and Frankie Frisch, who joined the Veterans Committee in 1967, aided the elections of several of their former teammates. Terry and Frisch shepherded the selections of Jesse Haines in 1970, Bancroft and Chick Hafey in 1971, Ross Youngs in 1972, George Kelly in 1973, Jim Bottomley in 1974, and Freddie Lindstrom in 1976. Bancroft, along with some of the other selections made by Terry and Frisch, has been considered among the weakest of all inductees. According to the BBWAA, the Veterans Committee was not selective enough in choosing members. Charges of cronyism were levied against the Veterans Committee. This led to the Veterans Committee having its powers reduced in subsequent years.
Despite the criticism of players elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in this period, Bancroft grades well in terms of sabermetric statistics. He finished fourth in the NL in Wins Above Replacement in 1920 (6.5) and third in 1921 (7.2) and 1922 (6.0). Bancroft was also inducted in The Des Moines Register's Iowa Sports Hall of Fame.
After retiring from baseball, Bancroft worked as a warehouse supervisor for Interprovincial Pipeline Company. He retired in 1956 and spent his later years hunting and fishing. Bancroft died on October 9, 1972, in a hospital in Superior at the age of 81.
| Hitting for the cycle
June 1, 1921
The 1915 Philadelphia Phillies season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Phillies winning the National League, then going on to lose the 1915 World Series to the Boston Red Sox. This was the team's first pennant since joining the league in 1883. They would have to wait another 35 years for their second.1921 New York Giants season
The 1921 New York Giants season was the franchise's 39th season, which culminated in the Giants defeating the New York Yankees in the World Series.1924 Boston Braves season
The 1924 Boston Braves season was the 54th season of the franchise. The Braves finished eighth in the National League with a record of 53 wins and 100 losses.1925 Boston Braves season
The 1925 Boston Braves season was the 55th season of the franchise.1926 Boston Braves season
The 1926 Boston Braves season was the 56th season of the franchise.1927 Boston Braves season
The 1927 Boston Braves season was the 57th season of the franchise. The Braves finished seventh in the National League with a record of 60 wins and 94 losses.1928 Brooklyn Robins season
The 1928 Brooklyn Robins finished in 6th place, despite pitcher Dazzy Vance leading the league in strikeouts for a seventh straight season as well as posting a career best 2.09 ERA.1929 Brooklyn Robins season
The 1929 Brooklyn Robins finished the season in 6th place for the fifth straight season.1930 New York Giants (MLB) season
The 1930 New York Giants season was the 48th in franchise history. The team finished third in the National League with a record of 87–67, 5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals.1971 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1971 featured a new committee on the Negro Leagues that met in February and selected Satchel Paige. The museum planned to honor Paige and those who would follow in a special permanent exhibit outside the Hall of Fame but controversy about the nature of the honor began at the event announcing his election, February 9, and continued until the induction ceremonies six months later. At the latter event Paige was inducted to the Hall of Fame itself, the same as the major league figures.
Otherwise the elections continued a system of annual elections in place since 1968.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and elected no one.
The Veterans Committee met in closed-door sessions to select from executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players.
It elected seven, the biggest year in its 1953 to 2001 history: Dave Bancroft, Jake Beckley, Chick Hafey, Harry Hooper, Joe Kelley, Rube Marquard, and George Weiss.Chicago Colleens
The Chicago Colleens were a women's professional baseball team who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. The team represented Chicago, Illinois and played their home games at Shewbridge Field at the corner of South Morgan and West 74th Streets on the South Side of Chicago, now part of the campus of the Stagg School of Excellence.The Colleens joined the strong Eastern Division in the 1948 season and were managed by former Major League player Dave Bancroft. The team was the worst in the league, getting roughed up as a last-place expansion club with a 47-76 record, ending twenty nine and a half games out of the first place spot in the division. The only team to do worse, the Springfield Sallies of the Western Division, ended 41-84 in last place thirty five and a half games out. Both teams lost their franchises by the end of that season.
From 1949 through 1950, the Colleens and the Sallies became rookie development teams that played exclusively exhibition games. Their tours included contests at Griffith Stadium and Yankee Stadium. The team dissolved entirely by 1951.
AAGPBL executive Mitch Skupien, who later managed in the league, served as the general manager for both touring teams.Philadelphia Phillies all-time roster
The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The team has played officially under two names since beginning play in 1883: the current moniker, as well as the "Quakers", which was used in conjunction with "Phillies" during the team's early history. The team was also known unofficially as the "Blue Jays" during the World War II era. Since the franchise's inception, 2,006 players have made an appearance in a competitive game for the team, whether as an offensive player (batting and baserunning) or a defensive player (fielding, pitching, or both).
Of those 2,006 Phillies, 202 players have had surnames beginning with the letter M, which is the largest total of any single letter, followed by S with 187 players. The highest numbers of individual batters belongs to M (115), and S has the most pitchers (90). The letters with the smallest representation are Q (5 players), U (6 players), Z (7 players), and Y (8 players); however, there has never been a Phillies player, nor a player in Major League Baseball history, whose surname begins with the letter X.Thirty-two players in Phillies history have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Those players for whom the Hall recognizes the Phillies as their primary team include Grover Cleveland Alexander, Richie Ashburn, Dave Bancroft, Steve Carlton, Ed Delahanty, Billy Hamilton, Chuck Klein, Robin Roberts, Mike Schmidt, and Sam Thompson; manager Harry Wright was also inducted for his contributions with the club. The Phillies have retired numbers for six players, including Schmidt (#20), Carlton (#32), Ashburn (#1), Roberts (#36), and Jim Bunning (#14); the sixth retired number is Jackie Robinson's #42, which was retired throughout baseball in 1997. The Phillies also honor two additional players with the letter "P" in the manner of a retired number: Alexander played before numbers were used in the major leagues; and Klein wore a variety of numbers in his Phillies career.Thirty-six Phillies players have been elected to the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame. All of the players listed above (save Robinson) have been elected; also included are Dick Allen, Bob Boone, Larry Bowa, Johnny Callison, Gavvy Cravath, Darren Daulton, Del Ennis, Jimmie Foxx, Dallas Green, Granny Hamner, Willie Jones, John Kruk, Mike Lieberthal, Greg Luzinski, Garry Maddox, Sherry Magee, Tug McGraw, Juan Samuel, Curt Schilling, Bobby Shantz, Chris Short, Curt Simmons, Tony Taylor, John Vukovich, and Cy Williams. Foxx and Shantz were inducted for their contributions as members of the Philadelphia Athletics. Two non-players are also members of the Wall of Fame for their contributions to the Phillies: broadcaster Harry Kalas; and manager, general manager, and team executive Paul Owens.Portland Colts
The Portland Colts were a minor league baseball team based in Portland, Oregon for five seasons (1909, 1911–14) in the Class B Northwestern League. The Colts served as an unofficial farm team for the Portland Beavers and the Cleveland Indians. The Colts and Beavers shared Vaughn Street Park. The franchise was established in 1909 by William Wallace McCredie, who was the owner of the Beavers and a sitting Congressman. The team was disbanded after their first season, with McCredie selling several players to the Beavers. McCredie originally said he did not want to run two teams, but changed his mind in 1911 when he placed a bid for a Northwestern League franchise. The league penalized McCredie with a US$1,000 re-entry fee and adopted new rules when it came to selling players from your team.
In 1911, the Portland team was not officially named, but the "Colts" nickname returned at the start of the 1912 season. The Colts had two managers over their five seasons, Pearl Casey (1909) and Nick Williams (1911–14). Towards the end of the 1914 season, McCredie sold the team to timber mogul Quinn Farr who relocated the team to his native Ballard, Washington and changed their name to the Ballard Pippins. National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum members Harry Heilmann and Dave Bancroft played for the Colts. Several other Major League Baseball alumni graced the Colts roster throughout their five seasons of existence. Aside from playing in the Northwestern League the Colts also played several exhibition games including one during the 1913 season against the Chicago American Giants of the Negro leagues.Putout
In baseball statistics, a putout (denoted by PO or fly out when appropriate) is given to a defensive player who records an out by one of the following methods:
Tagging a runner with the ball when he is not touching a base (a tagout)
Catching a batted or thrown ball and tagging a base to put out a batter or runner (a force out)
Catching a thrown ball and tagging a base to record an out on an appeal play
Catching a third strike (a strikeout)
Catching a batted ball on the fly (a flyout)
Being positioned closest to a runner called out for interferenceShortstop
Shortstop, abbreviated SS, is the baseball or softball fielding position between second and third base, which is considered to be among the most demanding defensive positions. Historically the position was assigned to defensive specialists who were typically poor at batting and were often placed at the bottom of the batting order. Today shortstops are often able to hit well and many are placed at the top of the lineup. In the numbering system used by scorers to record defensive plays, the shortstop is assigned the number 6.
More hit balls go to the shortstop than to any other position, as there are more right-handed hitters in baseball than left-handed hitters, and most hitters have a tendency to pull the ball slightly. Like a second baseman, a shortstop must be agile, for example when performing a 4-6-3 double play. Also, like a third baseman, the shortstop fields balls hit to the left side of the infield, where a strong arm is needed to throw out a batter-runner before they reach the safety of first base.St. Cloud Rox (minor league baseball)
The St. Cloud Rox were a professional minor league baseball team that existed from 1946 to 1971 in St Cloud, Minnesota, playing in the Northern League for the duration of the franchise.Superior Drillers
The Superior Drillers were a Minnesota–Wisconsin League minor league baseball team based in Superior, Wisconsin that played in 1909. It was managed by Lew Drill. Drill, Phil Stremmel and, most notably, Hall of Fame shortstop Dave Bancroft played for the team.Superior Red Sox
The Superior Red Sox were a Minnesota–Wisconsin League (1910–1911), Central International League (1912) and Northern League (1913–1916) minor league baseball team based in Superior, Wisconsin. The Red Sox won the Minnesota–Wisconsin League pennant in 1911, under manager John "Kid" Taylor. Future Hall of Fame shortstop Dave Bancroft played for the team from 1910 to 1911.Vancouver Beavers
The Vancouver Beavers were a Class-B minor league baseball team based in Vancouver, British Columbia that played on and off from 1908 to 1922. The team played in the Northwestern League, Pacific Coast International League, Northwest International League and Western International League. From 1913 on, they played their home games at Athletic Park.In 1910, Bob Brown bought a sixty percent share of the team for $500. moving to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to take on the role of the team's playing manager. While Brown owned the Beavers, manager Kitty Brashier guided the team to Northwestern League championships in 1911; the Beavers were also champions in 1913 and 1914, while the team was second in the league in 1912.Later Chicago Cubs pitcher Walter "Dutch" Ruether pitched for the Beavers in 1914-15. Carl Mays, famous for throwing at batters, also played several seasons with the Beavers. Other members of the club included Chief Meyers, Dave Bancroft, Wimpy Quinn, Mose Solomon, and Bill Sayles. Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Joe McGinnity played for the team in 1918.
|Inducted as a Phillie|
|Inductees who played for the Phillies|
|Negro League Committee|
|J. G. Taylor Spink Award|
Italics denotes players who have been voted in but not yet inducted.