Samuel James Tilden "Jimmy" Sheckard (November 23, 1878 – January 15, 1947) was an American left fielder and left-handed leadoff hitter in Major League Baseball who played for the Brooklyn Bridegrooms/Superbas (1897–98, 1900–01, 1902–05), Baltimore Orioles (NL) (1899), Baltimore Orioles (AL) (1902), Chicago Cubs (1906–12), St. Louis Cardinals (1913) and Cincinnati Reds (1913).
|Born: November 23, 1878|
Chanceford Township, Pennsylvania
|Died: January 15, 1947 (aged 68)|
|September 14, 1897, for the Brooklyn Bridegrooms|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 28, 1913, for the Cincinnati Reds|
|Runs batted in||813|
|Career highlights and awards|
Sheckard was born in Chanceford Township, York County, Pennsylvania. He enjoyed a great 1901 season with the Superbas, hitting .353 with 11 home runs and 104 runs batted in, and leading the league with 19 triples and a .534 slugging average. In that season Sheckard became the first and so far only player to hit inside the park grand slams in two consecutive games.
With Baltimore in 1899, Sheckard led the league with 77 stolen bases. He played in four World Series with the Cubs, winning championships in 1907 and 1908; and he led the league in 1911 with 121 runs and 147 walks – a major league record until broken by Babe Ruth in 1920, and still a team record.
Sheckard was also a good outfielder. He holds the all-time single season major league record for double plays at two separate positions. His 12 double plays as a left fielder in 1911 for the Cubs is 2 more than any other left fielder in history. And in 1899, while playing for the Baltimore Orioles, Sheckard played right field and set the record for double plays by a right fielder with 14. See related article on all time double play leaders.
In his 17-year career, Sheckard hit .274, with 56 home runs, 813 RBI, 1296 runs, 354 doubles, 136 triples, and 465 stolen bases in 2122 games played. In 1911, he set the single season record for walks with 147 before it was broken by Babe Ruth in 1920. He is one of only four players in the modern era (1900-present) to hold this record along with Ruth, Jack Crooks, and Barry Bonds.
Sheckard died at age 68 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, from injuries suffered when he was hit by a car while walking to work along a highway.
The 1897 Brooklyn Bridegrooms finished the season in seventh place under new manager Billy Barnie. Also the team's ownership underwent a change as Charles Byrne and Ferdinand Abell buy the shares previously owned by George Chauncey and Charles Ebbets becomes a part owner of the team.1900 Brooklyn Superbas season
The 1900 Brooklyn Superbas captured their second consecutive National League championship by four and a half games. The Baltimore Orioles, which had been owned by the same group, folded after the 1899 season when such arrangements were outlawed, and a number of the Orioles' players, including star pitcher Joe McGinnity, were reassigned to the Superbas.1901 Brooklyn Superbas season
The 1901 Brooklyn Superbas lost several players to the newly official major league, the American League, and fell to third place.1902 Baltimore Orioles season
The 1902 Baltimore Orioles season finished with the Orioles in 8th in the American League (AL) with a record of 50–88. The team was managed by John McGraw and Wilbert Robinson. The team played at Oriole Park in Baltimore, Maryland.
During the season, Andrew Freedman, principal owner of the National League's (NL) New York Giants, with the financial backing of John T. Brush, principal owner of the NL's Cincinnati Reds, purchased the Orioles from John Mahon, who was deeply in debt. They raided the Orioles roster, releasing several of Baltimore's better players so that they could sign them to the Giants and Reds. AL president Ban Johnson seized control of the Orioles the next day and restocked their roster with players received on loan from other AL teams.
The Orioles' second season in Baltimore would ultimately prove to be their last, as the team was moved to New York after the season, where they became known as the New York Highlanders.1902 Brooklyn Superbas season
The 1902 Brooklyn Superbas finished in a distant second place in the National League, 27 and 1/2 games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates.1903 Brooklyn Superbas season
The 1903 Brooklyn Superbas season was a season in Major League Baseball. The Superbas began their slide from contention in the National League by finishing in fifth place.1904 Brooklyn Superbas season
The 1904 Brooklyn Superbas finished in sixth place with a 65–97 record.1905 Brooklyn Superbas season
The 1905 Brooklyn Superbas fell to last place with a franchise-worst 48–104 record, costing manager Ned Hanlon his job.1906 Brooklyn Superbas season
The 1906 Brooklyn Superbas saw Patsy Donovan take over as the team's manager. However, another poor season led to a fifth-place finish.1906 Chicago Cubs season
The 1906 Chicago Cubs season was the 35th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 31st in the National League and the 14th at West Side Park. The team won the National League pennant with a record of 116–36, a full 20 games ahead of the second-place New York Giants. The team's .763 winning percentage, with two ties in their 154-game season, is the highest in modern MLB history. The 2001 Seattle Mariners also won 116 games, but they did that in 162 games with a .716 winning percentage.
In a major upset, the Cubs were beaten by the Chicago White Sox in the 1906 World Series.1907 Chicago Cubs season
The 1907 Chicago Cubs season was the 36th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 32nd in the National League and the 15th at West Side Park. It was the first season that the Chicago Cubs became the franchise's name officially. The team finished in first place in the National League with a record of 107–45, 17 games ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was their second straight NL pennant. The Cubs faced the Detroit Tigers in the 1907 World Series, which they won four games to none (with one tie) for their first World Series victory.1908 Chicago Cubs season
The 1908 Chicago Cubs season was the 37th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 33rd in the National League and the 16th at West Side Park. It involved the Cubs winning their third consecutive National League pennant, as well as the World Series.
This team included four future Hall of Famers: manager / first baseman Frank Chance, second baseman Johnny Evers, shortstop Joe Tinker, and pitcher Mordecai Brown. In 1908, Brown finished second in the NL in wins and ERA. This would be the last World Series victory for the Cubs until the 2016 World Series.1910 Chicago Cubs season
The 1910 Chicago Cubs season was the 39th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 35th in the National League and the 18th at West Side Park. The Cubs finished first in the National League with a record of 104–50, 13 games ahead of the second place New York Giants. The team was defeated four games to one by the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1910 World Series.1911 Chicago Cubs season
The 1911 Chicago Cubs season was the 40th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 36th in the National League and the 19th at West Side Park. The Cubs finished second in the National League with a record of 92–62.1912 Chicago Cubs season
The 1912 Chicago Cubs season was the 41st season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 37th in the National League and the 20th at West Side Park. The Cubs finished third in the National League with a record of 91–59. Third baseman Heinie Zimmerman led the circuit in home runs, batting average, and slugging percentage.Assist (baseball)
In baseball, an assist (denoted by A) is a defensive statistic, baseball being one of the few sports in which the defensive team controls the ball. An assist is credited to every defensive player who fields or touches the ball (after it has been hit by the batter) prior to the recording of a putout, even if the contact was unintentional. For example, if a ball strikes a player's leg and bounces off him to another fielder, who tags the baserunner, the first player is credited with an assist. A fielder can receive a maximum of one assist per out recorded. An assist is also credited if a putout would have occurred, had another fielder not committed an error. For example, a shortstop might field a ground ball cleanly, but the first baseman might drop his throw. In this case, an error would be charged to the first baseman, and the shortstop would be credited with an assist.
If a pitcher records a strikeout where the third strike is caught by the catcher, the pitcher is not credited with an assist. However, if the batter becomes a baserunner on a dropped third strike and the pitcher is involved in recording a putout by fielding the ball and either tagging the runner out or throwing to first base for the out, the pitcher is credited with an assist just as any other fielder would be.
Assists are an important statistic for outfielders, as a play often occurs when a baserunner on the opposing team attempts to advance on the basepaths when the ball is hit to the outfield (even on a caught fly ball that results in an out; see tag up). It is the outfielder's job to field the ball and make an accurate throw to another fielder who is covering the base before the runner reaches it. The fielder then attempts to tag the runner out. This is especially important if the runner was trying to reach home plate, as the assist and tag prevent the baserunner from scoring a run. Assists are much rarer for outfielders than infielders (with the exception of first basemen) because the play is harder to make, and also because outfielder assist situations occur less often than the traditional ground-ball assist for a shortstop, second baseman, or third baseman. However, as a result, outfield assists are worth far more than infield assists, and tell more about an outfielder's throwing arm than infielder assists do.
In recent years, some sabermetricians have begun referring to assists by outfielders as baserunner kills. Some sabermetricians are also using baserunner holds as a statistic to measure outfield arms.
A baserunner hold occurs when the baserunner does not attempt to advance an extra base on an outfielder out of concern of being thrown out by a strong, accurate throw. This can be combined with baserunner kills for better accuracy, as runners often do not try for an extra base when an outfielder with an excellent arm is playing.George Burns (outfielder)
George Joseph Burns (November 24, 1889 – August 15, 1966) was an American left fielder in Major League Baseball who spent most of his career as the leadoff hitter for the New York Giants. A soft-spoken person, he was nicknamed "Silent George" by his teammates, and he was said to be one of the best pool players ever to play major league baseball. An effective leadoff man who was revered for his plate discipline, Burns is one of only three players in major league history to lead the league in runs and walks five times each; the others are Ted Williams and Babe Ruth. A two-time stolen base champion, he holds the Giants franchise record for stolen bases in a single season (62, in 1914), and held the club's career record from 1919 to 1972. At the end of his career, his 1262 games in left field ranked eighth in major league history, and his total of 1844 games in the outfield ranked sixth in NL history.
Born in Utica, New York, Burns started his baseball career as a catcher, and reached the Giants in the latter half of the 1911 season. Because of his strong throwing arm and outstanding speed, manager John McGraw converted him into an outfielder. He joined the regular lineup in 1913 and, becoming one of the first players to wear sunglasses and using a long-billed cap, came to excel defensively in left field at the Polo Grounds with its difficult angles; the left field bleachers came to be known as "Burnsville", and his teammates would later describe him as the "greatest 'sunfielder' in the history of the game." In his rookie season he hit 37 doubles, bettering Jim O'Rourke's 1889 club record of 36; the mark would stand for only two years, however, before Larry Doyle hit 40 in 1915. 1913 also marked Burns' first World Series appearance, though he only batted .158 as the Giants lost.
In 1914 he led the NL in runs for the first time and batted a career-high .303, and also edged Josh Devore's 1911 club record of 61 steals by one; he finished fourth in the voting for the Chalmers (MVP) Award, in the last year such an award would be given in the NL until 1924. In 1917 he batted .302, led the NL in runs a third time and in walks for the first time, and finished second in the NL in total bases behind Hornsby; he also appeared in his second World Series, but had another poor performance, hitting .227 as the Giants again lost. In 1919 he led the league in runs, walks and steals again, and also led NL outfielders in fielding percentage for the first time. He surpassed his teammate Doyle's franchise record for career stolen bases; his eventual record of 334 was broken by Willie Mays in 1972. Burns hit for the cycle on September 17, 1920, and led the NL in runs for the fifth time that year.
In the 1921 World Series, Burns finally had a successful postseason; he had four hits in Game 3 as the Giants rolled to a 13–5 win, and had a 2-run double in the 8th inning of Game 4, breaking a 1–1 tie as New York evened the Series at two games each. He scored the deciding run in Game 6, and batted .333 for the Series as the Giants won their first title since 1905. Two months later he was sent to the Cincinnati Reds in a trade that brought third baseman Heinie Groh to the Giants. In 1922 Burns set an NL record with his 28th steal of home, surpassing the old mark held by Honus Wagner; Max Carey broke his record later in the decade. He also set a Reds club record with 631 at bats (Hughie Critz broke the mark in 1928). In the Reds' first game at New York that season, he was given a day in his honor and presented with a diamond-studded watch.
Burns ended his major league career with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1925. In a 15-season career, he was a .287 hitter with 1,188 runs, 41 home runs and 611 runs batted in in 1853 games played. He collected 2,077 hits with a .366 on-base percentage, and his 383 stolen bases ranked 12th all-time at that point. Although he never had more than 181 hits in a season, playing in an era of diminished hitting, he was among the league's top five players six times. Defensively, he recorded a .970 fielding percentage at all three outfield positions. His NL record of leading the league in outfield games six times was later matched by Billy Williams and Dale Murphy; his Giants record of 1184 games in left field was broken by Jo-Jo Moore in 1941.
In 1918, a sportswriter asked John McGraw who the best player he ever managed was aside from Christy Mathewson. McGraw said, "George Burns! He is a marvel in every department of play, a superb fielder, a wonderful thrower, a grand batsman and with few peers in baseball history as a run scorer. Best of all, Burns, modest and retiring to an extreme, is the easiest player to handle that ever stepped upon a field."In a 1920 Sporting News article, sportswriter John B. Sheridan ranked Burns as the fourth greatest outfielder in history, behind only Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker and Jimmy Sheckard. "I am one of those who think that Burns has been underrated in New York and elsewhere," Sheridan said. "He is one of the great outfielders of all time. I have never seen him play a bad game of baseball."In 1927 he became a player-coach with Williamsport in the New York–Penn League, and he returned to the Giants in 1937 as a coach. He later worked for a tannery, and retired in 1957.
Burns died in Gloversville, New York at age 76.Jack Crooks
John Charles "Jack" Crooks (November 9, 1865 – February 2, 1918) was an American Major League Baseball infielder born in St. Paul, Minnesota. He played mainly as a second base, but did spend some time playing third base for four teams during his eight seasons ranging from 1889 to 1898. Crooks also amassed a career on-base percentage of .386 despite a Batting average of just .240, due to large part to the high walks totals he compiled.
Crooks was well known in his era as an extremely patient hitter, often fouling off many pitches until he got one that he could hit. This approach led him to draw many walks (also, "bases on balls", or BB), in fact, he held the record for walks by rookie second basemen as well, when he walked 96 times for the Columbus Solons of the American Association in 1890. He held this record until Jim Gilliam of the Brooklyn Dodgers walked 100 times in 1953. Despite hitting just .213 in 1892, he walked a league-leading 136 times put his on-base percentage (OBP) at .400, good for fifth in National League. He also became the Major League single-season record holder in that category, a title he held until Jimmy Sheckard walked 147 times in 1911. That total remained the St Louis Browns/Cardinals single-season franchise record until 1998, when Mark McGwire walked 162 times. The next season, while batting just .237, Crooks' league-leading 121 BB put his OBP at .408.In addition to playing for Columbus, Crooks also had stints with the Washington Senators, Louisville Colonels, and the St. Louis Browns on two occasions. During his first tenure, he was named as their player-manager, in 1892 on an interim basis twice that season. His short managerial career produced a record of 27 wins and 33 losses, with the team finishing a distant 11th place in the National League standings.Jack died at the age of 52 in St. Louis, Missouri and was interred at Valhalla Cemetery.List of Major League Baseball annual stolen base leaders
Major League Baseball recognizes stolen base leaders in the American League and National League each season.