Kid Elberfeld

Norman Arthur "Kid" Elberfeld (April 13, 1875 – January 13, 1944) was an American professional baseball shortstop. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies (1898), Cincinnati Reds (1899), Detroit Tigers (1901–1903), New York Highlanders (1903–1909), Washington Senators (1910–1911), and Brooklyn Robins (1914). Elberfled also managed the New York Highlanders for the last half of the 1908 season.

Elberfeld was given the nickname "The Tabasco Kid"[1] because of his fiery temper. He was known for his ferocious verbal, and sometimes physical, assaults on umpires. On one occasion, while in the minors, Elberfeld threw a lump of mud into the umpire's open mouth.[2] Later in his career, Elberfeld assaulted umpire Silk O'Loughlin and had to be forcibly removed by police; Elberfeld was suspended for just 8 games.[3] Records show he was tossed from a major league game 22 times as a player and 4 times as a manager[4].

Kid Elberfeld
Kid Elberfeld Baseball Card
Shortstop
Born: April 13, 1875
Pomeroy, Ohio
Died: January 13, 1944 (aged 68)
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 30, 1898, for the Philadelphia Phillies
Last MLB appearance
September 24, 1914, for the Brooklyn Robins
MLB statistics
Batting average.271
Home runs10
Runs batted in535
Teams
As player

As manager

Early career

Elberfeld broke into organized baseball in 1892 in Clarkson, Tennessee.[5] He was so highly regarded as a prospect that a scout for the Philadelphia Phillies recommended signing him over another shortstop prospect, Honus Wagner(A Hall of Famer).[6] Elberfeld played only 14 games for the Phillies in 1898 before being sent to the Detroit Tigers, then a minor league team in the Western Conference. A year later, Elberfeld was purchased from Detroit by the Cincinnati Reds.[7] Elberfeld lasted only 41 games in Cincinnati.

Detroit Tigers: 1900–1903

Prior to the 1900 season, the Reds sent Elberfeld back to Detroit, then still part of the Western League. Elberfeld remained with Detroit when they joined the newly formed American League in 1901. He was the Tigers' starting shortstop during their first two seasons as a Major League team. In the team's debut, on April 25, 1901, the Tigers committed 7 errors, including 3 by Elberfeld. Later in the season, Elberfeld had 12 assists in a game on September 2, 1901.[3] Elberfeld went on to bat .308 (with 76 RBIs and a .397 On Base Percentage) in the Tigers' inaugural season, becoming the Tigers' first team batting leader and its first .300 hitter.

In 1902, Elberfeld's batting average dropped to .260, but he started the 1903 season on a hitting tear. In June 1903, with Elberfeld hitting .341 for the Tigers, he was traded to the New York Highlanders for Herman Long and Ernie Courtney. Despite his hot hitting, Elberfeld had fallen out of favor in Detroit after being suspended for abusing an umpire. Tiger manager Ed Barrow accused Elberfeld of deliberately throwing games to get himself traded.[3]

New York Highlanders: 1903–1909

Elbefeld was with the Highlanders from 1903 to 1909. During that time, he broke the .300 mark only once, batting .306 in 1906. Nevertheless, he was considered an integral part of the Highlanders teams, contributing in many small ways. For example, on May 20, 1907, Elberfeld stole home twice in the same game, the first American League player to accomplish that feat.

In late June 1908, New York manager Clark Griffith resigned, and Elberfeld took over as the manager. The Highlanders finished the 1908 season, Elberfeld's only season as a Major League manager, in last place having gone 27–71 (a .276 winning percentage) under Elberfeld.[7]

Washington Senators and Brooklyn Robins: 1910–1914

Norman "Kid" Elberfeld, a player for the Brooklyn Dodgers, full-length portrait, swinging his bat LCCN2004666458 (cropped)
Elberfeld with Brooklyn.

In December 1909, Elberfeld was sold to the Washington Senators for $5,000 ($139,426 in current dollar terms). He played two seasons for the Senators before being released. He signed with Montgomery in the Southern League, where he befriended a young Casey Stengel. According to Stengel biographer Maury Allen in his 1979 book, "'You Could Look It Up: The Life of Casey Stengel'", Elberfeld was generous with his time and his wisdom. The grizzled veteran and the 22-year-old youngster sat together on trains, roomed together in hotels, dined together in restaurants, shared thoughts on the bench and talked for hours about baseball. On September 15, 1912, Stengel was called up to Brooklyn. Elberfeld threw a farewell party for Stengel, ordering him to buy a new suit ("You gotta dress like a big leaguer before they believe you are one", Elberfeld said) for $22.00, and a new suitcase for $17.50. After a long night of drinking, Elberfeld walked with Stengel to the train station, and advised Stengel: "Keep your ears open and your mouth shut up there." Stengel went on to be known as much for his mouth as for his baseball talent.

Elberfeld returned briefly to the Major Leagues in 1914, where he played with the Brooklyn Robins.

Player profile

Aside from his temper, Elberfeld became known as one of the best shortstops in the early years of the twentieth century. He was known as a tough competitor who challenged baserunners to slash him out of their way. On May 1, 1908, Elberfeld was severely spiked in the foot by Bob Ganley‚ essentially ending his season. During Ty Cobb's rookie season, Cobb slid headfirst into second base, only to have Elberfeld dig his knee into the back of Cobb's neck, grinding his face in the dirt. According to a Cobb biographer, the incident marked the last time that Cobb would slide headfirst into a base.[8] Shortly before his death, Elberfeld was quoted as saying "Ty found out my feet were harder than his head. Then he started coming in spikes first. I had to protect myself."[6] Elberfeld's legs were badly scarred from years of high-flying spikes, and it was reported that he poured raw whiskey into spike wounds to cauterize them.[9]

Further showing his toughness, Elberfeld led the American League in times hit by a pitch in 1903 and 1911, and was among the league leaders in the category nine times. In 1911, he was hit by a pitch 25 times, setting an American League record that was not broken until 1986 when Don Baylor was hit 35 times. In his career, Elberfeld was hit 165 times, 13th on the all-time list.

Despite 458 errors at the shortstop position, Elberfeld had great range in his early years. In 1901, he made 332 putouts and had a range factor rating of 6.14 – 87 points higher than the league average for shortstops. He also recorded a career-best 459 assists at shortstop the following season with the Tigers. Elberfeld collected 12 assists in a single game in 1901. As injuries and age slowed him down, Elberfeld's range was more limited later in his career.

Minor league manager and retirement

Elberfeld remained active in major and minor league baseball for 30 years. From 1915 to 1917, Elberfeld managed the Chattanooga Lookouts, then went on to the Little Rock Travelers, where he managed for several years, winning a pennant in 1920.[5] While managing the Travelers, Elberfed met a 14-year-old Travis Jackson. Elberfeld observed Jackson in an impromtu workout, and later signed Jackson to his first professional contract.[10][11]

Early in his baseball career, Elberfeld bought an apple orchard on Signal Mountain, near Chattanooga. Elberfeld built his home and raised a family of five daughters and a son on Signal Mountain. His daughters formed a basketball team that played as "The Elberfeld Girls" and appeared on many Southern programs for several years. Elberfeld lived at his Signal Mountain home until his death in 1944.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Kid Elberfeld Baseball Stats by Baseball Almanac at www.baseball-almanac.com
  2. ^ Legends of the Game at www.deadball.com
  3. ^ a b c The Ballplayers – Kid Elberfeld | BaseballLibrary.com at www.baseballlibrary.com
  4. ^ http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/E/Pelbek101.htm
  5. ^ a b TheDeadballEra.com :: KID ELBERFELD'S OBIT at www.thedeadballera.com
  6. ^ a b BGS The Report Card – December 8, 2006 Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine at www.beckett.com
  7. ^ a b Simpkins, Terry. "Kid Elberfeld". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  8. ^ How Cobb Played the Game at wso.williams.edu
  9. ^ The Ballplayers – Kid Elberfeld at www.baseballlibrary.com
  10. ^ Erion, Greg. "Travis Jackson". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
  11. ^ "Travis Jackson Began Tossing a Ball at Age of Three, Playing with Dad – and Kept on Until he Became Star". The Sporting News. June 6, 1930.

External links

1901 Detroit Tigers season

The 1901 Detroit Tigers season was the Tigers' first in Major League Baseball. The team was a charter member of the American League, which was originally formed as the minor-league Western League, of which it had also been a charter member. The Tigers finished in third place with a record or 74–61, eight-and-a-half games behind the Chicago White Stockings. Most of Detroit's home games were played at Bennett Park, with Sunday games played at Burns Park due to Detroit's blue laws.

Roscoe Miller (23–13) led the team in wins and was the Tigers' first 20-game winner. His performance headlined a strong pitching staff that had the third lowest ERA (3.30) in the American League. Joe Yeager had an ERA of 2.61, for the second best Adjusted ERA+ in the AL, behind Cy Young. The offense was not as strong however, scoring 741 runs – fifth among the eight teams in the league. The team's best hitters were shortstop Kid Elberfeld (.308 average) and center fielder Jimmy Barrett (.293 average; 110 runs).

1902 Detroit Tigers season

1902 was the second year for the Detroit Tigers in the newly formed American League. The team finished in seventh place with a record of 58–77 (.385), 30½ games behind the Philadelphia Athletics. The 1902 Tigers were outscored by their opponents 657 runs to 566. The team's attendance at Bennett Park was 189,469, sixth out of the eight teams in the AL. Detroit's blue laws prevented the Tigers from playing baseball at Bennett Park on Sundays. As a result, the Tigers played their Sunday home games for the season at Burns Park; a stadium constructed by owner James D. Burns.

1903 Detroit Tigers season

1903 was the third year for the Detroit Tigers in the still-new American League. The team finished in fifth place with a record or 65–71 (.478), 25 games behind the Boston Americans. The 1903 Tigers outscored their opponents 567 to 539. The team's attendance at Bennett Park was 224,523, sixth out of the eight teams in the AL.

1903 New York Highlanders season

The New York Highlanders' 1903 season finished with the team in 4th place in the American League with a record of 72–62. The team was managed by Clark Griffith and played its home games at Hilltop Park (formally "American League Park"). The season began with the Baltimore Orioles relocating to New York in what would be a first of many seasons in the city. The club was at first officially the "Greater New York" baseball club, in deference to the established New York Giants, which were based in the Polo Grounds. This was the first winning season for the franchise that would be later known as the now-storied New York Yankees.

1904 New York Highlanders season

The 1904 New York Highlanders season, their second in New York and fourth overall, finished with the team in second place in the American League with a record of 92–59. The team was managed by Clark Griffith and played home games at Hilltop Park.

1906 New York Highlanders season

The 1906 New York Highlanders season, its fourth in New York and sixth overall, finished with the team in 2nd place in the American League with a record of 90–61. The team was managed by Clark Griffith and played its home games at Hilltop Park.

1907 New York Highlanders season

The 1907 New York Highlanders season, its fifth in New York and its seventh overall, finished with the team in 5th place in the American League with a record of 70–78. Another notable newcomer was New York's recently acquired left fielder Branch Rickey, who would become well known for integrating Jackie Robinson into the major leagues some four decades later.

1908 New York Highlanders season

The 1908 New York Highlanders season finished with the team in 8th place in the American League with a record of 51–103. Their home games were played at Hilltop Park.

The Highlanders finished in last place, 17 games out of seventh. It was the second-worst season in club history. Starting first baseman Hal Chase left the team in September under allegations that he was throwing games. After Clark Griffith's departure, the Highlanders lost 70 of their last 98 games under new manager Kid Elberfeld.

1909 New York Highlanders season

The 1909 New York Highlanders season saw the team finishing with a total of 74 wins and 77 losses, coming in 5th in the American League.

New York was managed by George Stallings, the team's fourth manager in as many years. Games were played at Hilltop Park. The alternate and equally unofficial nickname, "Yankees", was being used more and more frequently by the media. The eventually-famous curving "NY" logo appeared for the first time, on the sleeve and cap of the uniform.

1910 Washington Senators season

The 1910 Washington Senators won 66 games, lost 85, and finished in seventh place in the American League. They were managed by Jimmy McAleer and played home games at National Park.

1911 Washington Senators season

The 1911 Washington Senators won 64 games, lost 90, and finished in seventh place in the American League. They were managed by Jimmy McAleer and played home games at National Park.

1914 Brooklyn Robins season

With Wilbert Robinson taking over as the new manager, the team name was changed to the Brooklyn Robins for the 1914 season. The Robins finished in 5th place, just missing finishing with a .500 record.

Elberfeld

For the town in Indiana, United States, see Elberfeld, Indiana. For the baseball player with this name, see Kid Elberfeld.

Elberfeld is a municipal subdivision of the German city of Wuppertal; it was an independent town until 1929.

List of Major League Baseball career fielding errors leaders

In baseball statistics, an error is an act, in the judgment of the official scorer, of a fielder misplaying a ball in a manner that allows a batter or baserunner to advance one or more bases or allows an at bat to continue after the batter should have been put out.

Herman Long is the all-time leader in errors, committing 1,096 in his career. Bill Dahlen (1,080), Deacon White (1,018), and Germany Smith (1,009) are the only other players to commit over 1,000 career errors. Tommy Corcoran (992), Fred Pfeffer (980), Cap Anson (976), and John Montgomery Ward (952) are the only other players to commit over 900 career errors.

List of New York Yankees captains

There have been 15 captains of the New York Yankees, an American professional baseball franchise also known previously as the New York Highlanders. The position is currently vacant after the most recent captain, Derek Jeter, retired after the 2014 season, after 12 seasons as team captain. Jeter was named as the 11th officially recognized captain of the Yankees in 2003. In baseball, the captain formerly served as the on-field leader of the team, while the manager operated the team from the dugout. Today, the captain is a clubhouse leader.

The first captain officially recognized by the Yankees was Hal Chase, who served in the role from 1910 through 1912. Roger Peckinpaugh served as captain from 1914 through 1922, until he was traded to the Boston Red Sox. He was succeeded by Babe Ruth, who was quickly deposed as captain for climbing into the stands to confront a heckler. Everett Scott served as captain from 1922 through 1925. Ten years later, Lou Gehrig was named captain, serving for the remainder of his career. After the death of Gehrig, then manager Joe McCarthy declared that the Yankees would never have another captain. The position remained vacant until team owner George Steinbrenner named Thurman Munson as captain in 1976. Following Munson's death, Graig Nettles served as captain. Willie Randolph and Ron Guidry were named co-captains in 1986. Don Mattingly followed them as captain in 1991, serving until his retirement in 1995. Gehrig, Munson, Guidry, Mattingly and Jeter are the only team captains who spent their entire career with the Yankees. Jeter is the longest tenured captain in franchise history, the 2014 season being his 12th as team captain.

There is, however, some controversy over the official list. Howard W. Rosenberg, a baseball historian, found that the official count of Yankees captains failed to include Clark Griffith, the captain from 1903–1905, and Kid Elberfeld, the captain from 1906–1907, while manager Frank Chance may have served as captain in 1913.In addition, right after The New York Times reported Rosenberg's research in 2007, Society for American Baseball Research member Clifford Blau contacted him to say he had found Willie Keeler being called the team's captain in 1908 and 1909, research that Rosenberg has confirmed.

List of New York Yankees managers

The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in New York City, New York in the borough of The Bronx. The New York Yankees are members of the American League (AL) East Division in Major League Baseball (MLB). The Yankees have won the World Series 27 times, more than any other MLB team. In baseball, the head coach of a team is called the manager, or more formally, the field manager. The duties of the team manager include team strategy and leadership on and off the field. Since starting to play as the Baltimore Orioles (no relationship to the current Baltimore Orioles team) in 1901, the team has employed 35 managers. The current manager is Aaron Boone, the current general manager is Brian Cashman and the current owners are Hal and Hank Steinbrenner, who are sons of George Steinbrenner, who first bought the Yankees in 1973.

Sport McAllister

Lewis William "Sport" McAllister (July 23, 1874 – July 17, 1962) was a professional baseball player. He played seven seasons in Major League Baseball with the Cleveland Spiders (1896–1899), Detroit Tigers (1901–1903), and Baltimore Orioles (1902). He was a versatile switch hitter who played every position during his major league career. He played 147 games in the outfield, 83 at catcher, 65 at first base, 62 at shortstop, 27 at third base, and 7 at second base. He also pitched in 17 games, including 10 complete games.

In seven major league seasons, McAllister had a .247 batting average, with 358 hits, 61 extra base hits, 32 stolen bases, and 164 RBIs. His best season was 1901, the first season of the American League as a major league. He played 90 games for the Detroit Tigers and batted .301. McAllister and Kid Elberfeld became the first .300 hitters for the Tigers.

McAllister also was the umpire in a July 15, 1900 minor league game between Cleveland and Detroit. After hostilities with the umpire the previous day, Tigers manager Tommy Burns feared that the crowd would injure umpire Joe Cantillon. Burns forfeited the game, but Cleveland manager Jimmy McAleer agreed to play using reserve player McAllister as the umpire. Detroit won 6–1.McAllister died in Wyandotte, Michigan, a southern suburb of Detroit in 1962 at age 87.

Texas Association

The Texas Association was a minor baseball league based in Texas. A league by that name first appeared in 1896, but folded following the season. A new league by that name returned in 1923 and played until 1926.

The initial Texas Association consisted of six teams - the Austin Senators, Dallas Navigators, Denison Tigers, Fort Worth Panthers, Galveston Sandcrabs, Houston Buffaloes, San Antonio Missionaries and Sherman Students. The Students disbanded in June and were replaced by the Paris Midlands, a semi-professional team. Denison, Fort Worth, Dallas and Paris disbanded on August 2. Houston finished in first place and beat second-place finisher Galveston in the playoffs to win the league championship. Notable players in the league that year include Kid Elberfeld, Warren Wallace Beckwith and Harry Steinfeldt.

The league ceased operations following the 1896 season, but returned in 1923 with a six-team format. The Austin Rangers, Corsicana Oilers, Marlin Bathers, Mexia Gushers, Sherman-Denison Twins and Waco Indians made up the league that year, with Mexia finishing first in the league. Despite Mexia's first-place finish, it was second- and third-place finishers Austin and Sherman, respectively, that played in the playoffs, which ended in a tie.

The Sherman-Denison squad did not return for 1924 and was replaced by the Temple Surgeons. All other teams returned. Corsicana finished in first place and Temple in last. No playoffs were held that season. Jack Smith, who spent 15 seasons in Major League Baseball, played for the Marlin squad that season.For 1925, the Austin Rangers became the Austin Senators, while the Waco club did not return - it was replaced by the Terrell Terrors. All other teams returned. On May 13, Marlin moved to Palestine to become the Palestine Pals. With an 85-48 record, Corsicana finished in first place that season. Minor league legend Smead Jolley played for Corsicana that year, while 12-year major league veteran Boom-Boom Beck suited up for the Marlin/Palestine club. 1926 was the final year of the Texas Association. All six teams returned from the previous year. Austin finished in first place, but lost in the playoffs three games to zero to second-place finisher Palestine.

No effort was made to bring the league back for 1927. Palestine, Mexia and Corsicana moved to the Lone Star League, while Austin, Terrell and Temple ceased operations. Professional baseball would return to Austin in 1956, but Terrell and Temple have yet to field another team.

Travis Jackson

Travis Calvin Jackson (November 2, 1903 – July 27, 1987) was an American baseball shortstop. In Major League Baseball (MLB), Jackson played for the New York Giants from 1922 through 1936, winning the 1933 World Series, and representing the Giants in the MLB All-Star in 1934. After his retirement as a player, Jackson managed in minor league baseball through to the 1960 season.

Jackson was discovered by Kid Elberfeld at a minor league baseball game at the age of 14. Elberfeld signed Jackson to his first professional contract, and recommended him to John McGraw, manager of the Giants. His exceptional range at shortstop led to the nickname "Stonewall." Jackson was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.

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