Lave Cross

Lafayette Napoleon Cross (May 12, 1866 – September 6, 1927) was an American third baseman in Major League Baseball who played most of his 21-year career with Philadelphia-based teams in four different leagues. One of the sport's top all-around players in the years surrounding the turn of the 20th century, when he retired he ranked fifth in major league history in hits (2,644) and runs batted in (1,371), ninth in doubles (411) and total bases (3,466), and third in games played (2,275) and at bats (9,064). Also starring on defense, after beginning his major league career as a catcher, he led third basemen in fielding percentage five times, and ended his career with nearly every fielding record at that position: games (1,721), putouts (2,306), assists (3,706), total chances (6,406), and fielding average (.938); his 212 double plays ranked third behind Billy Nash and Arlie Latham. He captained the Philadelphia Athletics teams which captured two of the first five American League pennants.

His older brother Amos was a major league catcher from 1885 to 1887, and his younger brother Frank played one game in right field for the 1901 Cleveland Blues.

Lave Cross
CrossLave photo2
Third baseman / Catcher
Born: May 12, 1866
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Died: September 6, 1927 (aged 61)
Toledo, Ohio
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 23, 1887, for the Louisville Colonels
Last MLB appearance
June 6, 1907, for the Washington Senators
MLB statistics
Batting average.292
Home runs47
Runs batted in1,371


Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lave Cross began his career as a secondary catcher and occasional outfielder with the 1887-1888 Louisville Colonels. His contract was sold to the Philadelphia Athletics of the American Association for the 1889 season, and he jumped to the Philadelphia Quakers of the Players' League in 1890 before returning to the AA team in 1891. That season he saw his first regular play, splitting time in the outfield and behind the plate, and also playing at third base for the first time; in addition, he batted .301 and finished fifth in the league in slugging average. After the American Association's merger with the National League in 1892, he joined the Philadelphia Phillies from 1892 through 1897. In his first two years he played as a catcher and third baseman, while in the last two years he played primarily at third with substantial play as a second baseman and shortstop. Playing exclusively at third in 1895, he led the NL in assists and fielding average for the first time. He also became a solid hitter, batting a career-high .386 with 125 RBI and 123 runs in 1894; on April 24 of that year, he hit for the cycle. During this period, major league rules did not restrict the size of infielders' gloves, and he continued to use his catcher's mitt in the field; on August 5, 1897 he set a still-standing record at second base with 15 assists in a 12-inning game.

He was traded to the St. Louis Browns after the 1897 season, and responded with an 1898 campaign in which he hit .317 – the first of seven straight seasons at .290 or better – and finished among the league leaders in hits, doubles and total bases, while again leading the NL in assists and fielding average. Before the 1899 season, the Browns were purchased by the owner of the competing Cleveland Spiders and renamed the Perfectos. The new owners promptly shifted almost all the best players on both teams to St. Louis, with Cleveland being used as a de facto farm club; Cross was sent to Cleveland in the thankless role of player-manager, but was returned to St. Louis after an 8-30 start. Cleveland played even worse afterwards, ending the season at 20-134 and being promptly dissolved, later becoming known as the worst club in major league history. Cross hit .303 after returning to St. Louis, and led the NL in double plays and fielding. In May 1900 his contract was sold to the Brooklyn Superbas, who went on to win the pennant. After over a dozen years on second-rate teams, during which his club managed only a pair of third-place finishes, the move to a championship team was most welcome, and he ended the season among the NL's top ten in RBI (73) while leading the league in fielding for the fourth time.

With the elevation of the American League to major league status in 1901, many stars from the NL saw an opportunity to move away from that league's longstanding turmoil and rowdiness. Cross jumped to the Athletics franchise in the new league and became one of the veteran leaders on Connie Mack's club. As team captain, he batted .328, and was among the AL leaders in batting, slugging and doubles. In 1902 he improved his average to .342 and was among the league's top three players in hits (191), doubles (39) and RBI (108) as the Athletics won the pennant; the 108 RBI were a record for a player without any home runs. On April 23 of that year he began a streak of 447 consecutive games (all but one of them at third base), then one of the ten longest in history, which ended on May 8, 1905. In each of the next two seasons he hit .290 or better while ending the year in the top ten in hits and RBI, and in 1905 he finished second in the league with 77 RBI at age 39 as the team won another pennant. But in the 1905 World Series, batting cleanup, he collected only two singles in the five games as the Athletics were crushed by the New York Giants, being shut out three times by Christy Mathewson and outscored 15-3.

In January 1906 he was sent to the Washington Senators; he led the league in fielding average for the fifth time at age 40, and ended his career in 1907 after hitting .199 in 41 games. Over 21 seasons he batted .292 with 1333 runs, 47 home runs and 135 triples, in addition to the totals noted above. His hit total ranked second among right-handed batters behind Cap Anson. In 1906 he surpassed Arlie Latham's record of 1571 career games at third base; Pie Traynor broke the record in 1934. His records for career putouts and total chances were broken by Jimmy Collins in 1908; but his assists record stood until 1964, when Eddie Mathews broke it. His career fielding average was topped in the late 1910s by several players.

Cross was later employed as a machinist, and died of a heart attack at age 61 while walking to work in Toledo, Ohio.

Other achievements

  • 5× league leader (4× NL, 1× AL) in fielding percentage for third basemen (1895, 1898, 1899, 1900, 1905)
  • St. Louis Cardinals single-season franchise leader in AB/SO (134.333 in 1899)[1]

See also


  1. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals Top 10 Batting Leaders". Retrieved March 29, 2015.

External links

Preceded by
Abner Dalrymple
Hitting for the cycle
April 24, 1894
Succeeded by
Bill Hassamaer
1888 Louisville Colonels season

The 1888 Louisville Colonels season was a season in American baseball. The team finished with a 58–87 record, seventh place in the American Association.

1891 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1891 Philadelphia Athletics season was a season in American baseball. The team, which had played the 1890 season in the defunct Players' League, joined the American Association as a replacement for the previous version of the Philadelphia Athletics, who were expelled after the 1890 season. They finished with a 73–66 record and fifth place in the AA. This league folded after the 1891 season and the team disbanded with it.

1892 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1892 Philadelphia Phillies season was a season in American baseball. The team finished with an overall record of 87–66, fourth-best in the National League. They finished in third place in the first half of the season, and in fifth place in the second half.

1894 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1894 Philadelphia Phillies season was a season in American baseball. The team finished in fourth place in the National League with a record of 71–57, 18 games behind the Baltimore Orioles. In August, the Phillies scored 312 runs, which still stands as the record in Major League Baseball for runs scored in a single month. Four of the team's outfielders hit over .400: Hall of Famers Sam Thompson, Ed Delehanty, and Billy Hamilton, plus reserve Tuck Turner.

1899 Cleveland Spiders season

The 1899 Cleveland Spiders season was the team's 13th and final season in Major League Baseball, and their 11th season in the National League.

In 1899, the owners of the Spiders, the Robison brothers, Frank and Stanley, bought the St. Louis Browns baseball club from Chris von der Ahe, renaming it the Perfectos. However, they continued to retain ownership of the Cleveland club, an obvious conflict of interest that was later outlawed.

Stanley Robison publicly announced his intention to run the Spiders "as a sideshow", and fans apparently took him at his word. After the first 16 home games, Cleveland's total attendance was 3,179 for a trifling average of 199 people per game. As a result, other NL teams refused to travel to Cleveland's League Park, as their cut of the ticket revenue would not come close to covering their travel and hotel expenses. The Spiders only played 26 more home games for the rest of the season, including only eight after July 1. In so doing, they set a number of negative records, including one, 101 road losses, that is unbreakable under MLB's current schedule. Sportswriters of the day began referring to the team as the "Exiles" and "Wanderers." Their final record for the season was 20–134 for a win ratio of .130, still the worst in Major League Baseball history.

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.

1900 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1900 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 19th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 9th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 65–75 during the season and finished 5th in the National League.

1901 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1901 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 4th in the American League with a record of 74 wins and 62 losses. The franchise that would become the modern Athletics originated in 1901 as a new franchise in the American League.

1902 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1902 Philadelphia Athletics season was a season in American baseball. The team finished first in the American League with a record of 83 wins and 53 losses.

1904 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1904 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing fifth in the American League with a record of 81 wins and 70 losses.

1905 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1905 Philadelphia Athletics season was a season in American baseball. The team finished first in the American League with a record of 92 wins and 56 losses, winning their second pennant. They went on to face the New York Giants in the 1905 World Series, losing 4 games to 1.

The pitching staff featured three future Hall of Famers: Rube Waddell, Eddie Plank, and Chief Bender. Waddell easily won the pitching triple crown in 1905, with 27 wins, 287 strikeouts, and a 1.48 earned run average.

Cleveland Spiders all-time roster

The following is a list of players and who appeared in at least one game for the Cleveland Spiders franchise of Major League Baseball from 1887 through 1899. This includes both the Cleveland Blues of the American Association and the Cleveland Spiders of the National League. Players in bold are in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Doc Casey

James Patrick Casey (March 15, 1870 – December 31, 1936) was an American professional baseball third baseman. He played ten seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) between 1898 and 1907 for the Washington Senators, Brooklyn Superbas, Detroit Tigers, and Chicago Cubs.

Dutch Zwilling

Edward Harrison "Dutch" Zwilling (November 2, 1888 – March 27, 1978) was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as an outfielder for four seasons. He first played for the Chicago White Sox of the American League in 1910, then for the Chicago Whales of the Federal League from 1914 to 1915, and lastly, the Chicago Cubs of the National League in 1916. He, along with Lave Cross and Rollie Zeider, are the only players to have played for at least three different teams in the same city. Zwilling was the last surviving member of the 1915 Chicago Whales, the last champion of the Federal League.

Alphabetically, Zwilling was listed last among all MLB players in history, until Tony Zych made his MLB debut in 2015.His most significant playing-time occurred while in the FL, and is the short-lived league's all-time leader in home runs with 29.

List of Cleveland Spiders managers

The Cleveland Spiders were a Major League Baseball team that played in Cleveland, Ohio. They played in the American Association when it was considered a major league from 1887 through 1888 and in the National League from 1889 through 1899. From 1887 through 1888 the team was named the Cleveland Blues. During their time as a Major League team, the Spiders employed 7 managers. The duties of the team manager include team strategy and leadership on and off the field.The Spiders' first manager was Jimmy Williams, who managed the team as the Cleveland Blues in 1887 and the beginning of the 1888 season. Williams managed a total of 197 games for the team, winning just 59 against 136 losses for a winning percentage of .303. This low winning percentage would prove one of the best in team history.

After Tom Loftus, Gus Schmelz and Robert Leadley handled the managerial duties from the middle of the 1888 season though the middle of the 1891 season, first baseman Patsy Tebeau became the Spiders' player-manager 69 games into the 1891 season. Tebeau would manage the Spiders through the end of the 1898 season. Tebeau holds the Spiders' records for most games managed, with 1040, most wins as manager, with 579, most losses as manager, with 436, and highest winning percentage, with .570. Tebeau is in fact the only Spiders' manager to have won more games than he lost. In 1894 and 1895, Tebeau had the distinction of managing his brother George Tebeau, who played outfield and first base for the team.In 1899, third baseman Lave Cross became the Spiders' player-manager. The Spiders won just 8 of 38 games under Cross, for a winning percentage of just .211, before Cross was replaced as player-manager by second baseman Joe Quinn. The Spiders performed even more poorly under Quinn, winning just 12 games and losing 104, for a winning percentage of .103. The Spiders' 1899 record of 20 wins and 134 losses under Cross and Quinn is the worst in professional baseball history, and the team was dropped from the Major Leagues after the season.

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