Tommy Leach

Thomas Andrew Leach (November 4, 1877 – September 29, 1969) was a professional baseball outfielder and third baseman. He played in Major League Baseball from 1898 through 1918 for the Louisville Colonels, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds.

Leach played in the first modern World Series in 1903 with the Pirates, hitting four triples to set a record that still stands. He played alongside legendary ballplayers such as Honus Wagner and Mordecai Brown. Leach began his career primarily as an infielder including playing shortstop, second base and, mostly, third base. Later, to take advantage of his speed, Leach played mostly outfield.[1] Leach is also famous for being interviewed for Lawrence Ritter's The Glory of Their Times collection.

Tommy Leach
Tommy Leach 2163486436 01b787e65c o
Leach in 1911
Outfielder / Third baseman
Born: November 4, 1877
French Creek, New York
Died: September 29, 1969 (aged 91)
Haines City, Florida
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 28, 1898, for the Louisville Colonels
Last MLB appearance
September 2, 1918, for the Pittsburgh Pirates
MLB statistics
Batting average.269
Home runs63
Runs batted in810
Career highlights and awards

Pittsburgh years

Clarke, Leach, and Wagner
Leach (center) with Pirates teammates Fred Clarke and Honus Wagner

Leach was well known for his small stature and was nicknamed "Wee Tommy". In 1902, while with the Pirates, he led the National League in home runs with a total of six. Each one was of the inside-the-park variety, which was not unusual in the "dead-ball era". 49 of Leach's 63 career home runs were inside-the-park, which is still a National League record.

During Leach's years in Pittsburgh as a regular and playing with stars such as Honus Wagner, the Pirates won the National League pennant four times and were World Series champions once. Among the swiftest runners of his era, Leach had 361 stolen bases, 1,355 runs scored, and 172 triples.[2]

1903 World Series

Following two years of infighting, and a subsequent peace pact signed by the presidents of the National and American leagues, Barney Dreyfuss, owner of the Pirates, saw an opportunity to bring fans back to the game and so proposed a "World Series" between the top teams in the two leagues, Boston and Pittsburgh.

With stars Wagner, Leach and player–manager Fred Clarke, Pittsburgh appeared the more formidable of the two. And indeed the Pirates jumped to a three to one series lead. Leach had the first World Series hit, a triple off Cy Young, and scored the first ever World Series run in game one with Wagner batting him in. Leach finished the game with two singles and two triples as the Pirates won, seven to three.[3] In game four, Leach again starred, getting two hits, including a two-run triple and knocking in three runs, with the Pirates winning a close game five to four.[4]

Pittsburgh, at this point, had a seemingly insurmountable three games to one lead, but would not win again, losing the series to Boston five games to three. Despite the loss, Pittsburgh owner Barney Dreyfuss could feel his vision of a World Series had been a success, since the public had come out in large numbers to watch the games with over 100,000 paying spectators, the games had been hard-fought, with the players on both teams giving it their all, and the Pirates had proven to be a mighty foe, with stars such as Leach proving their worth on the field. Leach led both teams in RBIs in the series with seven and finished second on the Pirates in batting average for the series.[5] A commonly cited anecdote, one which Leach recanted to Lawrence Ritter, is the Boston Royal Rooters constant chanting of the popular song "Tessie" threw Honus Wagner off his game, though it is more likely that Wagner played hurt during the series.[6]

Later years

After his playing career was over, Leach managed in the minor leagues, was signed as an infield coach for the minor league Atlanta Crackers in 1929, and did some scouting for the Boston Braves. Leach was considered for a few managerial positions including manager of the New York Yankees as well as the Chicago entry of the Federal League. He eventually retired in Florida where he went into the citrus business. Leach was the oldest participant included in Lawrence Ritter's famous The Glory of Their Times collection, having been born in 1877 and being 86 when Ritter interviewed him.[7][8] Leach, as part of his interview with Ritter for the book recounted an anecdote concerning Dummy Hoy. It seems the two roomed together in 1899, and Leach said of Hoy: "We got to be good friends. He was a real fine ballplayer. When you played with him in the outfield, the thing was that you never called for a ball. You listened for him and if he made this little squeaky sound, that meant he was going to take it." Leach went on to say, "We hardly ever had to use our fingers to talk, though most of the fellows did learn the sign language, so that when we got confused or something we could straighten it out with our hands." As a result of this and similar experiences, some historians credit Hoy with umpires using hand signals for balls and strikes and safe and out calls.[9]

In the fall of 1960, Leach appeared on the television program I've Got A Secret alongside Boston American Freddy Parent, as a commemoration of participating in the first World Series in 1903.

See also


  1. ^ "Misjudged Fly Beats Cubs" (PDF). New York Times. 1914-05-17.
  2. ^ "Pittsburgh Pirates History & Encyclopedia".
  3. ^ "1903 World Series Game 1, Pittsburgh Pirates at Boston Americans, October 1, 1903 -".
  4. ^ "1903 World Series Game 4, Boston Americans at Pittsburgh Pirates, October 6, 1903 -".
  5. ^ "1903 World Series". Baseball Almanac.
  6. ^ "History of the World Series – 1903". The Sporting News. Archived from the original on 2011-06-15.
  7. ^ Ritter, Lawrence (1984). The Glory Of Their Times. Morrow Publishing. pp. 20–33. ISBN 0-688-11273-0.
  8. ^ "University of Notre Dame Rare Books and Special Collections: Ritter Audio Tapes". University of Notre Dame.
  9. ^ "Great 19th Century Players Bio's". Baseball Fever. 2006-07-22.

External links

1899 Louisville Colonels season

The 1899 Louisville Colonels baseball team finished with a 75–77 record and ninth place in the National League. Following the season, owner Barney Dreyfuss bought the Pittsburgh Pirates organization and folded his Louisville team. Manager Fred Clarke and most of the players moved over to the Pirates where they enjoyed much more success in the coming years. The Colonels, a perennial also-ran through their National League run from 1892 to 1899, appeared to be on the cusp of becoming a strong team when the National League contracted from 12 teams to 8 after the end of the 1899 season. Louisville started the season with a 15–37 record after 52 games, but then went 60–40 in their last 100 in the first glimpse of what was to become a strong Pirates team in the years to come. Many star players, including several Hall of Famers, of the first decade of the 20th Century came from the 1899 Louisville squad including Clarke, Honus Wagner, Rube Waddell, Deacon Phillippe, Tommy Leach and Claude Ritchey.

1901 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1901 Pittsburgh Pirates finished in first place in the National League, 7½ games ahead of the second-place Philadelphia Phillies. It was the first year that the American League operated as a major league, but there would be no World Series between the leagues until 1903.

The team was managed by Fred Clarke, who was also their starting left fielder. Clarke, in his fifth year as a manager at age 28, won his first pennant. The Pirates won the National League championship in the next two years as well.

1902 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1902 Pittsburgh Pirates won a second straight National League pennant, by an overwhelming 27.5 game margin over the Brooklyn Superbas. It was the Pirates' first ever 100-win team, and still holds the franchise record for best winning percentage at home (.789).

Ginger Beaumont won the batting title with a .357 mark, Tommy Leach led the league in home runs with 6 (a major league record for fewest HRs to lead the league), Honus Wagner led the league in RBI with 91, and Jack Chesbro led the league with 28 wins. As a team, the Pirates led the league in every significant batting category, the last time that has been done in the NL. They scored 775 runs, which was 142 more than any other team.

The team allowed four home runs during their 1902 season, the fewest in MLB history.

1904 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1904 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 23rd season of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise; the 18th in the National League. The Pirates finished fourth in the National League with a record of 87–66.

1905 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1905 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 24th season of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise. The Pirates finished second in the National League with a record of 96–57.

1906 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1906 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 25th season of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise; the 20th in the National League. The Pirates finished third in the league standings with a record of 93–60.

1907 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1907 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 26th season for the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise. It involved the Pirates finishing second in the National League.

The offense was led by Tommy Leach and Hall of Famers Honus Wagner and Fred Clarke. Wagner led the NL in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and stolen bases. The Pirates scored the most runs of any team.

1908 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1908 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 27th season for the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise. The team finished tied for second place in the National League with the New York Giants, one game behind the Chicago Cubs. The Pirates spent 46 days in first place, and were on top on October 3. However, they lost their last game to the Cubs, which set up a replay of the infamous "Merkle" game between the Cubs and the Giants. The Cubs took it to win the pennant. Pittsburgh finished tied for second place with the Giants, just one game back. It was one of the closest races in baseball history.

Shortstop Honus Wagner had one of the most dominating hitting performances of all-time. The "Flying Dutchman" led the majors in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs batted in, and stolen bases. He missed the triple crown by two home runs. For his efforts, Wagner was paid $5,000, possibly the most on the team.

1909 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 28th season for the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise, during which they won the National League pennant with a record of 110–42 and their first World Series over the Detroit Tigers. Led by shortstop Honus Wagner and outfielder-manager Fred Clarke, the Pirates scored the most runs in the majors. Wagner led the league in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and runs batted in. Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss opened the Pirates' new ballpark, named Forbes Field, on June 30, 1909.The Pirates' 110 wins remain a team record, a record they set in the last game of the season by beating the Cincinnati Reds 7–4 in muddy conditions on October 5. It is in fact the best regular season win percentage by any World Series winning team.

1910 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1910 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 29th season of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise; the 24th in the National League. The defending World Series champion Pirates finished third in the National League with a record of 86–67.

1911 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1911 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 30th season of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise; the 25th in the National League. The Pirates finished third in the league standings with a record of 85–69.

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.

1913 Chicago Cubs season

The 1913 Chicago Cubs season was the 42nd season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 38th in the National League and the 21st at West Side Park. The Cubs finished third in the National League with a record of 88–65.

1914 Chicago Cubs season

The 1914 Chicago Cubs season was the 43rd season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 39th in the National League and the 22nd at West Side Park. The Cubs finished fourth in the National League with a record of 78–76.

1915 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1915 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished seventh in the National League with a record of 71–83, 20 games behind the Philadelphia Phillies.

Eclipse Park

Eclipse Park was the name of three successive baseball grounds in Louisville, Kentucky in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They were the home of the Louisville baseball team first known as the Louisville Eclipse and later as the Louisville Colonels.

The unusual name for these ballparks derived from the original name of the Association club, the Eclipse. The more local name "Colonels" eventually won out. Nonetheless, "Eclipse" was among the early team names to be a singular word, despite "sounding like" a plural.

Semi-pro baseball had been played at the first Eclipse Park as early as 1874. The Louisville Eclipse played there from 1882 to 1884. The team was then renamed the Louisville Colonels and continued to play under that name from 1885 to 1893. The team was a member of the American Association until 1891 when it joined the National League when the American Association folded. The park was destroyed by fire on September 27, 1892. The 1893 season started in what was left of the park.

The original park was located at 28th and Elliott streets in west Louisville. The second Eclipse Park was built just south of the original. City directories given the location as 28th Street (east) and Broadway (north). The Louisville Colonels played there from early in the 1893 season until well into the 1899 season. This is the ground at which Hall of Famer Honus Wagner made his Major League debut on July 19, 1897.

The second Eclipse Park was destroyed by fire on August 12, 1899. The club was on a road trip at the time. They returned to a partially-rebuilt park ten days later, but the stands were inadequate and the club played the final month as a road team.

The fire contributed significantly to the once-strong Louisville club being contracted after the end of the season. Team owner Barney Dreyfuss moved on to acquire the Pittsburgh Pirates. Instead of being scattered to the wind, the best players from the Louisville team roster were brought onto the Pittsburgh payroll, including Wagner, third baseman Tommy Leach, outfielder-manager Fred Clarke, and ace right-hander Deacon Phillippe. This influx of talent soon turned the perennial cellar-dwelling Pirates into a three-peat pennant winner, and a participant in the first modern World Series.

After a one-year absence of professional ball, a Louisville Colonels entry in the Western Association opened at the remnants of the park in 1901. The club drew poorly and transferred to Grand Rapids, Michigan near the end of June.

The third and last Eclipse Park was built on a block bounded by 7th Street (east); Kentucky Street (south); 8th Street (west); and Florence Place (north) in the Limerick neighborhood of Louisville. This ballpark was built by George "White Wings" Tebeau as the home for the American Association minor league Louisville Colonels who played there from 1902 through 1922.

The final Eclipse Park had better luck than the first two, remaining in operation for more than twenty years, until it too was destroyed by fire, on November 21, 1922.

All three Eclipse Park locations had been destroyed by fire of various origins. The Louisville Courier-Journal covered each of these events in the days following. After the 1922 fire, the paper editorialized that wooden ballparks were obsolete and should be replaced by steel and concrete. The ball club followed that advice, opening Parkway Field the following spring.

Freddy Parent

Frederick Alfred Parent (November 25, 1875 – November 2, 1972) was a professional baseball player. He played all or part of eleven seasons in Major League Baseball, between 1899 and 1911, for the St. Louis Perfectos (1899), Boston Americans (1901–07) and Chicago White Sox (1908–11), primarily as a shortstop. Parent batted and threw right-handed. He was born in Biddeford, Maine.

Listed at 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m), 154 lb., Parent was known primarily for his fielding skills, but he also was a solid hitter and an intelligent baserunner. Twice he hit .300, including a career-high .306 in 1901, and led the American League in at bats in 1902. He broke up three no-hit bids, as he got his club's only hits in these games. At shortstop, his fine defensive plays saved four no-hitters, including Cy Young's perfect game. He also was a member of the Boston team who clinched in 1903 the first World Championship in major league history.

In a 12-season career, Parent was a .262 hitter (1306-for-4984) with 20 home runs and 471 RBI in 1327 games, including 180 doubles, 74 triples, 633 runs and 184 stolen bases. In eight WS games, he hit .281 (9-32) with eight runs and four RBI.

In the fall of 1960, Parent appeared on the television program I've Got A Secret alongside Pittsburgh Pirate Tommy Leach, as a commemoration of participating in the first World Series in 1903.

Parent died in Sanford, Maine, at the age of 96. At the time of his death, he was the last surviving participant of the inaugural 1903 World Series.

List of Louisville Colonels managers

The Louisville Colonels were a Major League Baseball team that played in Louisville, Kentucky. They played in the American Association when it was considered a major league from 1882 through 1891 and in the National League from 1892 through 1899, after which the team folded and its best players were transferred to the Pittsburgh Pirates. From 1882 through 1884 the team was named the Louisville Eclipse. During their time as a Major League team, the Colonels employed 17 managers. The duties of the team manager include team strategy and leadership on and off the field.The Colonels' first manager was Denny Mack. Mack managed the team for one season (1882), in which he led the Colonels to a record of 38 wins and 42 losses. Fred Clarke was the Colonels' last manager. Clarke took over as player-manager of the team during the 1897 season, and managed the team through the 1899 season while also playing as an outfielder for the Colonels. Clarke was one of the players transferred to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1900, as were Honus Wagner, Tommy Leach, Claude Ritchey and Deacon Phillippe. Clarke took over as the Pirates' player-manager, and after a second-place finish in 1900, he led the Pirates, with the former Colonels stars, to three consecutive league pennants in 1901, 1902, 1903, and a World Series championship in 1909. Clarke was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945, the only Colonels' manager so honored. The Colonels won their only Major League pennant when they had the best record in the American Association in 1890. They played to a tie in the World Series that season against the National League champion Brooklyn Bridegrooms; each team won three games and there was one tie game. Jack Chapman was the Colonels' manager that season.Clarke holds the Colonels' record for games managed (402), managerial wins (180), and managerial losses (212). Mike Walsh, who managed the team in 1884, has the highest winning percentage of any Colonels' manager, at .630. The only other two managers who had winning percentages over .500 for the Colonels are Mack and Joe Gerhardt, who managed the team in 1883. The only Colonels' manager who served more than one term was Mordecai Davidson, who served two terms during the 1888 season while he was also the team's owner. Davidson replaced John Kelly for three games before being replaced by John Kerins. After Kerins managed the Colonels for seven games, Davidson took over again for the final 90 games of the season. Davidson's total managerial record with the Colonels was 93 games managed with 35 wins and 54 losses, for a winning percentage of .393.

Thomas Leach

Thomas Leach is the name of:

Tommy Leach, baseball player

Tony Leach, English international footballer

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