Hall of Fame: Tris Speaker (1937)

Called the “Grey Eagle” because his hair turned gray prematurely (grey or gray?).

 Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH
+--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+
1907 19 BOS AL 7 19 0 3 0 0 0 1 0 1 .158 .200 .158 15 3 0
1908 20 BOS AL 31 116 12 26 2 2 0 9 3 4 .224 .262 .276 73 32 3
1909 21 BOS AL 143 544 73 168 26 13 7 77 35 38 .309 .362 .443 152 241 17
1910 22 BOS AL 141 538 92 183 20 14 7 65 35 52 .340 .404 .468 171 252 12
1911 23 BOS AL 141 500 88 167 34 13 8 70 25 59 .334 .418 .502 157 251 17
1912 24 BOS AL 153 580 136 222 53 12 10 90 52 82 .383 .464 .567 188 329 7
1913 25 BOS AL 141 520 94 189 35 22 3 71 46 65 22 .363 .441 .533 181 277 16
1914 26 BOS AL 158 571 101 193 46 18 4 90 42 29 77 25 .338 .423 .503 178 287 13
1915 27 BOS AL 150 547 108 176 25 12 0 69 29 25 81 14 .322 .416 .411 151 225 17
1916 28 CLE AL 151 546 102 211 41 8 2 79 35 27 82 20 .386 .470 .502 185 274 15
1917 29 CLE AL 142 523 90 184 42 11 2 60 30 67 14 .352 .432 .486 172 254 15
1918 30 CLE AL 127 471 73 150 33 11 0 61 27 64 9 .318 .403 .435 144 205 11
1919 31 CLE AL 134 494 83 146 38 12 2 63 15 73 12 .296 .395 .433 127 214 20
1920 32 CLE AL 150 552 137 214 50 11 8 107 10 13 97 13 .388 .483 .562 173 310 20
1921 33 CLE AL 132 506 107 183 52 14 3 75 2 4 68 12 .362 .439 .538 146 272 12
1922 34 CLE AL 131 426 85 161 48 8 11 71 8 3 77 11 .378 .474 .606 179 258 12
1923 35 CLE AL 150 574 133 218 59 11 17 130 8 9 93 15 .380 .469 .610 182 350 22
1924 36 CLE AL 135 486 94 167 36 9 9 65 5 7 72 13 .344 .432 .510 141 248 13
1925 37 CLE AL 117 429 79 167 35 5 12 87 5 2 70 12 .389 .479 .578 166 248 15
1926 38 CLE AL 150 539 96 164 52 8 7 86 6 1 94 15 .304 .408 .469 127 253 28
1927 39 WSH AL 141 523 71 171 43 6 2 73 9 8 55 8 .327 .395 .444 118 232 15
1928 40 PHA AL 64 191 28 51 22 2 3 30 5 1 10 5 .267 .310 .450 95 86 9
+--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+
22 Seasons 10195 3514 222 1529 129 220 .345 .428 .500 158 309
2789 1882 792 117 432 1381 5101

1 MVP award (1912)

Tristram E. Speaker was born on April 4, 1888 in Hubbard, Texas. As a boy, he was involved in a horse-riding accident in which he broke his right arm. As a result, he tried throwing with his left hand and became so comfortable with it that he began throwing left-handed, even when his arm healed. Later during his college career, he broke his left arm while playing football. The doctors suggested that his arm be amputated because of the severity of the injury. Speaker, however in a House-like move, refused.

His early career was unsuccessful, but in 1909, he won the Boston Red Sox starting center fielder job and never looked back. Along with Harry Hooper and Duffy Lewis, the threesome would be known as the “Million Dollar Trio” because they were one of the best outfields in the majors. His best season would be 1912 when he led the league in doubles (53), home runs (10), and had three hitting streaks of 20+ (30, 23, 22) games, which is still a major-league record for one season.

After the 1915 season, Speaker and the Boston owner had a falling out. The owner wanted Speaker to take a pay cut because his batting average fell to .322. Speaker, of course, declined, and he was traded to the Cleveland Indians. Angry with Boston, Speaker demanded and ultimately received $10,000 of the $50,000 sent to Boston, and the trade is still considered one of the most lop-sided in history. In 1917 while trying to steal home, the batter lined the ball of his face. The opposing team allowed Speaker to sit out the next inning while having his face sewn up, and he went back out the inning after.

Like several players in the day, Speaker became a player-manager, but unlike many, he actually led the team to a World Series victory in 1920. However, Speaker was forced to retire from managing after a betting scandal between Speaker and Cobb, but most believe it was Dutch Leonard’s anger over being kicked out of organized baseball that started all of it. Ultimately, it failed to kick either player out of baseball.

One of the best center fielders of history, Speaker was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1937 with 165 of the 201 votes.

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