Debuting with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1915, Dave Bancroft was an intelligent, sure handed shortstop who could handle the stick, hitting better than .300 five times in his career. His smart style of play attracted John McGraw, who lured him to the New York Giants in 1920, where Bancroft had the best run of his career. He would be a part of two World Championships and establish himself as a solid hitting, great-fielding middle infielder, a rare combination. An opportunity to serve as player/manager of the Boston Braves saw him leave the Giants after the 1923 season. The talent poor Braves never rose above 5th during Bancroft’s tenure and in 1928 he was back to playing full-time with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He finished his career with a short stint in 1930, once again with his old pal McGraw and the Giants. A lifetime .279 hitter who never excelled in any offensive category, Bancroft did have incredible range and was an impressive defender. Still, his election to the Hall is considered one of the more controversial.
August 18, 2014