Sam “Wahoo” Crawford played his entire career in the Dead Ball era. He was arguably the greatest slugger of that period. Crawford still holds the career record for triples with 309, triples being considered the power standard until Babe Ruth and home run changed baseball in the early 1920’s. Crawford, in his 19-year career, beginning in 1899 with Cincinnati in the National League and finishing with the Detroit Tigers in the American League, led his league in triples 6 times while hitting double digits for 17 straight seasons. He also led his league in home runs twice: once in Cincinnati with 16 and once in Detroit with seven. He hit a total of 97 homes runs, 51 of which were inside-the-park, speaking to his credentials as a slugger and as a speedy. His speed is confirmed by the fact that he stole 367 bases in his career. His lifetime batting average was .309 and he had 2961 total hits. His interview with Lawrence Ritter included in Ritter’s “The Glory of Their Times” is a wonderful peek into life in baseball at the dawn of the Twentieth Century.
April 24, 2015