Kid Elberfeld's Influence - Sam Crawford

Source: Amazon Online Books

The Glory of Their Times : The Story of Baseball Told By the Men Who Played It

Lawrence S. Ritter

When you think about people like Rube Waddell, and there were lots of other off-beat characters around then, also, you start to get some idea of how different it all used to be. Baseball players weren't too much accented in those days, either, you know. We were considered pretty crude. Couldn't get into the best hotels and all that. And when we did get into a good hotel, they wouldn't boast about having us. Like, if we went into the hotel dining room - in a good hotel, that is - they'd quick shove us way back in the corner at the very end of the dining room so we wouldn't be too conspicuous. "Here come the ballplayers!" you know, and back in the corner we'd go.

I remember once - I think it was in 1903 - I was with the Detroit club, and we all went into the dining room ia this hotel, I believe in St. Louis. Well, this dining room had a tile floor, made out of little square tiles. We sat there - way down at the end, as usual - for about 20 minutes and couldn't get any waiters. They wouldn't pay any attention to us at all. Remember Kid Elberfeld? He was playing shortstop for us then, a tough little guy. Later he played for many years with the Yankees, up on the hilltop. Anyway, Kid Elberfeld says, "I'll get you some waiters, fellows"

Darned if he didn't take one of the plates and sail it way up ia the air, and when it came down on that tile floor it smashed into a million pieces. In that quiet, refined dining room it sounded like The Charge of the Light Brigade. Sure enough, we had four or five waiters around there in no time.

Yeah, Kid Elberfeld, what a character he was. Kid Gleason was on the Detroit club about thea, too. Another rugged little guy. Do you know that those guys actually tried to get hit with the ball when they were up at bat? They didn't care. They had it down to a fine art, you know. They'd look like they were trying to get out of the way, but they'd manage to let the ball just nick them. Anything to get on base. That was all part of the game then.

Sam Crawford
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sam Crawford
Born: April 18, 1880
Died: June 15, 1968 (aged 88)
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
September 10, 1899
for the Cincinnati Reds
Final game
September 16, 1917
for the Detroit Tigers
Career statistics
AVG .309
Hits 2961
RBI 1525
Cincinnati Reds (1899-1902)
Detroit Tigers (1903-1917)
Career highlights and awards
All-time leader in triples with 309
Led NL in home runs in 1901 with 16 and AL in 1908 with 7
Led AL in runs in 1907 with 102
Led AL in doubles in 1909 with 35
Led NL in triples in 1902 and 1903 and the AL in 1910 and 1913-1915
Led AL in RBI's in 1910, 1914, and 1915
Member of the National
Baseball Hall of Fame
Elected 1957
Election Method Veteran's Committee

Samuel Earl Crawford (April 18, 1880 - June 15, 1968), nicknamed "Wahoo Sam", was a Major League Baseball player who played outfield for the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers. He batted and threw left-handed, standing 6'0" tall and weighing 190 pounds. He was one of the greatest sluggers of the deadball era and still holds the Major League records for triples in a career (309) and for inside-the-park home runs in a season (12) and a career (51). He finished his career with 2,961 hits and a .309 batting average, and was the first player to lead both the American League and the National League in home runs (1901 and 1908). Crawford was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1957 and was featured in Lawrence Ritter's oral history of the Deadball era, "The Glory of Their Times," published in 1966.

Baseball legend, Ed Barrow, who managed Crawford in his first two years with Detroit, and went on to convert Babe Ruth to an outfielder as general manager of the Yankees, once said that "there never was a better hitter" than Crawford." One of his contemporaries, Fielder Jones, said of Crawford: "None of them can hit quite as hard as Crawford. He stands up at the plate like a brick house and he hits all the pitchers, without playing favorites."

Crawford was among the American League leaders in hits, RBIs, extra base hits, slugging percentage, and total bases every year for twelve consecutive years from 1905 - 1915. Using the "Gray Ink Test," which awards points based on how often a player is among the league batting leaders, Crawford ranks as the 9th best hitter of all time.