Kid Elberfeld - Detroit Sluggers

Source: Amazon Online Books

Detroit Sluggers: The First 75 Years (Images of Baseball)

Mark Rucker

Kid Elberfeld (above left) and Bill Coughlin. who arrived in Detroit in July 1904, were pictured on baseball cards issued by a candy company, which are in scarce supply today. Elberfeld was known as the Tabasco Kid, for it was his inflammable personality that made him so fun to watch. Playing shortstop for us for four seasons, he loved to taunt opponents to try to spike him when sliding into second base. And then he would pour hard liquor over his own wounds as treatment. He was out of the hard-nosed deadball mold, where baseball was a contact sport and everybody liked it that way, including the fans. Elberfeld was also a speedster, stealing over 200 bases in his career. In addition, he hit over .300 in two of his three years here, while in 1903, his on-base percentage was .412. Bill Coughlin became our mainstay at third base, and although always a team leader, was not made captain until 1906. He helped guide us to pennants in 1907 and 1908, both with his skillful play at third and savvy advice in competition. He was a solid .250 hitter who could hit with some power and scored a lot of runs.