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Jake Atz baseball card

John Jacob Atz, born Jacob Henry Atz (born July 1, 1879 — May 22, 1945) was an American second baseman for the Washington Senators (1902) and Chicago White Sox (1907-1909) in Major League Baseball. He also was the most successful minor league managers of the 1920s, winning all or parts of the Texas League championship in seven consecutive seasons (1919-25) as skipper of the Fort Worth Panthers. Atz was born in in Washington, D.C.

Baseball career

Atz was one of the first Jewish players in Major League Baseball. Early in his career he changed his name from Zimmerman to Atz. In four major league seasons, he played in 209 games, had 605 at bats, 64 runs, 132 hits, 21 doubles, three triples, 49 RBIs, 23 stolen bases, 69 walks, a .218 batting average, .304 on-base percentage, .263 slugging percentage, and 33 sacrifice hits.

Atz' first managerial assignment was the Providence Grays of the East League in 1911, and he failed dismally, losing 69 of 108 games (.361). Three years later, in 1914, he took over Fort Worth. His Panthers had winning records in his first 13 seasons. During their seven-year skein as kings of the Texas League, the Panthers won over 100 games five times – with records of 108-40 (.730) in 1920, 107-51 (.677) in 1921, 109-43 (.717) in 1922, 109-41 (.727) in 1924, and 103-48 (.682) in 1925. In 1926, the Panthers fell to third and Atz would not win another pennant until 1939, with Henderson in the Class C East Texas League, three levels below the Texas League. His career record as a manager in the minors over 27 seasons was 1,972 wins, 1,619 losses (.549), still one of the best winning percentages among longtime minor league skippers.

He died in New Orleans, Louisiana, at age 65.

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