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Roger Bresnahan

Catcher / Manager
Born: June 11, 1879(1879-06-11)
Toledo, Ohio
Died: December 4, 1944 (aged 65)
Toledo, Ohio
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
August 27, 1897 for the Washington Senators
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 1915 for the Chicago Cubs
Career statistics
Batting average     .279
Home runs     26
Runs batted in     530
Teams

As Player

As Manager

Career highlights and awards
  • World Series champion (1905)
  • Managerial record: 328-432
  • 2 seasons with a .300+ batting average
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction     1945
Election Method     Veteran's Committee

Roger Philip Bresnahan (June 11, 1879 – December 4, 1944), nicknamed "The Duke of Tralee" for his Irish roots,[1] was an American player in Major League Baseball who starred primarily as a catcher and a player-manager. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945.

Bresnahan introduced the use of the catcher's shin guard in 1907[2] .

Contents

Biography

Born in Toledo, Ohio, he began his major league career as a pitcher, throwing a six-hit shutout on August 27, 1897. However, he eventually moved to catcher (although he could play all nine positions), and was labeled one of the best at that position by managers John McGraw and Branch Rickey. Despite taunts by other players, he experimented with head and thigh protection gear which had been introduced by some college teams, which included the first MLB batting helmet, and this led to the widespread use of more protection for catchers in the early 20th century.

Bresnahan, catching for the Giants against the Pirates, and wearing shinguards that resemble a wicket-keeper's cricket pads.

Bresnahan played for the Washington Senators (1897), Chicago Orphans/Cubs (1900, 1913–15), Baltimore Orioles (1901–02), New York Giants (1902–08), St. Louis Cardinals (1909–12), and the Cubs again (1913–1915). In 1446 games, he had a batting average of .279 in 4480 at-bats.

Bresnahan had managed the Cardinals while playing for them, and the Cubs in 1915. His overall record was 328-432.

Bresnahan died of a heart attack at his home in Toledo at age 65, and was elected to the Hall of Fame the following year; decades later, Sabermetrician Bill James said it was an honor that Bresnahan did not deserve.[3]

Bresnahan was buried in Calvary (Roman Catholic) Cemetery in Toledo, Ohio.

1911 train wreck

On July 11, 1911, with the Cards only three games out of first place in early July, the team was involved in a train wreck while riding the Federal Express from Philadelphia to Boston.[4] Fourteen passengers were killed after the train derailed and plunged down an 18-foot (5.5 m) embankment outside Bridgeport, Connecticut.[4] None of the Cardinals were seriously injured, due to a fortuitous pre-trip change in the location of their Pullman car that Bresnahan had requested. The Cardinals helped remove bodies and rescue the injured.[4]

Despite posting their first winning season since 1901, the Cardinals never recovered from the incident, finishing a distant fifth.

Commemorations

Bresnahan was mentioned in the poem Line-Up for Yesterday by Ogden Nash:

Baseball Hall of Fame plaque

Battery mate of Christy Mathewson with the New York Giants, he was one of the games most natural players and might have starred at any position. The "Duke of Tralee" was one of the few major league catchers fast enough to be used as a leadoff man

Line-Up for Yesterday

B is for Bresnahan
Back of the plate;
The Cubs were his love,
and McGraw his hate.

Ogden Nash, Sport magazine (January 1949)[5]


See also

References

  1. ^ Have you heard of this Player; Nicknames and 18 from the Sporting News
  2. ^ Suehsdorf, A. D. (1978). The Great American Baseball Scrapbook, p. 36. Random House. ISBN 0-394-50253-1.
  3. ^ Bill James Answers All Your Baseball Questions, an April 2008 entry from the Freakonomics blog
  4. ^ a b c Tuesday, July 11th from BaseballLibrary.com
  5. ^ "Baseball Almanac". http://www.baseball-almanac.com/poetry/po_line.shtml. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 

External links

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Simple English

catcher, player-manager
Born: June 11, 1879, Toledo, Ohio
Died: December 4, 1944 (aged 65), Toledo, Ohio
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
August 27, 1897 for the Washington Senators
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 1915 for the Chicago Cubs
Career statistics
Batting average    .279
Hits    1252
Runs batted in    530
Teams
As Player
As Manager
Career highlights and awards
  • World Series Champion: 1905
  • Managerial record: 328-432
  • 2 seasons with a .300+ batting average
  • Member of the National
    Baseball Hall of Fame
    Induction    1945
    Election Method    Veteran's Committee

    Roger Philip Bresnahan (June 11, 1879December 4, 1944), nicknamed "The Duke of Tralee" for his Irish roots,[1] was an American Major League Baseball player who played catcher and a player-manager.

    References

    1. Have you heard of this Player; Nicknames and 18 from the Sporting News


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