Lave Cross

This article was written by Phil Williams

Lave CrossA nimble catcher before becoming one of the finest defensive third basemen of his era, Lave Cross spent most of his long career with four Philadelphia franchises.1 First came stints with the American Association’s Athletics and Players’ League’s Quakers, before a half-dozen seasons with the talented but underachieving mid-1890s National League Phillies. His fortunes then hit a nadir with the infamous 1899 Cleveland Spiders. A renaissance, notably as captain of Connie Mack’s first two pennant-winning Athletics clubs in 1902 and 1905, came late in his career.

He was born as Vratislav Kriz on May 12, 1866. His parents, Joseph and Mary, emigrated from Bohemia and settled in Milwaukee.2 Joseph worked as a peddler and a laborer, while Mary managed a teeming household. Three other boys, Joseph (born in 1858), Amos (born as Emil in 1860), and Frank (born in 1873), had brief major league careers of their own. (Not related: future Athletics teammate Monte Cross.) The family moved to Cleveland during Lave’s childhood. By the time his baseball career launched in the mid-1880s, he had taken the name of Lafayette Napoleon Cross.3

His semipro career began in Sandusky, Ohio, in 1885.4 The next year he made his professional debut with Altoona, where his catching attracted major-league attention. To be close to his ailing brother, Amos, then with Louisville, Lave signed with that American Association team in October 1886.5 (Amos died of consumption in July 1888.)

With the Colonels in 1887, Cross hit .266 (with an OPS+ of 80), yet his fielding percentage and range per nine innings were considerably higher than league averages for catchers. Moreover, in an era when set pitcher/catcher batteries were the norm, his handling of Louisville’s ace Toad Ramsey drew positive reviews. Possessing one of the most “deceptive drop balls” of the day, the hard-drinking pitcher was also notoriously “cranky of disposition.” Yet a Cleveland scribe noted in June that Cross “handled Ramsey’s erratic delivery like a veteran.”6

His fine work with Louisville continued into 1888, but catching in this era was a perilous business. The often-injured Cross only appeared in 100 games (81 as a backstop) over both seasons. Louisville’s AA rivals, the Philadelphia Athletics, purchased Cross for $2,500 that October.7 Immediately after the deal, 22-year-old Cross eloped with the teenaged Emma Hyberger of Louisville.8 Despite her parents’ objections, the young couple stayed together.

In 1889 Cross again earned praise for his handling of an ace, Philadelphia’s hard-throwing and wild Gus Weyhing. That May, a local sportswriter opined, “The splendid catching of Lave Cross alone made it possible for [Weyhing] to pitch with so much effectiveness.”9 That November, Cross signed a brotherhood contract, and spent the 1890 season with the Players’ League’s Philadelphia Quakers.

Between injuries and positional competition, Cross’s playing time was limited in 1889 and 1890. He remained a limited offensive threat, although his defense continued to impress. “The way little Lave Cross recovers himself after snatching a wild pitch beats all the cat-like agility ever seen in these parts,” a Philadelphia Press correspondent gushed, “He is the lightest man on his feet that has ever stood behind the plate. He backs up first base, and nearly climbs up on the grand stand after foul flies.”10 Years later another sportswriter recalled how Cross maintained that “the base runner watches the direction in which the catcher points his left foot on the throw and that the throw almost invariably goes where that foot points.” Thus, in double steal attempts with runners on first and third, Cross would step “with his left foot toward third base to drive the runner back to that bag while actually throwing to second to catch the runner going down.”11

With the demise of the Players’ League, Cross returned to the AA’s Athletics. He started the season splitting catching duties with Jocko Milligan, with both players among the team’s top offensive weapons. As the 1891 campaign progressed, he increasingly played the outfield and, for the first time in his major league career, third base. Appearing in 43 games as a catcher, 43 as an outfielder, plus 24 games at third, he hit .301 (with an OPS+ of 133).

The American Association went out of business following the 1891 season. Cross landed with the National League’s Phillies. None of his previous teams had possessed the firepower to seriously compete. But the Phillies featured an outfield of Ed Delahanty, Sam Thompson, and Billy Hamilton. In the catching ranks, Cross again found himself behind a strong hitter: Jack Clements.

Determined to keep Cross in the lineup, manager Harry Wright made him into Philadelphia’s chief utility man. In 1892 Cross appeared in 140 games (65 at third base, 39 catching, 25 in the outfield, 14 at second, and five at short). In 1893 he appeared in 96 (40 catching, 30 at third, 10 each in the outfield and at short, and six at first). His offensive production returned to league averages, but his defensive work was stellar. In 1892 his fielding percentages of .969 (catching) and .921 (third base) were higher than the eligible league leaders. In 1893 his .974 (catching) and .922 (third base) percentages almost repeated this feat, but Boston’s Billy Nash achieved a .923 mark playing third.

Despite their firepower, the Phillies finished in fourth place in both 1892 and 1893. Before the 1894 campaign, ownership replaced manager Wright with Arthur Irwin. With the pitching distance moved back to 60’6”, and the pitcher’s box eliminated in favor of a rubber slab, the Phillies’ already-potent offensive attack reached new levels, scoring almost nine runs per game. Irwin made Cross Philadelphia’s everyday third baseman and usually placed him fifth in the batting order, behind Delahanty and Thompson. He responded with career highs in hits (210), runs (128), RBIs (132), and BA/OBP/SLG (.387/.424/.526). His OPS+ of 132 ranked sixth on the team, behind the three Hall-of-Fame outfielders, reserve outfielder Tuck Turner, and catcher Clements. Yet Philadelphia again landed in a distant fourth place.

Listed at 5-foot-8 and 155 pounds, the right-handed Cross was typically labeled as “short and stoutly built,” suggesting this height may have been slightly overstated.12 His most noted physical characteristic was his bow-leggedness; sportswriter Charles Dryden referred to him as the “human parenthesis.”13 An avid racer of homing pigeons, he also maintained a menagerie of dogs, chickens, and other pets at Philadelphia’s vacated Forepaugh Park.14 “One of the best behaved players in the league,” Cross was a non-drinker and exhibited little of the rowdiness that exemplified baseball in the 1890s.15 “A player whose style is infectious, who likes to play,” locals nicknamed him “Kid.”16 A Philadelphia scribe wrote that Phillies fans “adore Cross, and he is as popular to-day as was the lamented [Charlie] Ferguson.”17

Yet nothing distinguished Cross, as he transitioned to third base, more than the catcher’s mitt he brought with him. A moment from a July 7 match at Pittsburgh is illustrative: "Cross saw [a liner off the bat of Jake Stenzel] coming and threw up his hand, which was protected by a catcher’s glove. The ball struck the pillow with so much force that Cross was knocked down, but he recovered himself in time to throw [Jake] Beckley out at second.”18 Cross was not the only repositioned catcher using a mitt in the infield — Boston’s Frank Connaughton and Pittsburgh’s Joe Sugden did as well — but he was easily the most prominent.19

Critics called this usage “unscientific and unsightly.”20 NL magnates met in February 1895 and modified existing rules to permit catchers and first basemen to “wear a glove or mitt of any size, shape or weight” yet other players were “restricted to the use of a glove or mitt weighing not over ten ounces, and measuring in circumference around the palm of the hand not over fourteen inches.”21 Cross found a mitt within these specifications and continued to comfortably snag flies and knock down liners.22

“Lave Cross is not in the least inconvenienced by the abolishment of the big glove for infielders,” a Pittsburgh reporter observed early in the 1895 season.23 Indeed, although his offensive output tumbled (an OPS+ of 76) his work at third remained top-notch. After again trailing only Billy Nash in third base fielding percentage (with a .916 mark) and leading the circuit in range per nine innings (4.41) in 1894, his .940 fielding percentage easily led all third baseman in 1895, while his 4.25 range per nine innings trailed only rookie Jimmy Collins. The Phillies, meanwhile, modestly improved, finishing in third place. Nonetheless that November, owner John Rogers acquired third baseman Nash, in an ill-advised trade for Billy Hamilton, to manage the team.

Lave CrossOften displaced by Nash, Cross returned to a utility role in 1896, playing 37 games at short, six at second, two in the outfield, and one at catcher in addition to 61 games at the hot corner. While his glove work remained first-rate, his hitting slump continued (an OPS+ of 74). Elements of the local press turned on him, with the Philadelphia Times declaring, “We think Cross a good man, but not for Philadelphia” and Ernest Lanigan opining “Cross hasn’t been using any science in batting.”24 Yet other Philadelphia sportswriters pleaded for Nash to limit himself to managing from the bench, and re-establish Cross as the permanent third baseman.25 And Lanigan questioned Nash’s usage of Cross, while commenting upon the team’s general slide into a dissipating, dysfunctional mess.26 After Philadelphia’s 62-68 campaign sputtered to its conclusion, Rogers recruited the relatively unproven George Stallings to skipper the team in 1897. “How will Clements, Lave Cross and the other ancients and honorables in the Quakerburg ranks relish a minor leaguer as a captain?” wondered an onlooker.27

The answer, Phillies team secretary Bill Shettsline suggested years later, came when “one day Lave Cross chased [Stallings] down Lehigh Avenue with a brick.”28 The timing of this alleged incident is unclear, the possible causes many. That spring, Stallings tried to deal Cross to Louisville.29 In July, as the club departed for a lengthy road trip, Stallings left him in Philadelphia. “Lave Cross was dead sore over being left at home, and asked for his release,” Francis Richter reported, “Of course he didn’t get it.”30 Finally, coaching third during an August 10 game in Washington, Stallings pushed Senator third baseman Zeke Wrigley with such force that he violently collided with baserunner Cross, knocking both players out.31

That November, the Phillies traded him to the St. Louis Browns, along with Clements, Tommy Dowd, and Jack Taylor, for Monte Cross, Red Donahue, and Klondike Douglass. Lanigan thought Philadelphia the winner in the deal, content to see the “hard-working, but utterly useless Lave Cross” depart.32 More charitably, an anonymous Phillies magnate suggested Cross was “about played out in Philadelphia.”33

Chris Von Der Ahe’s Browns were cellar-dwellers and, at various junctures in the 1898 season, the team fell into “a state of effervescent mutiny” when pay days arrived late.34 Yet a rejuvenated Cross was again a full-time third baseman. On May 8 in Chicago, he “set the great crowd afire by a wonderful catch in the seventh” that helped seal a rare Browns win. “[Tim] Donahue was on first when [Danny] Friend squeezed up a foul near the stands. Cross, by a desperate run, hauled in the fly while falling, and, recovering, threw out Donahue, who was stealing on the catch.”35 Cross finished the season as the Browns’ most valuable player, contributing a plus offensive season (an OPS+ of 114) for the first time since 1894 and again leading third basemen in fielding percentage (.945) while only slightly off the range per nine innings lead.

Once the 39-111 campaign concluded, trade rumors swirled, but Cross remained in limbo. By late March 1899 it was apparent that Cleveland owners Frank and Stanley Robison, who had just purchased the Browns (then rebranded them as the Perfectos) and were primarily interested in its fortunes, would assign Cross to Cleveland as its player-manager. (Reportedly, Cross sank his chances for earning a spot with the Perfectos by angering its newly-appointed manager, Patsy Tebeau, with his salary demands.)36 The haphazard Cleveland squad finally launched with an abbreviated spring training, then began to lose regular-season games.

Meanwhile, in St. Louis, the aging Ed McKean struggled at shortstop. Thus, on June 5, the Perfectos ‘traded’ pitcher Creed Bates and catcher Ossee Schrecongost for Cross, installed him at the hot corner, and shifted their young third baseman Bobby Wallace to short. Cleveland, 8-30 under Cross, went 12-104 the rest of the way. St. Louis, 26-17 before Cross joined its lineup on June 7, went 58-50 down the stretch. Cross produced an average offensive season (an OPS+ of 95) and continued his noteworthy glove work. His .959 fielding percentage at third set a major league record, which stood until Harry Steinfeldt achieved a .967 mark in 1907 with the Cubs.

After the 1899 season was marred by syndicate baseball, the NL contracted to eight teams and, in March 1900, third baseman John McGraw was one of several players from the abandoned Baltimore team sold to the Perfectos. Cross had become “the idol of the St. Louis fans,” and as McGraw hesitated to join the team that spring, they voiced their opinion on who should play third by chanting “We don’t want Muggsy” when Cross came to bat in an exhibition game.37 Yet when McGraw arrived in early May, and Brooklyn manager Ned Hanlon made an offer for Cross, St. Louis sold him. Cross signed a two-year contract with the Superbas.38

Weeks later a St. Louis sportswriter savaged the departed Cross for making sweeping tags of base runners instead of fearlessly blocking the bag as McGraw did. He also blasted Cross for “the habit of picking up a bunt and tossing it in the air to fully inform the stands that it was a base hit, with no chance on earth to get the runner.” Finally, he suggested Cross too often relied upon shortstop Wallace to chase after “nasty” flies behind the left side of the infield.39 More charitably, in 1899, another St. Louis observer thought that “Lave is a wonder at fielding hard hits, but he is rather slow when he is called upon to take care of the bunts and the slow bouncing grounders.”40

Such criticisms were the exception to the rule. In 1905, a correspondent reporting from New York found Cross “as fast as lightning on those slow, tantalizing hits which the locals generally beat out.”41 Others praised Cross for his “remarkable quickness” in recovering from, and throwing to bases, liners he knocked down with his mitt.42 His arm allowed him “to throw the ball to first while resting on one knee.”43

The one third baseman in this era consistently considered Cross’s superior was Jimmy Collins.44 In particular, Collins was praised for aggressively going “after everything that comes within hailing distance of the third bag.”45 Collins and Cross both became full-time third basemen in their mid-20s in the mid-1890s, and each played approximately 1,700 games at the position for another dozen-plus seasons, Collins’s lifetime range per nine innings at the position (3.67) barely edges Cross’s (3.64). At bat, Collins was Cross’s superior, amassing a lifetime OPS+ of 113, versus Cross’s 100.

Although neither player’s equal defensively, McGraw was the best leadoff hitter of his era. Yet soon after Cross’s St. Louis critic praised McGraw for blocking the bag, Jack Doyle’s spikes put him out of the lineup for a critical stretch of games.46 “Now, would it not be as well to have a man shirk the runner a bit and stay in the game than get at him and stay out half his time?” a St. Louisan asked.47 The Cardinals (as the Perfectos were now known) eventually finished in fifth place. Brooklyn captured the pennant. “While there are some third baseman who are showier players than he,” a grateful Brooklynite stated of Cross, “it is doubtful if any of them contributed as much in winning games.”48

Connie Mack, and a $3,000 salary, induced Cross to jump to the upstart American League’s Philadelphia Athletics in March 1901.49 Another popular former Phillie, Nap Lajoie, captained the squad. The new franchise stumbled badly out of the gate, sinking well below .500.

“I said to Larry [Lajoie] one day, ‘Larry, when are we going to win a game?’” Cross recalled, “‘Never with this bunch,’ the big fellow replied and then he and I and [Bill] Bernhard decided unless Connie Mack did something to strengthen the team, we would quit. Connie got the players, however, and then everything was lovely.”50 Among Mack’s in-season recruits: Harry Davis and Eddie Plank. The Athletics bounced back to finish 74-62 in their inaugural campaign. Cross, although banged up with injuries, turned in strong offensive (an OPS+ of 122) and defensive efforts in the 100 games he played.

Court injunctions in April 1902 prevented Lajoie from playing in-state with the Athletics, and he eventually signed with Cleveland. Mack appointed Cross as the team’s new captain. In this role, among other responsibilities, he inspected grounds before games, warmed up pitchers, and helped direct defensive strategies.51 When Mack traveled to recruit players, as he did to land Rube Waddell (in June) and Danny Murphy (in July), Cross ran the team. The Athletics captured their first pennant that September. Lanigan stated that Cross “has proved a magnetic leader and his new honors have not interfered with his play.”52

Topsy Hartsel and Dave Fultz led off for Philadelphia in 1902, with Davis batting third, Cross cleanup, and Socks Seybold batting fifth. Cross hit .342 (with an OPS+ of 122). He became the only post-1900 major leaguer to amass over 100 RBIs (108) in a season without any home runs.53 If he didn’t drive in runs, he propelled the offensive attack forward. “He had the rare knack of hitting the ball in back of the baserunner,” Mack recalled in 1935, as he labelled Cross the best hit-and-run artist to wear an Athletics uniform to that point.54 If an open base presented itself, he remained an able base stealer, taking a career-high 25 with his distinctive headfirst slide.55

Philadelphia stayed in the 1903 and 1904 pennant races before fading in the final stretches. Cross didn’t miss a game either season and turned in a .292 average (an OPS+ of 94) in 1903 and a .290 average (and OPS+ of 113) in 1904. Age was finally limiting him defensively. His fielding percentage at third remained above league norms, but his range metrics fell below average for the first time in his career.

Fighting off injuries, Cross began the 1905 season hitting only .229 through 40 games, while the Athletics started 23-17.56 Yet beginning on July 31, Philadelphia won 12 of 15 games — with Cross hitting .345 (19 for 55) — to move into first place. The Mackmen held off the White Sox the remainder of the way to capture their second pennant. Cross finished the season batting .266 (an OPS+ of 98) and posting average defensive metrics.

In the resulting World Series matchup against the Giants, Christy Mathewson shut out Philadelphia three times as New York triumphed in five games. Cross’s performance was, sportswriter William Koelsch opined, “decidedly poor.”57 At the plate, he produced only two inconsequential singles in the series. In the field, his greatest test came in the critical Game Four. In the bottom of the fourth inning, with Sam Mertes on second, Billy Gilbert grounded to third. Some accounts suggest the ball took a “wicked jump” past Cross.58 But Francis Richter wrote that he “let the ball go clean through him” for an “inexcusable error.”59 (It was scored as a hit.) Mertes scored the game’s sole run, and New York took a commanding three games to one lead.

Cross was 39 years old. The strains of captainship, upon his own game and in relations with teammates and ownership, wore upon him.60 Yet, even as he sought a younger third baseman, Mack was grateful for Cross’s contributions.61 Consequently, he allowed Cross to come to an agreement with Washington, then released him to the Senators with no compensation in return that December.

Although Washington had finished in seventh place in 1905, and their promising young shortstop Joe Cassidy died before the 1906 campaign launched, the Senators played .500 ball through the first month. Cross started well, hitting .333 and scoring 16 runs through Washington’s first 21 games.62 But the team soon sank out of contention, and finished seventh again. Cross contributed a .263 average (an OPS+ of 100) and led AL third basemen in fielding percentage, although his range metrics were below average.

Two months into the 1907 season, Cross was hitting only .199 (an OPS+ of 63) and was “not thoroughly in accord with the policies” of new manager Joe Cantillon.63 His two-year contract prevented Washington from selling him, instead requiring them to grant him an unconditional release.64 Consequently, once the Senators let him go, he struck a two-year deal with the Southern Association’s New Orleans Pelicans. Cross lasted in New Orleans until they released him early in 1908.

Cross then returned to Pennsylvania to become Shamokin’s player-manager. Next he served Charlotte in the same capacity. In 1912, in his 27th professional season, at age 46, he managed the New England League’s Haverhill Hustlers while playing 126 games at third. A couple years later he coached Ohio Wesleyan’s baseball team, before finally retiring from the game.

In 1910 Cross divorced Emma. It was reported the couple had no children; there was passing mention of a baby seven years earlier.65 In 1911 he married Monna Long; the couple had one daughter, Laura. The family settled in Toledo after Cross’s baseball career, where he was employed at the Willys-Overland automobile factory. Walking to work, on September 6, 1927, he suffered a fatal heart attack.66 Lave Cross was buried in Toledo’s Woodlawn Cemetery.

 

Acknowledgments

This biography was reviewed by Rory Costello and Norman Macht and fact-checked by Mark Sternman.

 

Sources

In addition to the sources noted in this biography, the author also accessed Cross’s file from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, and the following sites:

ancestry.com

chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/newspapers/

genealogybank.com

newspapers.com

 

Notes

1 Per Baseball-Reference’s ‘multiple franchises/teams’ page, it appears the only other player in MLB history to play with four different franchises from the same city was Lou Say, who played for four Baltimore outfits from 1873 through 1884. Also: through 2019, only seven players have exceeded Lave Cross’s 1,581 major-league games in a Philadelphia uniform: Mike Schmidt (2,404), Jimmy Rollins (2,090), Richie Ashburn (1,794), Larry Bowa (1,739) Jimmy Dykes (1,702) Tony Taylor (1,669) and Del Ennis (1,630).

2 The 1859 New York Passenger and Crew Lists shows the family’s arrival. 1860 and 1870 US Census Records show the family in Milwaukee.

3 For additional background on his name, see David Nemac and Dick Thompson’s entry in Major League Baseball Profiles, 1871-1900, Volume 2 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2011), 338-9. Also see Bill Carle, SABR Biographical Research Committee's July/August 2010 newsletter, for recognition of Cross as Kriz.

4 “Louisville’s Players,” Louisville Courier-Journal, April 1, 1888: 10. Some sources also mention him playing with a Findlay, Ohio, team in 1885. For this see his profile in The Sporting News, November 20, 1897: 5.

5 “Lave Cross Caught in the Louisville Nine,” Boston Journal, November 9, 1905: 9.

6 “Cleveland 4—Louisville 3,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 19, 1887: 6.

7 “Base Ball Notes,” Philadelphia Times, October 14, 1888: 15.

8 “Catcher Cross’ Escapade,” Chicago Tribune, October 27, 1888: 3; “Gossip of the Ball Field,” New York Sun, December 23, 1888: 8; “Where is Emma?” Louisville Journal-Courier, September 14, 1887: 6.

9 “They Can Win at Home,” Philadelphia Inquirer, May 27, 1889: 6.

10 Quoted in “Notes,” Cleveland Leader and Herald, April 21, 1889: 3.

11 “Uncle Ezra’s Sport Corner,” Zanesville (Ohio) Times-Signal, June 23, 1940: 4.

12 “Ball Players Arrive,” Louisville Journal-Courier, March 23, 1887: 3. See also the photo of the Athletics infield (Monte Cross, Lave Cross, Harry Davis, Danny Murphy, and Lou Castro) standing in Philadelphia Inquirer, September 26, 1902: 11. Lave Cross appears about an inch shorter than his colleagues.

13 Mount Carmel (Pennsylvania) Item, June 18, 1908: 4.

14 “A Ball Player Who Flies Homing Pigeons,” Philadelphia Inquirer, April 25, 1897: 22; “Philadelphia Pointers,” Sporting Life, September 24, 1892: 4.

15 “Baseball Brevities,” Pittsburgh Press, June 29, 1896: 5.

16 “The Man Behind the Plate,” Philadelphia Inquirer, April 5, 1896: 8.

17 “Comment on Sports,” Philadelphia Inquirer, May 29, 1892: 3.

18 “Few Hits and No Runs,” Pittsburgh Press, July 8, 1894: 8.

19 “Baseball Notes,” Boston Globe, August 25, 1894: 2; “Rules in Baseball,” Chicago Tribune, January 14, 1895: 11.

20 “Gossip of the Game,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 18, 1894: 2.

21 “Base Ball Now the Fashion,” Philadelphia Times, February 28, 1895: 2.

22 For an advertisement of a glove used by him, see Reach's Official 1900 Base Ball Guide (Philadelphia: A. J. Reach, 1900), 153. For his thoughts, expressed later in his career, see “Lave Cross Prefers a Mitt to a Glove,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 30, 1902: 39.

23 “Sporting Notes,” Pittsburgh Post, May 14, 1895: 6.

24 “Between the Innings,” Philadelphia Times, July 17, 1896: 8; E.J. Lanigan, “Leaders Now,” The Sporting News, May 9, 1896: 1.

25 “Notes of the Diamond,” Harrisburg Star-Independent, July 17, 1896: 5.

26 Ernest J. Lanigan, “Getting New Men,” The Sporting News, July 4, 1896: 1; Ernest J. Lanigan, “Phillies Poor Work,” The Sporting News, July 25, 1896: 1.

27 “General Sporting Notes,” Louisville Journal-Courier, December 11, 1896: 6.

28 Robert W. Maxwell, “Jack Coombs Hopes to Have Eppa Rixey on Mound This Year,” Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, March 19, 1919: 14.

29 John J. Saunders, “Louisville Lines,” Sporting Life, March 20, 1897: 5.

30 Francis C. Richter, “Philadelphia Points,” Sporting Life, July 10, 1897: 6.

31 Ernest J. Lanigan, “Been Boozing,” The Sporting News, August 21, 1897: 5.

32 Ernest J. Lanigan, “The Phillies,” The Sporting News, February 19, 1898: 2.

33 “Deals Are Only Talk Yet,” Louisville Journal-Courier, November 10, 1897: 6.

34 “Notes of the Game,” Chicago Tribune, May 19, 1898: 4.

35 “St. Louis a Winner,” Chicago Tribune, May 9, 1898: 9.

36 “St. Louis’ Switch,” Sporting Life, June 17, 1899: 4.

37 “Pennant Race On,” The Sporting News, April 21, 1900: 5; “Baseball Notes,” New York Sun, April 2, 1900: 5.

38 On the contract, see “Tannehill Sees the Flag Flying,” Pittsburgh Post, March 26, 1901: 6.

39 “Only Two Regulars Hitting to Form,” St. Louis Republic, May 28, 1900: 4.

40 A St. Louis Republic writer quoted in “Jimmy Collins and Wallace of Cleveland Compared,” Buffalo Enquirer, February 14. 1899: 4.

41 “Athletics Land Two Red Hot Games from the Highlanders,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 2, 1905: 14.

42 W.S. Barnes Jr., “Waddell Trounced,” Boston Journal, September 13, 1902: 8.

43 “Gossip of the Game,” Louisville Journal-Courier, June 16, 1899: 6.

44 See, for example: Francis C. Richter, “Philadelphia News,” Sporting Life, June 25, 1898: 4; Tim Murnane, “Murnane’s Baseball,” Boston Globe, June 28, 1903: 35.

45 “Jimmy Collins and Wallace of Cleveland Compared,” Buffalo Enquirer, February 14. 1899: 4.

46 “McGraw Badly Hurt by Doyle’s Spikes,” St. Louis Republic, June 11, 1900: 4.

47 “Baseball Gossip,” St. Louis Republic, June 20, 1900: 6.

48 “Brooklyn Ball Tossers Compared Individually,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 15, 1900: 16.

49 “American League Salaries,” Baltimore Sun, March 8, 1901: 6.

50 “Many Questions to be Settled,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 12, 1905: 12.

51 For such examples, see “Sports of All Sorts,” Washington Evening Star, June 3, 1905: 8; “Athletics Lose to New Yorkers,” Philadelphia Inquirer, October 14, 1905: 10; “Mitchell Has a Sad Finish,” St. Louis Republic, September 2, 1902: 7.

52 Ernest J. Lanigan, “Pack of Discards,” The Sporting News, September 27, 1902: 5.

53 Prior to 1900, only Hughie Jennings with Baltimore in 1896 accomplished this feat.

54 James C. Isaminger, “Tips from the Sports Ticker,” Philadelphia Inquirer, April 7, 1935: 52.

55 On his slide through the years, see “From Louisville,” Sporting Life, May 4, 1887: 9; “Notes of the Notables,” Washington Times, April 29, 1906: 14.

56 For a contemporary source for this average, see “Sports of all Sorts,” Washington Evening Star, June 12, 1905: 9.

57 Wm. F.H. Koelsch, “Metropolis’s Men,” Sporting Life, October 21, 1905: 3.

58 “Again A Whitewash Victory,” New York Sun, October 14, 1905: 9. For a similar account, see “New York Now Lead by Three Games to One,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 14, 1905: 9.

59 Francis C. Richter, “The Fourth Game,” Sporting Life, October 21, 1905: 5.

60 On these strains, see “Baseball Briefs,” Pittsburgh Press, February 5, 1906: 12; Norman Macht, Connie Mack and the Early Years of Baseball (Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 2007): 358.

61 “Lave Cross Wanted to Change Clubs,” Washington Evening Star, January 6, 1906: 9.

62 Contemporary source: “Sudhoff Now Leads,” Washington Evening Star, May 13, 1906: 60.

63 J.B. Abrams, “Cross Released,” The Sporting News, June 22, 1907: 4.

64 J. Ed Grillo, “Lave and Larry to Go,” Washington Post, June 12, 1907: 8.

65 “Lave Cross Sues for Divorce, Alleging Extreme Cruelty,” Charlotte News, May 14, 1910: 7; “Local News,” Bucks County (Pennsylvania) Gazette, November 12, 1903: 2.

66 “Death Comes to Lave Cross of Big League Fame,” Toledo News-Bee, September 6, 1927: 1.