Ed Wheeler (TRADING CARD DB)

Ed Wheeler

This article was written by Terry Bohn

Ed Wheeler (TRADING CARD DB)Even though he managed to stay on the roster most of the 1902 season with the Brooklyn Superbas, his only season in the big leagues, Ed Wheeler had a miserable rookie year. The 5-foot-10, 160-pound switch-hitting utility infielder got into just 30 games, committed six errors in his first two, and barely managed to keep his batting average above .100. Primarily a third baseman during a professional career as a player and manager that spanned nearly twenty years, Wheeler was also bankrolled by a wealthy father, which enabled him to purchase part ownership in several minor league teams. He once even managed to secure free agency for himself.

George Lennon, President of the St. Paul Saints of the American Association, for whom Wheeler played four seasons said, “I do not think the game has ever known a better third baseman than Eddie Wheeler was in his prime. His arm was the best in the country, he covered lots of ground, and used good judgment in playing his man and was fast and certain on his feet. Besides he was a splendid batsman, a clever base runner and most agreeable player to have on a team for the reason that he could always be depended on to keep himself in good condition.”1

Edward Leroy Wheeler was born June 15, 1878 in Sherman, Michigan, a small town in the northwest corner of the lower peninsula, about 25 miles south of Traverse City. His parents, Edgar and Melissa, were both natives of New York. Edward, or “Eddie” as he was almost always called during his playing career, was the middle of 11 children born to Melissa, eight of whom lived to adulthood. Older siblings were Agnes, Frederick, Adelbert, Ella, and Rutherford, and Elmer, Blanche, Sylvia, Angie, and Gay were younger.

Edgar was a private with the New York 105th Infantry during the Civil War and was discharged after being wounded at the Battle of Bull Run. It is not known when he and Melissa married, or when the couple moved to Michigan, but Edgar secured a homestead with the Traverse City Land Office in 1874. He listed his occupation as that of a farmer on the 1880 US Census but later became quite prosperous in the lumber business in northern Michigan. The family later moved to Pontiac, and then settled in Grand Rapids where, in addition to his business dealings, Edgar held the office of country treasurer in Wexford County, Michigan. One report during his playing days said, “he [Ed Wheeler] comes from a wealthy family and his people are now highly respected residents of Grand Rapids.”2

According to his Hall of Fame file, Eddie first began playing with the independent Traverse City, Michigan Rustlers in 1896. The Rustlers were one of the top amateur clubs in the state and reportedly won the state semipro championship of salaried independent teams. He started his professional career with the Grand Rapids Cabinet Makers of the Interstate League in 1898.3 He appeared in one game with Grand Rapids and two more with Toledo of the same league that season. Wheeler moved to the East Coast in 1899, starting the season with Fitchburg, Massachusetts4 of the New England League. Details were not published but a couple of weeks after joining the team he was involved in a fight with a teammate, catcher Connie Murphy. Murphy was arrested for assault but Wheeler was persuaded to drop the charges.5

The Fitchburg club relocated to Lawrence, and Wheeler played a few more games with the team, but then left the club in late May. It was reported, “Wheeler is sick of professional baseball as it is played in the New England League and will go back to his home in Michigan.”6 Instead, he hooked on with Worchester, Massachusetts of the Eastern League, but was released after a couple of weeks due to a roster cut down. He finished the season with Binghamton of the New York State League. That September he was on a list of players claimed by the Detroit Tigers of the Western [soon-to-be American] League.7 He played in a couple of games with the Tigers early in the 1900 season before signing with Dayton Veterans of the Interstate League in late April.8

Wheeler had two strong seasons as the regular third baseman in Dayton (the Dayton club moved to the Western Association in 1901 and changed their name to the “Old Soldiers”) and was a key member of the club that won league titles both years. In September 1901, Charles Ebbets, owner of the Brooklyn National League club, secretly came to Dayton to sign some of the top players in the Western Association, including George Mullin of Fort Wayne, Addie Joss of Toledo, Wheeler, and two of his Dayton teammates, John “Dutch” Gochnaur and pitcher Gene Wright. Gochnaur and Wright joined the Superbas for the tail-end of the 1901 National League season but Wheeler refused to sign, and even returned the $50 advanced him by Ebbets, apparently because he felt Brooklyn did not fairly compensate his Dayton manager, Bill Armour for this release.9 Instead Wheeler finished the season playing in one game for the Colorado Springs Millionaires of the Western League.

In 1901 the American League broke with the National Agreement and declared itself a major league, putting them in direct competition for players with the more established National League. Napoleon Lajoie was one of the first superstars to jump his National League contract by leaving the Phillies for the cross-town Athletics in the American League, but many other less-talented players also jumped their contracts for higher salaries offered by the American League. Before the 1902 season, Bill Armour, the former Dayton manager, was hired by the Cleveland Bronchos of the American League. He was still upset with Ebbets over what he perceived as the unfair manner in which he had taken his three stars, Gochnaur, Wright, and Wheeler, from his Dayton club the previous fall. It’s not clear what direct role Armour may have played, but during spring training in March 1902 both Gochnaur and Wright jumped their Brooklyn contracts and joined Armour in Cleveland.

Wheeler eventually came to terms with Brooklyn that off season and impressed manager Ned Hanlon enough during spring training to make the 1902 Superbas Opening Day roster as a utility infielder. This may have been aided by the fact that his main completion for a roster spot, his former teammate Gochnaur, had defected to Cleveland. He made his major league debut on May 10 against the Pirates at Exposition Park in Pittsburgh as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning for Brooklyn pitcher Jay Hughes. Wheeler made his debut in the field a couple of days later when he was sent in to play shortstop after starter Bill Dahlen was thrown out by umpire Bob Emslie. It couldn’t have gone worse for the rookie. Wheeler committed three errors and, according to one of the Brooklyn papers, “was directly responsible for the loss of the game,10 a 4-2 defeat at Chicago. Another scribe said, “Wheeler was nervous as a debutante, and he booted grounders all over the lot, and threw everywhere except to the right place.”11

The club moved on to St. Louis and four days later the scene repeated itself. Dahlen was again ejected for arguing balls and strikes by home plate umpire Charles Power in the first inning. Wheeler again replaced him at short, and was charged with three more errors, making six in his first two big league games. The Brooklyn press was hard on the young infielder, saying, “Eddie Wheeler … made a botch of things. His three errors went a long way towards losing the game. Hanlon should find a more reliable utility man.”12

Dahlen was suspended for one game for his altercation with Power, so Hanlon moved regular third baseman Charlie Irwin to short and gave Wheeler the start the next day at third base, his natural position. He handled his one fielding chance flawlessly, and at the plate walked and picked up his first major league hit, a single. However, he got into just three more games over the next six weeks and in early July, with a batting average of .077 (1-for-13), Hanlon optioned him to the Columbus, Ohio Senators of the American Association.

After eight games with Columbus he was recalled to Brooklyn, replacing injured Superbas starting second baseman Tim Flood. Third baseman Irwin, also missed some time due to an injury so with regular playing time Wheeler’s fielding began to improve. After several brilliant plays at second in a game against the Phillies in July, Wheeler was “compelled to doff his cap repeatedly in response to the plaudits of the crowd.”13 In fact, one local writer predicted, “If Wheeler develops any form at the bat at all he will crowd Flood out of his job as the regular second baseman.”14

Alas, he never came around offensively. The Brooklyn Citizen wrote, “Eddie Wheeler would be quite a favorite with the local fans if he could only hit. His apparent anxiety to wallop the ball makes him a rather easy victim.”15 When he rapped only his second hit of the season on July 21, he “sat down and wrote eighteen letters to his folks at home describing the bingle.”16 After going hitless in three at-bats against the Giants on July 24, his season average dropped to .048. After blaming his poor fielding for early season losses, Brooklyn writers eventually seemed to begin to feel sorry for the hapless rookie, one saying, “Eddie’s attempts to connect with the ball yesterday were so pitiful that one could not help but sympathize with him.”17

His batting average made a slow climb the rest of the season but not enough to gain favor with his manager. In August it was rumored that Wheeler would be released soon as, “Hanlon was thoroughly disgusted with his work.18 He managed to stay with the club the rest of the year, his only season in the major leagues, and in 30 games he scored four runs but managed just 12 singles in 96 at-bats to finish with a .125 batting average. He had another ugly three-error game later in August and finished with a .852 fielding in average in 11 games at third base, 10 at second, and five more at shortstop. Perhaps his most lasting memory from an otherwise forgetful rookie season was the time he got spiked by a Hall of Famer, Honus Wagner.19

That off-season Wheeler signed with St. Paul of the American Association and one publication noted, “It was safe betting that the Chesterfield would not be with Brooklyn another season. He is one of the most willing ball players that ever wore a spike, but he is not National League timber. He should do good work in the American Association.”20 That he did. Wheeler had four strong seasons (1903-1906) as the regular third baseman, helping the Saints to two American Association pennants. He hit .311 one year and narrowly missed the .300 mark in two other seasons.

His time St. Paul was not without controversy, however. In 1904 Pete O’Brien was brought in to play third base, prompting Wheeler to have to switch to the outfield. The move made him unhappy. He then offered his manager, Mike Kelley $200 for his release, an offer that was refused.21 Also that season, in a game against Columbus on August 27, Wheeler knocked a home run all the way out of the St. Paul ballpark. A man named Cornelius Holland was walking on the street outside the ballpark. The ball struck him on the temple. Holland claimed the blow to his head caused fits of temporary insanity,” and he sued the St. Paul club for $10,000.22 Nothing was reported on the outcome of Holland’s suit.

That off-season George Tebeau, chairman of the Board of Arbitration of the National Association of Minor Leagues, purchased the St. Joseph, Missouri, club of the Western Association (one of many teams in which Tebeau would have a financial stake) and he approached Kelley about acquiring Wheeler to manage the St. Joseph team. At the time, Tebeau was president and manager of the Louisville Colonels of the American Association and he and Kelley tried to work out a trade with Tebeau. It involved sending outfielder Jimmy Hart and shortstop Larry Quinlan to St. Paul in exchange for Wheeler.23 Tebeau thought Kelley’s asking price too high, so the deal fell through and Wheeler retuned to St. Paul for another season.

While with St. Paul, Wheeler spent the winters working as a floor walker in a department store owned by Saints owner George Lennon. This may have led to later off-season employment as a traveling salesman for a clothing company and where Wheeler developed his affection for fancy clothes. During his playing days he was known to travel on road trips with two or three trunks of clothes and change his wardrobe several times per day. Known as the “Beau Brummell” of baseball, he had a particular interest in shoes carrying up to fifteen pair, including “the latest style of pumps, lavender tops and pearl buttons.”24

After the 1906 season, Wheelers’ and Tebeau’s paths crossed again. Although he remained the property of the St. Paul club, Wheeler, along with second baseman Bill Lauterborn and pitcher Rick Adams, were loaned for the season to the Denver Grizzlies of the Western League. The Grizzlies were another team in which Tebeau held part ownership. With young pitcher Babe Adams, who won 24 games for the Grizzlies and went on to a stellar career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, winning 194 major leagues games, and former major league catcher Jack Zalusky, player-manager Wheeler guided Denver to a first division finish in the league.

Although the season was successful on the field, Wheeler often clashed with team president Burke over personnel decisions. After the season, Wheeler approached Tebeau and Burke about buying controlling interest in team. “Eddie has a neat sum laid away from his earnings in baseball and his father, who is a wealthy Michigan lumberman, stands ready and willing to furnish him all the money needed to finance the project.”25

Wheeler’s status remained in limbo throughout most of the 1907-1908 off-season. That fall there were discussions about the Western League expanding from six teams to eight, adding franchises in Colorado Springs and St. Joseph, Missouri. A rumor circulated that Wheeler and Lew Drill, a former teammate at St. Paul and current manager of the Pueblo, Colorado, Western League team, would partner in acquiring the Colorado Springs franchise.26 In October Wheeler already had financing lined up with a prominent Colorado Springs banker to become part-owner of that franchise. He was also reportedly offered the manager’s job at Providence, Rhode Island.

In the midst of all the uncertainly about the direction of his baseball career, another transaction also appeared to fall through. When Wheeler was playing in St. Paul he met a young woman named Gertrude Dean, and she and her mother later moved to Denver. In November it was reported Wheeler would marry Dean “along about Christmas time” but other details in the story were vague. For example, she admitted she was to be married during the holidays but refused to tell her friends the name of the lucky man,” and “[t]here were many other players in the game for Miss Dean’s favor.”27 Meanwhile, Eddie was back in St. Paul working in Lennon’s store around the time of the planned wedding. When asked to comment on a report that he was soon to sign up for life in the matrimonial league, Wheeler replied, “They must have been dreaming.”28 No record of a marriage could be found but approximately a year later, a Gertrude M. Deane married a different man in Denver.

When the manager’s job opened up in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan (his parent’s house was just a few blocks from the ballpark), Wheeler entered into negotiations with team owner Phil Arnold. All through January and February there were numerous press reports indicating that a deal for Wheeler was all but a done deal. There was even a report that Wheeler’s father would purchase the Grand Rapids team and install his son as manager.29 Even though, ”President Lennon of St. Paul has given Wheeler the right to play where he sees fit so long as he remains subject to recall by the St. Paul club.”30 Lennon, realizing he had control of a hot property, kept driving up the asking price for Wheeler’s release.31 After Grand Rapids hired another manager, the deal fell through and Wheeler had no choice other than to return to St. Paul and play third base for the Saints again.32

Late in the 1908 season Wheeler finally broke free from Lennon when St. Paul traded him to the cross-town Minneapolis Millers.33 After the season he purchased his own release from Minneapolis and signed with the Memphis Turtles of the Southern Association.34 After one season in Memphis, he was given another opportunity to get into the ownership end of baseball. Bert Annis owned both the South Bend and Grand Rapids franchises in the Central League, and was looking to sell one of them. Annis secured Wheeler’s release from Memphis and sold him half interest in the South Bend franchise, with the understanding that after the season Wheeler would either purchase the remaining stock, or sell his shares back to Annis.35 Wheeler was given “full control and management of the affairs of the club,36 and, because of an arm injury, would move to second base from his regular third base position.

Before the sale went through, Annis convinced most of the top players in South Bend (over whom he still had control) to transfer to Grand Rapids, leaving the cupboard bare for Wheeler. However, he led the Bronchos to a Central League pennant with an 88-50 record. Late in the season several newspapers reported that Wheeler had bought out Annis’ half share for $4,000 and would become sole owner of South Bend.37 Wheeler issued a denial, saying, “I don’t know where they ever got that story.38 There was also a rumor that both Annis and Wheeler would sell their interest in the South Bend team and Wheeler would join Annis in Grand Rapids and manage that team the next season.39

Because Wheeler’s contract with South Bend granted him, “full control and management of the affairs of the club,” he claimed he had the authority to release himself, which he did. Wheeler said, “I am a free agent, reports to the contrary notwithstanding, for I was released from South Bend when I sold my interest in the club to Mr. Annis after the close of the season.”40 Annis had placed Wheeler on the South Bend reserve list. But at the minor league meetings in Chicago, Wheeler presented a claim declaring himself a free agent. Early reports said that Secretary John T. Farrell of the National Association ruled in his favor .41 Wheeler declared, “I am a free agent and … I am free to sign where I see fit next year.42 In reality the commission ruled that he was still under the control of Annis, so he either needed to accept a position with Grand Rapids (which Annis still owned) or purchase his release from Annis at an amount quoted to be between $300 and $400.43

Wheeler initially had interest in the open manager’s job in his home town of Grand Rapids, the other Central League team owned by Annis. Believing himself a free agent, he insisted on bringing seven of the top players from his pennant-winning South Bend club with him to Grand Rapids. Annis, knowing that Wheeler had no interest in returning to South Bend, now held all the cards in the negotiations and refused to transfer the players. Meanwhile, Louis D. Smith, owner of the Terre Haute Central League franchise, made Wheeler an enticing offer of a three-year-contact at $400 a month, “a princely salary, one which has never been equaled in the Central organization,44 half the stock options in the club, and a bonus for finishing in the top three of the league. Knowing Wheeler could not accept the Terre Haute offer until he had been granted his release, Annis played hard ball and upped the asking price, first to $750 and then to $1,000.

Wheeler still insisted he was a free agent and submitted additional supporting documentation to Farrell. Annis imposed a December 1 deadline on Wheeler to purchase his release and the two men met in early December in South Bend with Wheeler having Smith’s unsigned contract “in his hip pocket.45 No agreement was reached but Wheeler’s strategy was to wait Annis out and he began to win the battle of public opinion. In what became known as the Annis vs. Wheeler case in the hot stove league, “Owner Annis is being assailed bitterly for his controversy with Eddie Wheeler”46 while as for Wheeler, one can but admire the independent stand taken by the young player-manager.47 With each of the area papers, South Bend Tribune, Grand Rapids Press, and Terre Haute Star eager to get the scoop, Wheeler was only too happy to grant several interviews and started a rumor that he had signed the Terre Haute contract, when in fact he had not. Wheeler even began signing up players and scheduling exhibition games.

Eddie married Edith Whiteman of South Bend on September 21, 1910. He and his wife returned to South Bend to visit her folks over the Christmas holiday and he was scheduled to meet with Annis again while in town. The South Bend Tribune wrote, “Perhaps the ‘peace on earth and good will toward men’ feeling will grip Mr. Wheeler and Bert Annis long enough to come to an amicable agreement.48 For reasons that weren’t explained, the meeting never took place and the issue dragged on into early February with no resolution. Finally, on February 8, it was announced that Wheeler, or possibly Terre Haute owner Louis Smith on his behalf, had secured his release from South Bend by paying Annis $417.05. The odd amount was arrived at by adding $400 he had been advanced on last year’s salary and $17.50 Annis had fronted him for travel expenses in representing South Bend at the National Commission meetings in Chicago in December.49 So, with essentially no money out-of-pocket, Wheeler had successfully attained the free agency he had sought.

He finally signed the three-year deal with Terre Haute, but after all the off-season maneuverings things didn’t last long. The club got off to a slow start, Smith imposed a July 1 deadline for Wheeler to turn things around, and when they did not, Smith asked for Wheeler’s resignation.50 He wasn’t unemployed long. A few days later Wheeler was signed to play first base by his former South Bend club and ended up back in his hometown of Grand Rapids when the South Bend franchise was moved there later in the season. Meanwhile, the Evansville Central League franchise re-located to South Bend and Wheeler came full circle when he was released by Grand Rapids and hired to manage South Bend in August.51

In December 1913 Wheeler was signed to manage the Galveston Sand Crabs of the Class B Texas League (the team relocated to Beaumont before the season). He failed to meet expectations. Wheeler was relieved of his duties as field manager early in the 1914 season, but because he had a financial interest in the club, was kept on as the team’s first baseman and business manager. After leaving Beaumont in May, Wheeler finished the season with Springfield, Illinois, Watch Makers of the Three-I League. The South Bend Tribune offered a possible explanation as to why Wheeler could not duplicate the success he had in Denver and South Bend at his subsequent managerial stops in Terre Haute, Evansville, and most recently Beaumont, suggesting he was “perhaps a little ‘grandstander,’ [and] that he felt too confident, was too independent, and too careless after that season to make good in the future.”52

He was presented another managerial opportunity with the Grand Forks (North Dakota) Flickertails of the Northern League in 1914 and guided the team to a third-place finish. After one season at that post he was on the move again when he partnered with Robert Wells, a former teammate with South Bend in 1910, to purchase the Flint Vehicles of the Southern Michigan League. Incidentally Wells and Wheeler were brothers-in-law (they had married sisters) and both were employed in the off-season with the Stephenson Underwear Company (Wheeler was assigned the Illinois territory and Wells, Ohio).53 In his last season as a manager and active player in professional baseball, Wheeler hit .288 in 51 games before the league disbanded in July.

Throughout his minor league managerial career, Wheeler had a reputation as a no-nonsense leader who could get the most out of his players. He used his connections to acquire young, hungry players that he could develop. This led to success on the field as well as financially as he was able to sell promising players to leagues in higher classifications for a profit. As mentioned earlier, he claimed credit, deserved or not, for the development of Babe Adams while managing in Denver. In addition, Max Carey, who would go on to have a Hall of Fame career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, was a 20-year-old outfielder on the 1910 South Bend pennant winners and he often credited Wheeler for his early success.

While at his last stop in Flint, the local paper printed what they called, “Wheeler’s Managerial Epigrams,” which appear to be sound advice for managing a baseball team even 100 years later.

  • Put the boys on their honor. When they double cross you let them go.
  • Harmony is the best base runner and hitter you have on your club.
  • The fans come to see good ball games no matter which way the score goes. The only way to do is to give the best you have every day.
  • Horseplay at games is the surest way to drive fans from your park.
  • Keep your club free from “rounders” at home and abroad.
  • It is the man who is going bad, and for whom things are breaking hard that should be patted on the back. The fellow who is going good doesn’t need it.
  • There is only one recipe for making a ball player. That is a natural ability properly developed. The only way to develop and send up youngsters is to encourage them, to let them profit by their mistakes, but not to dog them.54

After leaving Flint, Wheeler hooked on with a semipro club in Hastings, Michigan for the rest of the 1915 season and the next couple of years managed an independent team in Belding, Michigan. At the time of his WWI draft registration in 1918, he and Edith were living in Grand Rapids and he was working as a traveling salesman still employed with Stephenson. He could not be found in 1920 or 1930 US Census records but is found in Toledo city directories from 1925 to 1931, working as a salesman. Sometime in the mid-1930s, he and his wife moved to Fort Worth Texas where he worked as a sales representative for the Carey Salt Company of Hutchinson, Kansas, until his retirement.

After a brief illness at home Wheeler died at Harris Hospital in Fort Worth of a coronary occlusion on August 15, 1960.55 After a funeral service at Crowder-Brooks Chapel, he was buried at Greenwood Memorial Park in Fort Worth. He was survived by his wife Edith but had no known descendants. Edith died in 1971 and is also interred at Greenwood.

 

Acknowledgments

This biography was reviewed by Bill Lamb and Bruce Harris and checked for accuracy by the SABR fact-checking team.

 

Sources

Unless otherwise noted, statistics from Wheeler’s playing career are taken from Baseball-Reference.com and genealogical and family history was obtained from Ancestry.com.

 

Notes

1 “Lennon Throws Bouquets at Wheeler,(Denver) Rocky Mountain News, August 14, 1907: 8.

2 “Says Wheeler Is Class A Player, Rocky Mountain News February 13, 1907: 8.

3 “New Players Signed,Grand Rapids (Michigan) Press, August 20, 1898: 7.

4 “Fitchburg Wins from Cambridge by Heavy Hitting and Good Fielding,Fitchburg (Massachusetts) Sentinel, May 15, 1889: 5.

5 “Local Baseball Matters,Fitchburg Sentinel, May 20, 1889: 6.

6 Fitchburg Sentinel, May 20, 1889: 2.

7 “Reserved and Claimed,Detroit Free Press, September 22, 1899: 6.

8 “Wheeler Signed with Dayton,Detroit Free Press, April 28, 1900: 6.

9 Fort Wayne (Indiana) Sentinel, October 2, 1901: 6.

10 “Errors Were Costly for Brooklyns,Brooklyn Standard Union, May 15, 1902: 9.

11 “Trolley Dodgers Lack Judgment,Brooklyn Eagle, May 15, 1902: 9.

12 “Brooklyns Lose Again,Brooklyn Times Union, May 19, 1902: 8.

13 “Superbas Win While Others Rest,Brooklyn Eagle, July 22, 1902: 11.

14 “Wheeler Making a Record,New York Evening World, July 22, 1902: 6.

15 Brooklyn Citizen, July 21, 1902: 6.

16 “Wheeler Making a Record,” 1902.

17 Brooklyn Citizen, July 25, 1902: 6.

18 Eddie Wheeler Must Go,Pittsburg Press, August 21, 1902: 13.

19 Brooklyn Times Union, August 27, 1902: 6.

20 Pittsburg Press, December 7, 1902: 13.

21 “Trouble for Saints: Wheeler Disgruntled and Would Quit the Team,Minneapolis Journal, May 26, 1904: 10.

22 “Foul Ball Causes a Suit for $10,000,Indianapolis News, March 25, 1905: 18.

23 Tebeau After Eddie Wheeler,Louisville Courier-Journal, January 18, 1905: 6.

24 “Eddie Wheeler Dotes on Shoes; Carries Fifteen Pairs with Him,Evansville (Indiana) Press, January 4, 1910: 6.

25 “Wheeler Is Well Provided For, Rocky Mountain News, August 12, 1907: 9.

26 “Wheeler and Drill Want C. S. Franchise, Rocky Mountain News, September 28, 1907: 8.

27 “Captain Eddie Wheeler to Marry Denver Girl, Rocky Mountain News, November 3, 1907: 42.

28 “Much of Interest to Denver Fans, Rocky Mountain News, December 26, 1907: 8.

29 “Eddie Wheeler Home,Grand Rapids Press, October 2, 1908: 6.

30 “Three Local Stars Return to St. Paul Team, Rocky Mountain News, September 6, 1907: 8.

31 Wheeler May Not Go to Grand Rapids, Rocky Mountain News, September 28, 1907: 8.

32 “Eddie Wheeler to St. Paul,Topeka (Kansas) State Journal, March 2, 1908: 2.

33 “Eddie Wheeler in Trade,Kansas City Star, September 1, 1908: 1.

34 “Eddie Wheeler Goes to Memphis,Dayton Herald, May 25, 1909: 6.

35 “Eddie Wheeler To Manage Bronchos,South Bend (Indiana) Tribune, January 24, 1910: 10.

36 “Central in Another Syndicate Squabble,Indianapolis News, March 10, 1910: 14.

37 “Will Be Sole Owner,Port Huron (Michigan) Herald, August 27, 1910: 1.

38 “Was To Be Expected,Grand Rapids Press, September 1, 1910: 6.

39 “Eddie Wheeler Has No Offer from Annis,Fort Wayne Sentinel, September 15, 1910: 1.

40 “Eddie Wheeler, Leader of Central Champ, Signs with Terre Haute,East Liverpool (Ohio) Review, December 2, 1910: 14.

41 “Wheeler Releases Self,South Bend Tribune, October 5, 1910: 12.

42 “Wheeler Returns,Grand Rapids Press, November 18, 1910: 7.

43 “Wheeler Through Waiting for Annis,South Bend Tribune, December 1, 1910: 10.

44 “Ed Wheeler Talks of His Prospects,South Bend Tribune, November 10, 1910: 10.

45 Grand Rapids Press, December 2, 1910: 6.

46 Detroit Free Press, December 19, 1910: 8.

47 “Spotlights on Sport, By Dick,Grand Rapids Press, December 7, 1910: 6.

48 “Wheeler is Hustling Tots into the Fold,South Bend Tribune, December 24, 1910: 10.

49 “Wheeler Will Be Released,South Bend Tribune, February 8, 1911: 14.

50 “Eddie Wheeler to be Shelved,Fort Wayne (Indiana) Journal-Gazette, July 1, 1911: 1.

51 “Will Fire Aggie Grant at Tonight’s Meeting: Eddie Wheeler To Manage Ex-Eva Aggregation After Today,Evansville Courier, August 25, 1911: 1.

52 “Is Eddie Wheeler on the Toboggan?” South Bend Tribune, May 17, 1913: 14.

53 “Wheeler and Wells Bring Major League Experience and Cheery Dispositions to the Frank Circuit,” Flint (Michigan) Journal, May 15, 1915: 12.

54 “Wheeler and Wells,1915.

55 The most commonly accepted birthdate for Wheeler is June 15, 1878, making him age 82 at the time of his death in 1960. However, both his obituary (“Ex-Major League Player, Edward Wheeler, 77 Dies,Fort Worth Star-Telegram, August 16, 1960: 17) and a death notice (“Sherman Native Dies in Texas,Traverse City (Michigan) Record-Eagle, August 25, 1960) said he was 77 years old at death. It should be noted that Virginia Dunn, who was the daughter of Wheeler’s ex-teammate and brother-in-law Robert Wells, wrote in a letter contained in his Hall of Fame file, “I learned he was always hiding his correct age throughout his life.

Full Name

Edward Leroy Wheeler

Born

June 15, 1878 at Sherman, MI (USA)

Died

August 15, 1960 at Fort Worth, TX (USA)

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