Cieradkowski: Eddie Grant, a real hero for Memorial Day

From SABR member Gary Cieradkowski at The Infinite Baseball Card Set on May 30, 2017:

They called him “Harvard Eddie.” At a time when most ballplayers barely had a high school education, third baseman Eddie Grant, Harvard Class of 1909, was a member of the Massachusetts Bar, a full-fledged lawyer. He was also a darn good third baseman, batting .322 for Jersey City and leading the Eastern League during his first year in pro ball. The next season, 1907, Grant was called up to the Philadelphia Phillies. He quickly gained attention, not from his bat or fielding skills, but for what he would say on the field: when calling out his claim on a pop fly, instead of yelling the common “I GOT it!”, Harvard Eddie called out the proper phrase, “I HAVE it!” much to the amusement of his more modestly educated teammates.

During off seasons, Grant returned to Boston to practice law, but each spring he took up baseball again. Traded to Cincinnati in 1911, he lost something at the plate and his batting average plummeted; the death of his wife after barely nine months of marriage might have been the reason. In 1913, the New York Giants aquired Grant, and although he rode the bench more often than not, John McGraw took a liking to the scholarly third sacker and made him the Giants’ bench coach. As much as he loved the game, Grant disliked the life of a part-time coach and player, and a the age of 32, retired to pursue his law career full-time.

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Originally published: June 6, 2017. Last Updated: June 6, 2017.