New major league player found: Joe Cross

From SABR member Jon Frankel at K’s, Cards, and Things on March 22, 2012:

Still plowing my way through the 1888 AA Cleveland games and I think I have come across a “missing” player.

In a September 5, 1888 game between Louisville & Cleveland, a “Cross” is shown in the box score for Louisville as playing left field and having one at-bat (he struck out).   It was assumed that this was Lave Cross, one of Louisville’s catchers – in fact ICI shows a Sept 5 entry for Lave.   However, in the Sept 6, 1888 Cleveland Plain Dealer, in its “Notes of the Game”, it says: “While at bat in the seventh inning, Cook caught a swift pitched ball on the hand and had to retire.  Vaughn took his place behind the bat, Ramsey went to left field and Cross of the Graphics, a brother of Lave, a Louisville catcher, took the latter’s place in right.”

There is a Joe Cross who was a pitcher and occasional outfielder for the Graphics (a semi-pro team in Cleveland) in 1888.  He is identified in another citing as Lave’s brother (when Amos Cross’s death was reported on July 17, 1888).

I see no reference to this change in the Cleveland Leader.

However, Lave Cross was injured on September 2, “tore his knee in a fearful way.  He quit playing and will not likely play again for some time”.

I currently do not have access to any Louisville papers to get their take on it.

Lave Cross’ next game was on 9/13 at St. Louis.

The St Louis Republic makes no special mention of Cross’s “return”, but being a rookie and and an opponent’s backup catcher, this is not necessarily surprising.

Digging into Sporting Life currently with no success.

I hope to get some more information from Louisville papers (Times and Post).

Has a “new” player been found?

Not sure – if anyone else has access to other resources or has any insight, I would greatly appreciate the help.

Read the full article here, along with updates and tips from SABR members John Thorn, Richard Malatzky, Jack Morris and David Nemec:

Originally published: April 17, 2012. Last Updated: April 17, 2012.