55 Facts About Tris Speaker


Defensively, Speaker holds career records for assists, double plays, and unassisted double plays by an outfielder.

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Tris Speaker became the regular center fielder by 1909 and led the Red Sox to World Series championships in 1912 and 1915.

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Tris Speaker resigned as Cleveland's manager in 1926 after he and Ty Cobb faced game fixing allegations; both men were later cleared.

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Tris Speaker played with the Washington Senators in 1927 and the Philadelphia Athletics in 1928, then became a minor league manager and part owner.

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Tris Speaker later held several roles for the Cleveland Indians.

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Late in life, Tris Speaker led a short-lived indoor baseball league, ran a wholesale liquor business, worked in sales and chaired Cleveland's boxing commission.

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Tris Speaker was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937.

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Tris Speaker was born on April 4,1888, in Hubbard, Texas, to Archie and Nancy Poer Tris Speaker.

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In 1905, Tris Speaker played a year of college baseball for Fort Worth Polytechnic Institute.

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Tris Speaker's abilities drew the interest of Doak Roberts, owner of the Cleburne Railroaders of the Texas League, in 1906.

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Tris Speaker's mother opposed his participation in the major leagues, saying that they reminded her of slavery.

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Tris Speaker performed well for the Texas League's Houston Buffaloes in 1907, but his mother stated that she would never allow him to go to the Boston Americans.

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Tris Speaker became the regular starting center fielder for Boston in 1909 and light-hitting Denny Sullivan was sold to the Cleveland Naps.

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Tris Speaker ran fast enough that he could stand very close to second base, effectively giving the team a fifth infielder, but he still caught the balls hit to center field.

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Tris Speaker played every game and led the American League in doubles and home runs.

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Tris Speaker set career highs with 222 hits, 136 runs, 580 at-bats, and 52 stolen bases.

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Tris Speaker's stolen base tally was a team record until Tommy Harper stole 54 bases in 1973.

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Tris Speaker set a major league single-season record with three hitting streaks of 20 or more games.

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Tris Speaker became the first major leaguer to hit 50 doubles and steal 50 bases in the same season.

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Tris Speaker got five hits, including a triple, in 17 at-bats during the series.

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The angry Tris Speaker held out until he received $10,000 of the cash that Boston collected.

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In contrast, Tris Speaker had established himself as "indisputably the best player in the American League" by 1916.

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Tris Speaker was often shallow enough to catch pickoff throws at second base.

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At one point, Tris Speaker's signature move was to come in behind second base on a bunt and make a tag play on a baserunner who had passed the bag.

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Tris Speaker owned a ranch in Texas and competed in roping events during the baseball offseason.

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Tris Speaker often signaled to Fohl when he thought that a pitcher should be brought in from the bullpen.

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Tris Speaker guided the 1920 Indians to their first World Series win.

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Chapman had been asked about retirement before the season, and he said that he wanted to help Tris Speaker earn Cleveland's first World Series victory before thinking of retirement.

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Tris Speaker led the league in doubles eight times, including every year between 1920 and 1923.

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Tris Speaker led the league's outfielders in fielding percentage in 1921 and 1922.

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On May 17,1925, Tris Speaker became the fifth member of the 3,000 hit club when he hit a single off pitcher Tom Zachary of the Washington Senators.

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However, Tris Speaker signed to play with the Washington Senators for 1927.

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Defensively, Tris Speaker holds the all-time career records for assists as an outfielder and double plays as an outfielder.

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Tris Speaker remains the last batter to hit 200 triples in a career.

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In 1929 Tris Speaker replaced Walter Johnson as the manager of the Newark Bears of the International League.

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When Tris Speaker resigned during his second season, the Bears were in seventh place after a sixth-place finish in 1929.

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In 1937, Tris Speaker was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame during its second year of balloting.

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Tris Speaker was honored at the hall's first induction ceremony in 1939.

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Tris Speaker chaired Cleveland's boxing commission between 1936 and 1943.

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Under Tris Speaker, fight payouts went directly to boxers rather than managers.

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In 1937, Tris Speaker sustained a 16-foot fall while working on a flower box near a second-story window at his home.

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Tris Speaker was described as having "better than an even chance to live" and was suffering from a skull fracture, a broken arm and possible internal injuries.

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In 1939, Tris Speaker was president of the National Professional Indoor Baseball League.

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Tris Speaker was one of the founders of Cleveland's Society for Crippled Children and he helped to promote the society's rehabilitation center, Camp Cheerful.

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Tris Speaker served as vice president of the society, ran fundraising campaigns and received a distinguished service award from the organization.

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Tris Speaker ultimately recovered, but Gay characterized Tris Speaker's condition as "touch-and-go for several days".

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In 1947, Tris Speaker returned to baseball as "ambassador of good will" for Bill Veeck and the Cleveland Indians.

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Tris Speaker remained in advisory, coaching or scouting roles for the Indians until his death in 1958.

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Tris Speaker was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1951.

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Tris Speaker died of a heart attack on December 8,1958, at the age of 70, at Lake Whitney, Texas.

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Tris Speaker collapsed as he and a friend were pulling their boat into the dock after a fishing trip.

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Tris Speaker was named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

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Tris Speaker is mentioned in the poem "Line-Up for Yesterday" by Ogden Nash.

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In 2008, former baseball players' union chief Marvin Miller, trying to defend the recently retired catcher Mike Piazza against claims that he should not be elected to the Hall of Fame because of association with the use of steroids, on the basis that the Hall of Fame has various unsavory people in it, opined that Tris Speaker should be removed from the Hall of Fame because of alleged membership in the Ku Klux Klan.

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James adds that Tris Speaker was a staunch supporter of Doby when he broke the American League color barrier, working long hours with the former second baseman on how to play the outfield.

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