Monday, January 16, 2012

Hundred-Year Old Trade Rumors

Providence Evening Tribune, 1/8/1912:
"Chicago, Jan. 8--A rumor is going the rounds here that Harry Lord, captain of the White Sox, and peerless third baseman of the American League, is to return to his old love this year and once more cavort around the third cushion for the Boston Red Sox.

The consideration is said to be Tris Speaker, the great Boston centre fielder."
Whatwhatwhat? Tris Speaker for who now? Terrible job by the White Sox thinking they could get young budding superstar Tris Speaker for a Lord not worshipped by many.

The Red Sox didn't take the bait. Speaker would go on to lead the league with a .464 on-base percentage for Boston in 1912, leading the team to a World Series title. (He'd end up topping that mark four times after that.) Tris also was part of the 1915 championship team, before being traded* before the 1916 season. After that, he'd put up stellar numbers for 12 and a half more years, and go into the Hall of Fame in 1937. To this day, no major leaguer has more doubles than Speaker. Only four have more hits.

Harry Lord played two more full seasons in the majors, putting up average numbers.

A few weeks after the Lord-Speaker rumor, the Indians offered George Stovall to the White Sox. When Chicago found out Cleveland wanted Harry Lord in return, manager Nixey Callahan laughed and said he wouldn't trade Lord for the whole Cleveland team. (Which shows you how highly he regarded Speaker.)

Left photo: Lord. Right photo: Speaker.

*The Red Sox got Sad Sam Jones for Speaker--he would be a key pitcher on the 1918 championship team.


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