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Old Apr 1st 2007, 8:28 am
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ChinMusic22 ChinMusic22 is offline
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Player Bio- April 1st: Johnny Evers

We looked at Joe Tinker yesterday, so how about the other half of the greatest double play combo in major league history, Hall of Famer, Johnny Evers.
Johnny Evers
John Joseph Evers

Born: July 21, 1881, in Troy, New York
Died: March 28, 1947, in Albany, New York
Elected to Hall of Fame by Veterans Committee in 1946, Player

ML Debut: 9/1/1902
Primary Position: Second Baseman
Bats: L Throws: R

Played For: Chicago Cubs (1902-1913), Boston Braves (1914-1917, 1929), Philadelphia Phillies (1917), Chicago White Sox (1922)
Primary Team: Chicago Cubs
Managed: Chicago Cubs (1913,1921), Chicago White Sox (1924)

Post-Season: 1906 World Series, 1907 World Series, 1908 World Series, 1914 World Series
Awards: National League Most Valuable Player 1914

Johnny Evers was a smart, scrappy and determined second baseman, as the pivot man in the famed Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance infield. His knowledge of the rules enabled him to turn the 1908 National League pennant race around, as a result of the infamous Fred Merkle play. He helped lead the Chicago Cubs to four National League pennants and two World Championships. After joining Boston in 1914, Evers sparked another turnaround when the "Miracle Braves" rose from the cellar in July to a World Championship in October.

He was born in Troy, New York. The name originally rhymed with beavers rather than severs, but Evers came to accept both pronunciations during his life.

Evers, a second baseman, made it to the big leagues with the Chicago Cubs in 1902 and played for the Cubs through 1913, during which time he appeared in three World Series and won two (in 1907 and 1908). One of the smallest men ever to play in the major leagues, Evers reportedly weighed less than 100 pounds (45 kg) when he first broke in, and generally played at a weight under 130 pounds (59 kg). His combative play earned him the nickname "The Crab."

In 1914 Evers was traded to the Boston Braves, which proved to be a spectacular combination - the Braves won the World Series, and Evers won the Chalmers Award (a forerunner of the MVP award). Evers played with the Braves until 1917, when he was claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia Phillies in mid-season. He retired from playing after that season, having batted .300 or higher twice in his career, stolen 324 bases and scored 919 runs.

Evers is perhaps best known as the pivot man in the "Tinker to Evers to Chance" double play combination immortalized in the poem "Baseball's Sad Lexicon" by New York newspaper columnist Franklin Pierce Adams. He was also the player who alerted the umpires to Fred Merkle's baserunning error in the 1908 pennant race, costing the Giants the pennant.

The Merkle incident
The 1908 pennant races in both the AL and NL were among the most exciting ever witnessed. The conclusion of the National League season, in particular, involved a bizarre chain of events, often referred to as the Merkle Boner. On September 23, 1908, the New York Giants and Chicago Cubs played a game in the Polo Grounds. Nineteen-year-old rookie first baseman Fred Merkle, later to become one of the best players at his position in the league, was on first base, with teammate Moose McCormick on third with two out and the game tied. Giants shortstop Al Bridwell socked a single, scoring McCormick and apparently winning the game. However, Merkle, instead of advancing to second base, ran toward the clubhouse to avoid the spectators mobbing the field, which at that time was a common, acceptable practice. The Cubs' second baseman, Johnny Evers, noticed this. In the confusion that followed, Evers claimed to have retrieved the ball and touched second base, forcing Merkle out and nullifying the run scored. The league ordered the game replayed at the end of the season, if necessary. It turned out that the Cubs and Giants ended the season tied for first place, so the game was indeed replayed, and the Cubs won the game, the pennant, and subsequently the World Series (the last Cub Series victory to date, as it turns out).

Evers managed three teams, the 1913 Chicago Cubs, the 1921 Cubs, and the 1924 Chicago White Sox. Over his managerial career, he posted a 180-192 record.

He later served as a scout for the Boston Braves and as business manager and field manager of the International League's Albany Senators.

Johnny Evers died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1947 in Albany, New York. He is interred in St. Mary's Cemetery in Troy, New York.

"I doubt if any second baseman has had so great an influence on the work of a club as a whole or has been so important a factor in its success as Evers has been with the Chicago Nationals."
— Frank Chance

Did You Know... that Johnny Evers was presented with a brand new Chalmers automobile as winner of the 1914 Chalmers Award, a predecessor of today's Most Valuable Player Award?

Career Stats
G- 1,784
AB- 6,137
H- 1,659
2B- 216
3B- 70
HR- 12
RBI- 538
SB- 324
BA- .270
We have Evers and his quick thinking to thank for the 1908 Championship. The 1908 seemed like a real interesting team. I've read stories where Tinker and Ever didn't speak on or off the field for years, but they still went out and did there job.

I'm getting ready to read Crazy '08, a new book by Cait Murphy, so I'm looking forward to learning more about the 1908 season.
The Orphan
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Old Apr 1st 2007, 1:52 pm
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How about his 35 year fued with Tinkers over who should pay the Cab fair. That happened in 1905, and they did not reconcile until they were both guest announcers at the 1938 World Series.
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