Today’s Dead Baseball Player

Eddie Grant

After graduating from Harvard in 1905 and brief tryout with Cleveland Grant kicked around the minors until 1907, when he hooked up with the Phillies, a team that had finished 45.5 games behind the first place Cubs in 1906.Eventually Grant took over as leadoff batter in 1908, and even led the NL in at-bats in 1908 and 1909. Grant was a fine-fielding third baseman, in an era that valued that skill set more than it is in today’s game and an anemic bat often was part of the package. Grant’s other skills were that he was fast on the bases and said to be dependable in the clutch. His pedigree certainly indicates that he was smart. If they say he was fast we’ll have to take their word.

As for the clutch claim thanks to the wonders of, we have Grants splits with the Reds from one year (1911, yes it is a small sample size, but it’s what we have)

Situation *    AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB  AVG   OBP   SLG
None On       113   0  10   1   0   0   0i 13 .088  .183  .097
Men On         96  18  25   5   1   0  20i 11 .260  .333  .333
RISP           57  17  15   3   0   0  19i  8 .263  .348  .316
Bases Loaded    5   3   2   1   0   0   5i  1 .400  .500  .600

Compared to his ability that year with the bases empty I’d say anything is an improvement.

Grant was later traded to the Giants in a great trade that McGraw was sure to want to forget. When the Reds flipped him with Art Fromme to New York Giants in exchange for Red Ames, Heinie Groh, Josh Devore and $20,000.

Got to hand it to the Reds, good old Reds getting cash and bodies from the coastal cities to run the business. Groh ended up as perhaps the best Reds 3rd baseman of all time, this deal should be remembered as a steal, especially since both Fromme and Grant were out of the game by mid 1916.

After two-and-a-half seasons with the Giants, Grant retired in 1915 to practice law in New York City. and it is his post career life that he bmost remebered for. In World War I, he led a mission in the Argonne Forest offensive to rescue the “Lost Battalion” trapped behind German lines. When he met with machine gun fire, he became the only ML player killed in wartime action. A monument to his memory was placed in the Polo Grounds’ deep centerfield, and each Memorial Day there was a wreath-laying ceremony at his plaque.

Oddly enough the Memorial vanished after the dismantling of the Polo Ground, of course events like this get the conspiracy folks worked up and the Giants lack of title since 1954 is noted at the following link.

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