January 17, 2019

France Has Bonaparte, Hollywood Has Dynamite, and Baseball Has Lajoie

April 21, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Hey baseball fans!

All Hall of Famers have amazing statistics. But sometimes, a Hall of Famer is so great, that the team that he mainly played for was renamed after him. The only example of this in baseball history is the Cleveland Indians, who were called the Cleveland Naps from 1903-1914 because of none other than baseball Hall of Famer, Nap Lajoie.

Napoleon Lajoie  (pronounced La-jo-way) played from 1896-1916 for the Indians, Phillies and Athletics. The star second baseman was known back in the day for his heavenly fielding and his extreme power at the plate. Although the 1937 Hall of Fame inductee only hit 82 career home runs, he led the league in doubles five times and is seventh all time in that category, as well as finishing his career 33rd on the all time triples list with 163. However, people from today’s times look at him as a hitting machine, with which I can totally agree. He collected 3,243 base hits and batted over .300 in 16 seasons. In fact, in the 1901 season while playing for the newly-formed Athletics, Lajoie hit .426, a World Series era AL record for a single-season batting champion! A .338 lifetime hitter, Napoleon was also an RBI machine, collecting 1,599 RBIs and also scoring 1,504 runs. Lastly, as I mentioned before, from 1903-1916, the Indians were named the Cleveland Naps because of Napoleon being named the captain of the team. Once he was named captain, a newspaper contest was held to decide a new name for the Midwestern baseball team, and the Naps was the name picked.

Lajoie, despite his hard-to-pronounce last name, managed to get a team named after him! How cool is that? Anyway, thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back in a few days for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”


One Response to “France Has Bonaparte, Hollywood Has Dynamite, and Baseball Has Lajoie”
  1. EmptyD says:

    That .426 (.422 when I was coming up) should not be compared to, say, Hornsby’s .424 in 1924, as the foul strike rule was not in effect in the American League in 1901. Thus Lajoie had an advantage over players in the NL and later foes in the AL since he could foul off pitches until the cows came home without penalty.

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