Tris Speaker

The Gray Eagle

“It would be useless for any player to attempt to explain successful batting.” - Tris Speaker

Can you name who has the most doubles or who is fifth all-time in batting average and hits?  If you said Tris Speaker, you know your baseball history.  Playing most of his career with the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians, Speaker spent his career as the second best player in the game, first to Ty Cobb, then to Babe Ruth.

One aspect where he was second to none was on defense, roaming center field as one of the best who ever played the game.  He played so shallow in center field that he had several unassisted double plays at second base.

His career was all the more remarkable after a rash of injuries in his youth, including a broken right arm after a fall from a horse.  While still in a cast, Speaker would throw left-handed until it became so comfortable that he stayed a southpaw when his arm healed.  Later playing football, his left arm was so damaged that surgeons wanted to amputate it, but Speaker would not hear of it.  And a good thing, too, as Speaker, arm healed, became one of the game’s all-time greats.

Museum temporary exhibits homepage
Education Center homepage
Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum homepage