A Bakers Dozen Things You Should Know About Les Nunamaker

Les Nunamaker

In keeping with my policy of informing you about players on my fantasy team, here’s some information on Les Nunamaker:

1. Leslie Grant Nunamaker was born in 1889 in Nebraska.

2. By 1909 he’d hooked on with a couple of B and A level teams in the Old Northwest as a catcher. Chicago picked him up but by 1910 he’d moved to the 3I League with Bloomington. There he caught the attention of the Cleveland Naps who drafted him away from both the minors and the Cubs.

3. The Naps (now the Indians) sold him to Boston before he ever played a game in Cleveland.

4. In 1911 he debuted with the Red Sox. He remained with Boston through 1913 serving as both a starting and a backup catcher. Although he helped the team to the 1912 American League pennant, he did not play in the World Series, which Boston won (he’d broken his finger earlier in the season).

5. In 1914 he was sold to the New York Yankees where he remained through 1917.

6. On 3 August 1914 while catching for New York, he managed to throw out three men in one inning while they were trying to steal a base. It’s still a record for the most caught stealing by a catcher in a single inning (obviously it can only be tied, never surpassed).

7. In 1918 he was traded to the St. Louis Browns, where he played one year. Included in the trade were Urban Shocker, who went to the Browns, and Eddie Plank who left St. Louis.

8. Following the season, Nunamaker enlisted in the naval aviation service, but World War I ended while he was still in training.

9. In 1919 he ended up being traded to Cleveland, the team that initially drafted him, for Josh Billings. While with Cleveland he got into his only World Series, a 1920 victory. He played in two games, got one hit (a single) in two at bats, and neither scored nor picked up an RBI.

10. He remained with Cleveland through 1922, when he was released.

11. For his career his triple slash line reads .268/.332/.339.,670 (OPS+ of 95) with two home runs (both in 1914, the year he set the caught stealing record), 194 runs scored, 216 RBIs, and 64 total bases. His WAR is 11.4.

12. Out of the majors, he managed at a variety of minor league venues then retired to run a meat market in Nebraska and serve as the Director of the Nebraska Sports Association.

13. Les Nunamaker died in Nebraska in 1938.

Nunamaker’s grave from Find a Grave

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One Response to “A Bakers Dozen Things You Should Know About Les Nunamaker”

  1. Miller Says:

    At a certain point, I’m thinking two CS in the inning, I’d imagine a team would stop trying to run on the guy. Guess not!

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