A Dozen Things You Should Know About Rip Williams

Rip Williams (from Find a Grave)

Continuing a look at the players who make up my fantasy baseball team, here’s some things you ought to know about one of them.

1. Alva Mitchel Williams was born in 1882 in Carthage, Illinois to a farming family..

2. He was good at baseball and in 1906 began his minor league career as a catcher for Keokuk in the Iowa League. He stayed through 1907. In late 1907 he was traded to Terre Haute in the Central League. It was a step up to a higher league.

3. In 1909 he moved on to Buffalo, a Class A league, and got the attention of the big leagues. The Red Sox signed him for 1911.

4. He hit .239 for Boston filling in at both first and behind the plate. He demanded a raise for 1912 and was sent to the New York Highlanders (now the Yankees) who subsequently shipped him on to Washington (the Senators, not the current Nationals).

5. He started the 1912 season as the third string catcher for the Senators, but injuries put him into the lineup on a more frequent basis than a normal third stringer. He hit .318 for the season. It was his career high.

6. Having no power, he hit his first home run in 1913. It was a pinch hit, an inside the park homer, and his first home run at any professional level, Major or Minor League.

7. He remained with Washington through 1916, then was traded to Baltimore (a minor league club in 1916). He played the entire year in the minors.

8. He was back in the big leagues in the war year of 1918, playing for Cleveland. In a bit of symmetry Aristotle would love he hit .239, the same as he hit in his rookie campaign.

9. He went back to farming after his baseball career ended.

10. For his career, his triple slash line reads .265/.328/.352/.680 over 1186 at bats in 497 games. He had two home runs (the other a three run shot in 1914), 23 triples, 51 doubles in 314 hits for 417 total bases and an OPS+ of 97. He had 145 RBIs and racked up 5.3 WAR.

11. He died in Keokuk in 1933.

12. I have been unable to determine the origin of the “Rip” nickname.

3 Responses to “A Dozen Things You Should Know About Rip Williams”

  1. Miller Says:

    Love these posts! #6 is awesome.

  2. wkkortas Says:

    I read somewhere where “Rip” or “Ripper” was a nickname bestowed on guys who were especially fond of the night life, so that’s a possible explanation.

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