A Dozen Things You Should Know About Jack Fournier


Jack Fournier with Brooklyn

1. John Frank Fournier was born in September 1889 in Au Sable, Michigan. His father worked in the lumber mills in the area. His family moved to Aberdeen, Washington when he was three. The family was of French-Canadian extraction. Some sources list his first name as “Jacques.”

2. As a child, Fournier worked in a livery stable and as a railway messenger. The town baseball team found out he could hit and paid him $5.00 to be the team catcher.

3. In 1905, now in Tacoma, Washington, Fournier played for his high school baseball team. He was good enough to be signed by first, Seattle, then by his former hometown of Aberdeen.

4. He wandered through the minor leagues until 1912, when the Boston Red Sox spotted him. They invited him to training camp, but he didn’t come (no reason I can find is cited in any source). Eventually he did sign with the Chicago White Sox.

5. He played through 1917 with the ChiSox, splitting time between the outfield and first base. There is general agreement that he wasn’t much of a fielder at any of the positions.

6. In 1914, he turned down an offer to play in the Federal League. At Chicago he finally hit over .300 (.311), had six home runs, and produced 3.8 WAR. In 1915, he led the American League in slugging percentage.

7. In 1917 he was sent to the minors (Chicago had acquired Chick Gandil to play first). He remained in the minors through the remainder of the season, then replaced Wally Pipp (who was off to World War I) at first for the Yankees in 1918. With Pipp back, and Fournier being no Lou Gehrig, Fournier returned to the minors in 1919.

8. The St. Louis Cardinals of the National League picked him up for 1920. He remained there through 1922 before being traded to Brooklyn.

9. With the Robins (now Dodgers) he hit .350 or better twice, led the NL in walks in 1925, and led the league in home runs in 1924 with 27. In 1926, he hit three home runs in one game. He had 11 for the season.

10. At the end of the 1926 season he was released. He signed for one more year (1927) with the Boston Braves. He did well, but was 37 and retired at the end of the season. In 1928 he played a year of minor league ball at Newark.

11. He sold insurance, did a little acting (he’s in a movie called “Death on a Diamond.” As far as I can tell, he’s neither the victim nor the villain), then spent most of 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s moving between minor league managing, coaching the UCLA baseball team, and big league scouting. He retired from baseball in 1962 and died in Tacoma in 1973.

12. For his career, his triple slash line is .313/.392/483/.875 with 1631 hits, 252 doubles, 113 triples, 136 home runs (for 2517 total bases), and 859 RBIs. His OPS+ is 142 with 41.2 WAR.


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14 Responses to “A Dozen Things You Should Know About Jack Fournier”

  1. Jackie, The Baseball Bloggess Says:

    Wow … what a full and interesting life. I’m embarrassed to say that before just now the total number of things I knew about Jack Fournier was zero. Thank you for fixing that oversight!

  2. William Miller Says:

    It seems strange to me that a guy who could hit so well seemed to have such a hard time sticking with any club for very long.

  3. Miller Says:

    I can’t not love these posts!

  4. glenrussellslater Says:

    I remember Jack Fournier from Ring Lardner’s “You Know Me Al”. There is reference made to him (only his last name) at least a couple of times or so in the book. I seem to recall that he was mentioned by either Al or by manager Kid Gleason or by somebody.


    • glenrussellslater Says:

      Ha ha! Wait a minute! He couldn’t have been mentioned by Al in the book! Al was the guy who Jack Keefe wrote his letters to!!! Fournier must have been mentioned by Keefe or by Kid Gleason or Comiskey or some other character in the book.


  5. wkkortas Says:

    I’m going to forego my there-are-worse-players in Cooperstown thing, but I will note that Fournier is one of those guys who was half in the dead-ball era and have in the post-Babe era, which I think is why he’s been mostly forgotten.

  6. oddsoxx Says:

    Hi.. maybe a #13 for your list here?

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