FULL NAME: Tristram E (The Grey Eagle, Spoke) Speaker
BORN: April 4, 1888, Hubbard, Texas
DIED: December 8, 1958, Lake Whitney, Texas
Height: 5'11 1/2"
I believe Tris Speaker is the best defensive center fielder to ever play the game. His offensive numbers made him a force to be reckoned with. He batted .344 in 22 seasons in the American League. Speaker spent most of his career with the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians. His trade to the Cleveland Indians led to their first World Series title, while serving as player/manager. Tris Speaker still holds records as the greatest doubles hitter in the history of the game. He also holds major league records for putouts and assists as an outfielder.
Little known stats:
Won one batting title in 1916 when he hit .386
Hit .380 or better five times in his career
In 22 years of play, he hit under .300 four times.
His .344 lifetime batting average places him seventh of all-time
He struck out only 220 times in his career
He had seven seasons of scoring 100 or more runs
He is fifth on the all-time hits list with 3515
He is sixth on the all-time triples list with 223
He is eighth on the all-time runs list with 1881
He is first on the all-time doubles list with 793
Hit 20 or more doubles 20 times, 30 or more 16 times, 40 or more 10 times, and 50 or more 4 times
THE GRAY EAGLE
Tris perched in shallow center
Like a bird of prey,
Taking off on wings for any fly,
Soaring with his back to the infield
With uncanny rehearsed instinct.
Ballhawk threw out runners
With deadly accuracy
And in record numbers:
Texan in his own league.
Sharp eye at the plate,
Same speed that
Ran down would-be hits
Stretched plenty of singles
Tris might have been tagged
Baseball’s Mister Double.
If Adams had been stung
By the Boston outfield trio’s arms
Instead of the Cubbie DP combo,
Tris might have wound up
Immortalized in verse between
Hooper and Lewis.
But Tris Speaker
Was not about might-have-beens –
His deeds at bat and afield
Over twenty-two summers
Played fierce and proud
As an eagle.
The above poem from Romancing the Horsehide
An Analysis of Tris Speaker from a blog
Newspaper Accounts of Tris Speaker
Funeral and Burial Information