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Edd Roush

Position: Outfielder
Teams: Chicago White Sox, 1913; Indianapolis Hoosiers, 1914; Newark Peppers, 1915; New York Giants, 1916, 1927-1929; Cincinnati Reds, 1916-1926, 1931

Edd J. Roush (1893-1988) was born in Indiana to a father who had been a noted local semipro player. He never reĀ­vealed the reason for the unorthodox spelling of his first name but did admit he was given only a middle initial so as not to offend either of his uncles, who were named Joseph and James. It was one of the few personal tidbits the close-mouthed Roush shared with the world.

Edd Roush won two National League batting crowns.
Edd Roush won two National League
batting crowns.

Although left-handed exclusively during his major-league career, Edd was ambidextrous by nature and could throw well enough with his right arm to create the myth that he had to develop it after incurring an injury to his left.

His first professional baseball job was with Henderson of the Kitty League in 1911. In 1912, he moved to Evansville in the same league and stayed for one-plus years. Late in the 1913 season, the Chicago White Sox bought his contract, and he appeared in nine games there before being shipped to the Western League. The next season, Roush elected to sign with the Indianapolis Hoosiers of the outlaw Federal League, then endeavoring to become a third major circuit.

When the Federal League collapsed after the 1915 season, the New York Giants purchased Roush for $7,500. Roush disliked the notion of playing for John McGraw, whom he viewed as a taskmaster. When Edd hit only .188 in 39 games with the Giants, he was thrown into the deal that resulted in Christy Mathewson joining Cincinnati as the Reds player-manager.

Holdouts became an almost annual event for Roush, as he loathed spring training. Edd contended that he needed 10 days maximum to get into playing shape and could do his conditioning on his own. The evidence supports him.

In 1917, despite holding out that spring, he won his first National League batting crown. In 1919, Roush hit .321 to not only cop hitting honors but also spark the Reds to their first pennant. That fall, in the only World Series of his career, Edd hit just .214 but was a member of the winning team as eight players on the Chicago White Sox conspired to throw the Series.

After 11 seasons with Cincinnati, Roush was traded to the Giants in 1927. He played there for three years. He then held out the entire 1930 season before returning to Cincinnati for his final big-league bow.

In 1962, Roush was elected to the Hall of Fame. At the time of his death on March 21, 1988, in Bradenton, Florida, he was the last surviving Federal League participant.

Here are Edd Roush's major league totals:


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