Did You Know? – Stuffy McInnis

Stuffy McInnis enjoyed a long baseball career in the early part of the 20th century; between 1909 and 1927, the Gloucester, Massachusetts native played for six teams, including the Boston Red Sox between 1918 and 1921, and was part of five World Series champions. At the plate, he finished with a .307 batting average, batting over .300 12 times in 19 seasons, and his 2,405 career hits places him just inside the top 100 all-time through the 2007 season. He also finished third all-time in sacrifice hits for a career with 383, one of only 11 players in MLB history with at least 300, and fanned only 189 times in 6,667 at-bats between 1913 and 1927, a rate of 35.3 at-bats per strikeout, ninth all-time. With Boston, McInnis batted .296 with 594 hits and only 49 strikeouts in 2,006 at-bats.

McInnis was also known a great defensive player. He originally broke in as a shortstop, but ultimately moved to first base after a few seasons. In a time known as the “dead-ball” era, first base was a key defensive position and McInnis became part of Connie Mack’s “$100,000 infield” with the Philadelphia Athletics; teaming with second baseman Eddie Collins, third baseman Frank Baker and shortstop Jack Barry between 1911 and 1914, the team won World Series titles in 1911 and 1914 and an American League pennant in 1913. In 1921, his fourth and final season with Boston, McInnis set a record for his position with only one error in 1,651 chances, good for a .999 fielding percentage. He also went a stretch of 163 games between 31 May 1921 and 02 June 1922 without making an error, the first 119 games as a Boston player while spending the latter season with the Cleveland Indians.

Those records stood until 2007 when current Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis managed to go the entire year without making a single error in 1080 chances, the only player in the league to end the regular season with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. Youkilis also broke McInnis’s consecutive errorless games streak by a Red Sox first baseman when he lodged his 120th mistake-free contest on 25 June 2007. It should be noted that the streak continues; entering the 2008 season, he has now played 190 straight error-free games at first, a new American League record and three shy of the major league record set by former Gold Glove winner Steve Garvey.

Author: fenfan

Lifelong Boston Red Sox fan, weekend web developer, and badly in need of sleep