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Joe Tinker

From Academic Kids

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Tinker.jpg
Joe Tinker baseball card, 1912

Joseph Bert Tinker (July 27, 1880-July 27, 1948) was a Major League Baseball player and manager. He was born in Muscotah, Kansas.

For most of his career he played for the Chicago Cubs, starting as a 21-year-old rookie in 1902. Tinker was an average hitter, despite usually hitting well against pitcher Christy Mathewson, but a speedy runner, stealing an average of 28 bases a season and even stealing home twice in one game on July 28, 1910. The shortstop excelled at fielding, often leading the National League in a number of statistical categories. During his decade with the Cubs, they went to the World Series four times.

Tinker is perhaps best known as the pivot man in the "Tinker to Evers to Chance" double play combination immortalized in the poem "Baseball's Sad Lexicon" by New York newspaper columnist Franklin Pierce Adams. Yet on September 14, 1905, he and Evers ended up in a fistfight on the field because Evers took a cab and left his teammates behind in the hotel lobby. They didn't speak to one another for 33 years until they were both asked to help broadcast the 1938 World Series (Cubs versus Yankees) and tearfully reunited.

Tinker's incessant salary demands got him traded to the Cincinnati Reds in 1912. After a year playing and managing the Reds, Tinker jumped to the Federal League and managed the Chicago Whalers until 1916 when he was back, briefly, with the Cubs.

Tinker ended his career in Florida, managing, scouting, and dabbling in real estate. He ran the Orlando Gulls in the Florida State League. Tinker Field, a stadium in the shadow of the Citrus Bowl, is named for him. Evers was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946. He died in Orlando, Florida on his 68th birthday of complications from diabetes.

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