#atozchallenge: Lajoie

Penale52, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You knew that I had to throw in at least one baseball player, didn’t you?

Napoleon (Nap or Larry) Lajoie (LAJ-way) was a second baseman and manager who played for the Philadelphia Phillies, Philadelphia Athletics, and Cleveland Bronchos (later renamed the Naps in his honor) from 1896 though 1920. He started with the Phillies and played with them through 1900, then jumped to the newly-formed American League with the A’s in 1901. They traded him to the Cleveland Bronchos, and he was such a fan favorite they renamed the team the Naps in his honor. When they traded him back to the A’s after the 1915 season, the Naps were renamed the Indians.

He was named the Naps’ manager in 1905 and was a player-manager through 1909, when he decided being a player-manager was too much of a distraction.

Career highlights include:

  • He was the third player, after Cap Anson and Honus Wagner, to reach 3,000 hits in his career.
  • Led the American League in batting average five times and the league in hits four times.
  • Considered the greatest second baseman of all time and the most outstanding player ever to wear a Cleveland uniform.
  • Led the National or American League in putouts five times and in assists three times.
  • Elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937.

I’ll stop there, other than to say you can look at his career statistics here and read more of his story here. See you with M tomorrow.

20 thoughts on “#atozchallenge: Lajoie

  1. I had a feeling you were going to do a post on Nap Lajoie, one of the all time greats of baseball. I’ve been “enjoying” your J posts from time to time this A to Z. When I was younger, much younger, I was a baseball fan, and the history of the game interested me. I’ve been to the Baseball Hall of Fame twice and hope to return again in the near future. Alana ramblinwitham


  2. My brother would know all about him where I know zip! I did find this interesting and that he sparred with Ty Cobb but..didn’t everyone? lol. Now I have heard of Cobb


  3. Interesting……I saw some Facebook post about the “all time greatest players by position”……..they didn’t even mention Brooks Robinson. I’m sure they’re not interested in Nap, but I liked the post! ZD


    1. I love history, just not the kind they teach in school. I prefer baseball history, music history, broadcast (radio & TV) history, business history, history of the 20th century, advertising history…


  4. My dad used to pronounce the name La joy and I’ve heard is as Laj u ay. No matter, a great played. I recall a story about him during his last at bat of the season and trying to hit .400. I’m too lazy the look it up now but it seemed to be a window into the man’s competitive nature.


    1. In the old days, they would take chances and push themselves past their limits to try and do what no one else had done. They didn’t get paid much at all to play, so I guess the compensation was knowing that you bested someone. Lajoie and Ty Cobb were always battling each other to try and win batting titles. It was crazy…


    1. That’s a tremendous place, isn’t it? I wish I had a month to go through and see everything there. I think there’s lots of stuff that isn’t on display.


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