Thursday, December 13, 2007

Chippy McGarr

In 1887, the Browns held what David Nemec described as "the biggest fire sale in major league history." While fans of the Florida Marlins might want to argue that point, Chris Von der Ahe did move Bob Caruthers, Curt Welch, Doc Bushong, and Bill Gleason in November of 1887 to various teams for a combination of cash and players. The reasons for the fire sale included the need to reduce payroll, a desire to recoup declining profits, Comisky's unhappiness with the attitudes of some of his stars, and possibly an attempt to strengthen other teams in the AA. One of the players that the Browns received in the fire sale was James McGarr.

There is an argument to be made that Chippy McGarr was one of the worst everyday players in the history of baseball and should be on the list of the all-time worst third basemen. From 1894 to 1896, McGarr, playing everyday for Cleveland, never had an OPS+ higher than 62. At the same time that he wasn't hitting, McGarr committed 125 errors over those three seasons.

McGarr, who lived in Worchester, Massachusetts and helped coach the Holy Cross baseball team, was instrumental in Cleveland signing Lou Sockalexis in 1897. McGarr had been telling Cleveland manager Patsy Tebeau about the Holy Cross star for several years and recommended that the team sign him.

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