Hap Ward

Last updated
Hap Ward
Outfielder
Born:(1885-11-15)November 15, 1885
Leesburg, New Jersey
Died: September 13, 1979(1979-09-13) (aged 93)
Elmer, New Jersey
Batted: SwitchThrew: Right
MLB debut
May 18, 1912, for the  Detroit Tigers
Last MLB appearance
May 18, 1912, for the  Detroit Tigers
MLB statistics
Batting average .000
Home runs 0
Runs batted in 0
Teams

Joseph Nichols "Hap" Ward (November 15, 1885 – September 13, 1979) played in the outfield for the Detroit Tigers on May 18, 1912.

Detroit Tigers Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Detroit, Michigan, United States of America

The Detroit Tigers are an American professional baseball team based in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member of the American League (AL) Central division. One of the AL's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit as a member of the minor league Western League in 1894. They are the oldest continuous one name, one city franchise in the AL. The Tigers have won four World Series championships, 11 AL pennants, and four AL Central division championships. The Tigers also won division titles in 1972, 1984, and 1987 as a member of the AL East. The team currently plays its home games at Comerica Park in Downtown Detroit.

Biography

He was born on November 15, 1885, in the Leesburg section of Maurice River Township, New Jersey. He played in the outfield for the Detroit Tigers on May 18, 1912.

Leesburg, New Jersey Unincorporated community in New Jersey, United States

Leesburg is an unincorporated community located within Maurice River Township in Cumberland County, New Jersey, United States. The area is served as United States Postal Service ZIP code 08327.

Maurice River Township, New Jersey Township in New Jersey

Maurice River Township is a township in Cumberland County, New Jersey, United States. It is part of the Vineland-Millville- Bridgeton Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area for statistical purposes. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 7,976, reflecting an increase of 1,048 (+15.1%) from the 6,928 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 280 (+4.2%) from the 6,648 counted in the 1990 Census.

Three days earlier, Tigers' star Ty Cobb was taunted with racial slurs in New York by a fan named Claude Lueker. Cobb lost his cool, went into the stands, and attacked the heckler. The heckler was handicapped, having lost one complete hand and three fingers from the other hand in an industrial accident, and unable to defend himself. When fans yelled at Cobb that the man had no hands, Cobb shouted back, "I don't care if he has no feet!" American League president Ban Johnson responded by suspending Cobb indefinitely.

Ty Cobb American baseball player

Tyrus Raymond Cobb, nicknamed The Georgia Peach, was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) outfielder. He was born in rural Narrows, Georgia. Cobb spent 22 seasons with the Detroit Tigers, the last six as the team's player-manager, and finished his career with the Philadelphia Athletics. In 1936 Cobb received the most votes of any player on the inaugural Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, receiving 222 out of a possible 226 votes (98.2%); no other player received a higher percentage of votes until Tom Seaver in 1992. In 1999, editors at the Sporting News ranked Ty Cobb third on their list of "Baseball's 100 Greatest Players".

Ban Johnson President of the American League

Byron Bancroft "Ban" Johnson was an American executive in professional baseball who served as the founder and first president of the American League (AL).

Cobb's teammates voted to strike in response to Cobb's suspension, declaring that they would not take the field again until Cobb was reinstated. Ban Johnson refused to back down and told Tigers owner Frank Navin that the team would be fined $5,000 for every game in which they failed to field a team.

Frank Navin American baseball executive

Francis Joseph Navin was the principal owner of the Detroit Tigers in Major League Baseball for 27 years, from 1908 to 1935. He also served as vice president and acting president of the American League.

Navin ordered manager Hughie Jennings to find players willing to take the field. The Tigers were on the road in Philadelphia, and so Jennings recruited eight "Tigers" from a neighborhood in North Philadelphia. Each man was paid $25. A 26-year-old "Hap" Ward was one of the local "sandlotters" who ended playing for the Tigers in one of the worst defeats in major league history.

Hughie Jennings Major League Baseball player and manager

Hugh Ambrose Jennings was an American professional baseball player, coach and manager from 1891 to 1925. Jennings was a leader, both as a batter and as a shortstop, with the Baltimore Orioles teams that won National League championships in 1894, 1895, and 1896. During those three seasons, Jennings had 355 runs batted in and hit .335, .386, and .401. Jennings was a fiery, hard-nosed player who was not afraid to be hit by a pitch to get on base. In 1896, he was hit by pitches 51 times – a major league record that has never been broken. Jennings also holds the career record for being hit by pitches with 287, with Craig Biggio holding the modern-day career record of 285. Jennings also played on the Brooklyn Superbas teams that won National League pennants in 1899 and 1900. From 1907 to 1920, Jennings was the manager of the Detroit Tigers, where he was known for his colorful antics, hoots, whistles, and his famous shouts of "Ee-Yah" from the third base coaching box. Jennings suffered a nervous breakdown in 1925 that forced him to leave Major League Baseball. He died in 1928 and was posthumously inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945.

"Hap" Ward played in the outfield for the replacement Tigers. He went hitless in two at bats but played flawlessly in the outfield with two putouts and no errors. In front of 20,000 Philadelphia fans, the Athletics set a club scoring record in trouncing the replacement Tigers by a score of 24–2. The Tigers' starting pitcher, Allan Travers was a college student who later confessed he had never pitched a game in his life. Travers later became a Catholic priest.

Aloysius Joseph "Allan" Travers, aka Rev. Aloysius Stanislaus Travers was a Major League Baseball pitcher who made a one-game appearance during the 1912 strike of the Detroit Tigers. He is the only Catholic priest to have played major league baseball.

After the embarrassing display, Ban Johnson met personally with the striking Tigers and told them they would be banned for life if the strike continued. Ty Cobb urged his teammates to end the strike, and the Tigers complied. Accordingly, the major league career of "Hap" Ward and the other replacement Tigers was cut short at one game.

By playing in this game, Ward became a small piece of baseball history with his name and "career" statistics recorded forever in the records of Major League Baseball along with Ty Cobb and other legends of the game.

Hap Ward died at age 93 in 1979 in Elmer, New Jersey.

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