|First baseman / Manager|
|Born:April 23, 1900|
|Died: December 11, 1959 59) (aged|
St. Louis, Missouri
|August 18, 1922, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 16, 1937, for the St. Louis Browns|
|Runs batted in||1,422|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the National|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Election Method||Veterans Committee|
James Leroy Bottomley (April 23, 1900 – December 11, 1959) was an American professional baseball player. A first baseman, Bottomley played in Major League Baseball from 1922 through 1937 for the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, and St. Louis Browns. He also served as player-manager for the Browns in 1937. Playing for the Cardinals against Brooklyn at Ebbets Field on September 16, 1924, Bottomley set the all-time single game RBI record with 12.
Born in Oglesby, Illinois, Bottomley grew up in Nokomis, Illinois. He dropped out of high school at the age of 16 to raise money for his family. While he was playing semi-professional baseball, the Cardinals scouted and signed Bottomley. He won the League Award, given to the most valuable player, in 1928, and was a part of World Series championship teams in 1926 and 1931. Bottomley played for the Cardinals through the 1932 season, after which he was traded to the Reds. After playing for Cincinnati for three years, he played two more seasons with the Browns.
After finishing his playing career with the Browns, Bottomley joined the Chicago Cubs organization as a scout and minor league baseball manager. After suffering a heart attack, Bottomley and his wife retired to raise cattle in Missouri. Bottomley was nicknamed "Sunny Jim" because of his cheerful disposition. Bottomley was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974 by the Veterans Committee and to the Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2014.
Bottomley was born on April 23, 1900,to Elizabeth (née Carter) and John Bottomley in Oglesby, Illinois. His family later moved to Nokomis, Illinois, where Bottomley enrolled in grade school and Nokomis High School. He dropped out when he was 16 years old in order to help support his family financially. Bottomley worked as a coal miner, truck driver, grocery clerk, and railroad clerk. His younger brother, Ralph, died in a mining accident in 1920.
Bottomley also played semi-professional baseball for several local teams to make additional money, earning $5 a game ($86 in current dollar terms). A police officer who knew Branch Rickey, the general manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, saw Bottomley play, and recommended Bottomley to Rickey.
Rickey dispatched scout Charley Barrett to investigate Bottomley. The Cardinals decided to invite Bottomley to a tryout in late 1919, and signed him to a $150-a-month ($2,239 in current dollar terms) contract. Bottomley began his professional career in minor league baseball in 1920. That year, Bottomley played for the Mitchell Kernels of the Class-D South Dakota League, posting a .312 batting average in 97 games, as Barrett continued to scout him. He also played six games for the Sioux City Packers of the Class-A Western League. During his time in the minor leagues, the media began to call Bottomley "Sunny Jim", due to his pleasant disposition.
The next season, Bottomley played for the Houston Buffaloes of the Class-A Texas League. 17,411 in current dollar terms), Rickey sold Bottomley to the Syracuse Chiefs of the Class-AA International League for $1,000 ($14,509 in current dollar terms). Fully recovered from his leg injury in 1922, Bottomley batted .348 with 14 home runs, 15 triples, and a .567 slugging percentage for the Chiefs. After the season, the Cardinals purchased Bottomley from the Chiefs for $15,000 ($231,918 in current dollar terms).Bottomley suffered a leg injury early in the season which became infected, and impeded his performance during the season. Bottomley managed only a .227 batting average in 130 games and struggled with his fielding. Unable to sell Bottomley to Houston for $1,200 after the season ($
Bottomley made his Major League Baseball debut for the St. Louis Cardinals on August 18, 1922. Replacing Jack Fournier, Bottomley batted .325 in 37 games. The Cardinals named Bottomley their starting first baseman in 1923. As a rookie, Bottomley batted .371, finishing second in the National League (NL) behind teammate Rogers Hornsby, who batted .384. His .425 on-base percentage also finished second in the NL behind Hornsby, while he finished sixth in slugging percentage, with a .535 mark. His 94 runs batted in (RBIs) were tenth-best in the league.
Bottomley posted a .316 batting average in 1924.In a game against the Brooklyn Dodgers on September 16, 1924, Bottomley set the major league record for RBIs in a single game, with 12, breaking Wilbert Robinson's record of 11, set in 1892. Robinson was serving as the manager of the Dodgers at the time. (Bottomley had two home runs, a double and three singles as he went 6-for-6 at the plate.) This mark has since been tied by Mark Whiten in 1993. Finishing the season with 111 RBIs, placing third in the NL, Bottomley's 14 home runs were seventh-best in the NL, while his .500 slugging percentage was good for tenth. On August 29, Bottomley became the last left-handed player to record an assist while playing second base.
Bottomley hit .367 in 1925, finishing second in the NL to Hornsby. He led the NL with 227 hits, while his 128 RBIs were third-best, and his .413 on-base percentage was seventh-best in the league.Bottomley batted .298 during the 1926 season, with an NL-leading 120 RBIs. His 19 home runs placed second in the NL, behind Hack Wilson's 21, while his .506 slugging percentage was sixth-best. He batted .345 in the 1926 World Series, as the Cardinals defeated the New York Yankees.
In 1927, Bottomley finished the season with 124 RBIs, fourth best in the league, and a .509 slugging percentage, finishing sixth in the NL.Bottomley hit .325 with 31 home runs and 136 RBIs in 1928, leading the league in home runs and RBIs. He also became the second Major League player in history to join the 20–20–20 club. That year, he won the League Award, given to the most valuable player of the NL. The Cardinals reached the 1928 World Series, and Bottomley batted .214 as they lost to the New York Yankees.
In 1929, Bottomley hit 29 home runs, finishing seventh in the NL, while his 137 RBIs were fifth-best, and his .568 slugging percentage placed him in eighth.After having what manager Gabby Street considered a "poor year" in 1930, Bottomley struggled in the 1930 World Series, batting .045 in 22 at-bats, as the Cardinals lost to the Philadelphia Athletics. Following the series, Bottomley described his World Series performance as "a bust as far as hitting goes".
Amid questions about Bottomley's status with the Cardinals heading into the 1931 season, he demonstrated renewed hitting ability during spring training.Despite the presence of Ripper Collins, a superior fielder who transferred to the Cardinals from the Rochester Red Wings of the International League, Street announced that Bottomley would remain the starting first baseman. However, Bottomley suffered an injury and struggled early in the 1931 season after returning to the game, and it appeared that he might lose his job to Collins, who filled in for Bottomley during his injury. Bottomley returned to form after his return, and he finished the season with a .3482 batting average, placing third behind teammate Chick Hafey's .3489 and Bill Terry's .3486, the closest batting average finish in MLB history. His .534 slugging percentage was the sixth best in the league. The Cardinals reached the 1931 World Series, with Bottomley batting .160, as the Cardinals defeated the Athletics. That offseason, other teams began to attempt to trade for either Bottomley or Collins. Bottomley batted .296 in 1932, though he only played in 91 games.
After the 1932 season, the Cardinals traded Bottomley to the Cincinnati Reds for Ownie Carroll and Estel Crabtree, in an attempt to partner Bottomley with Chick Hafey in developing a more potent offensive attack. Bottomley had also sought Cincinnati's managerial position that offseason, which instead went to Donie Bush.
Bottomley threatened to quit baseball in a salary dispute with the Reds, as he attempted to negotiate a raise from his $8,000 salary ($159,938 in current dollar terms), a reduction from the $13,000 salary ($246,588 in current dollar terms) he earned with the Cardinals the previous year. He and the Reds eventually came to terms on a one-year contract believed to be worth between $10,000 and $13,000. Bottomley finished eighth in the NL with 83 RBIs in 1933, and ninth with 13 home runs. In three seasons with the Reds, Bottomley failed to hit higher than .283 or record more than 83 RBIs in a season. Bottomley left the Reds during spring training in 1935 due to a salary dispute, deciding to return to the team in April.
Before the 1936 season, the Reds traded Bottomley to the St. Louis Browns of the American League (AL), who were managed by Hornsby, for Johnny Burnett.During a July road trip, Bottomley announced his retirement as a result of an injured back; however, he changed his mind and decided to remain with the team. Bottomley batted .298 for the 1936 season.
Bottomley decided to return to baseball in 1937. 9+1⁄2 games, and were 56 games out of first place. As a player, Bottomley batted .239 in 65 games during the 1937 season. Bottomley was among the ten oldest players in the AL that year.When the Browns struggled during the 1937 season, beginning the season with a 25–52 win-loss record, the Browns fired Hornsby and named Bottomley their player-manager. Bottomley led the Browns to 21 more victories, as the team finished the season in eighth place, with a 46–108 record. The Browns trailed the seventh place Athletics by
The Browns did not retain Bottomley after the 1937 season,replacing him with Street, who served as his first assistant during the 1937 season. In 1938, Bottomley served as the player-manager of Syracuse. After a bad start to the season, and with team president Jack Corbett not adding capable players, Bottomley resigned and was replaced with Dick Porter. Bottomley also indicated that he did not want to continue playing.
In 1,991 games over 16 seasons, Bottomley posted a .310 batting average (2,313-for-7,471) with 1,177 runs, 465 doubles, 151 triples, 219 home runs, 1,422 RBI, 58 stolen bases, 664 bases on balls, .369 on-base percentage and .500 slugging percentage. Defensively, he recorded a .988 fielding percentage as a first baseman. In 24 World Series games over four Series, he batted just .200 (18-for-90) with one home run and 10 RBI.
|Games||Won||Lost||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|SLB||1937||77||21||56||.273||8th in AL||–||–||–||–|
Bottomley married Elizabeth "Betty" Browner, who operated a St. Louis beauty parlor, on February 4, 1933.The couple had no children. After he retired from baseball in 1938, Bottomley and his wife moved to the Bourbon, Missouri, area, where he raised Hereford cattle. In 1939, Bottomley became a radio broadcaster, signing a deal with KWK, an AM broadcasting station, to broadcast Cardinals and Browns games.
Bottomley returned to baseball as a scout for the Cardinals in 1955.In 1957, he joined the Chicago Cubs as a scout and managed the Pulaski Cubs of the Class D Appalachian League. While managing in Pulaski, Bottomley suffered a heart attack. The Bottomleys moved to nearby Sullivan, Missouri. Bottomley died of a heart ailment in December 1959. He and his wife Betty were interred in the International Order of Odd Fellows Cemetery, Sullivan, Missouri.
Bottomley holds the single-season record for most unassisted double plays by a first baseman, with eight. Bottomley is also known as the only man to be sued for hitting a home run when a fan was hit by the ball when he was not looking. He had over 100 RBIs in each season from 1924 to 1929. Bottomley was the second player in baseball history to hit 20 or more doubles, triples, and home runs in one season (Frank Schulte being the first)and the first of two players (Lou Gehrig being the other) to collect 150 or more doubles, triples, and home runs in a career.
Bottomley was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame posthumously in 1974 by the Veterans Committee. The Baseball Writers' Association of America charged that the Veterans Committee was not selective enough in choosing members.Charges of cronyism were levied against the Veterans Committee. When Bottomley was elected, the Veterans Committee included Frankie Frisch, a teammate of Bottomley's with the Cardinals. Frisch and Bill Terry, also a member of the Veterans Committee at the time, shepherded the selections of teammates Jesse Haines in 1970, Dave Bancroft and Chick Hafey in 1971, Ross Youngs in 1972, George Kelly in 1973, and Freddie Lindstrom in 1976. This led to the Veterans Committee having its powers reduced in subsequent years.
In 2014, the Cardinals announced Bottomley was among 22 former players and personnel to be inducted into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum for its inaugural class of 2014.
The city park in his adopted home town of Sullivan, Missouri is named for Bottomley.Also the park in his birthplace Oglesby, Illinois. A museum in Nokomis, Illinois, the Bottomley-Ruffing-Schalk Baseball Museum, is dedicated to Bottomley and fellow Hall of Famers Ray Schalk and Red Ruffing, who were also Nokomis residents.
Mark David McGwire, nicknamed Big Mac, is an American former professional baseball first baseman. His Major League Baseball (MLB) playing career spanned from 1986 to 2001 while playing for the Oakland Athletics and the St. Louis Cardinals, winning one World Series championship each, with Oakland as a player in 1989 and with St. Louis as a coach in 2011. One of the most prolific home run hitters in baseball history, McGwire holds the major league career record for at bats per home run ratio (10.6), and is the former record holder for both home runs in a single season and home runs hit by a rookie.
Rogers Hornsby Sr., nicknamed "The Rajah", was an American baseball infielder, manager, and coach who played 23 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). He played for the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Giants (1927), Boston Braves (1928), Chicago Cubs (1929–1932), and St. Louis Browns (1933–1937). He was named the National League (NL)'s Most Valuable Player (MVP) twice, and was a member of one World Series championship team.
José Alberto Pujols Alcántara is a Dominican-American professional baseball first baseman and designated hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He played in MLB for the St. Louis Cardinals for 11 seasons and the Los Angeles Angels for 10 seasons. With the Cardinals, Pujols was a three-time National League (NL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) and nine-time All-Star. After joining the Angels in 2012, he made one All-Star appearance, in 2015. A right-handed batter and thrower, Pujols stands 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) tall and weighs 235 pounds (107 kg).
Scott Bruce Rolen is an American former professional baseball third baseman. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays and Cincinnati Reds. He was an eight-time Gold Glove winner, seven-time All-Star and the 1997 National League Rookie of the Year. In 2006, Rolen won a World Series Championship as a member of the Cardinals.
Kenton Lloyd "Ken" Boyer was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) third baseman, coach and manager who played on the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, and Los Angeles Dodgers for 15 seasons, 1955 through 1969.
Yadier Benjamín Molina, nicknamed "Yadi", is a Puerto Rican professional baseball catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball (MLB), with whom he has played his entire 18-year MLB career. Widely considered one of the greatest defensive catchers of all time, Molina has won nine Rawlings Gold Gloves and six Fielding Bible Awards. A two-time World Series champion, he has played for the Cardinals in eleven playoff appearances and four National League pennant winners. Molina has also played for the Puerto Rican national team in four World Baseball Classic (WBC) tournaments, winning two silver medals.
Ted Lyle Simmons is an American former professional baseball player and coach. A switch-hitter, Simmons was a catcher for most of his Major League Baseball (MLB) career with the St. Louis Cardinals (1968–1980), the Milwaukee Brewers (1981–1985) and the Atlanta Braves (1986–1988). Although he was often overshadowed by his contemporary, Johnny Bench, Simmons is considered one of the best hitting catchers in MLB history. While he did not possess Bench's power hitting ability, he hit for a higher batting average.
Jhonny Antonio Peralta is a Dominican former professional baseball shortstop and third baseman who played 15 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). The Cleveland Indians signed him as an amateur free agent in his native Dominican Republic in 1999, and he made his major league debut for the Indians on June 12, 2003. He subsequently played for the Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals. A solid hitter with power, Peralta has rated average defensively. He throws and bats right-handed, stands 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m), and weighs 225 pounds (102 kg).
Matthew Thomas Holliday is an American former professional left fielder. He is the outfielding and hitting coach at Oklahoma State University. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Colorado Rockies, Oakland Athletics, St. Louis Cardinals, and New York Yankees. A World Series champion in 2011 with the Cardinals, Holliday, through prodigious hitting contributions, has played a key role in seven postseasons, including the Rockies' first-ever World Series appearance in 2007 and Cardinals' playoff success in the 2010s. His distinctions include a National League (NL) batting championship, the 2007 NL Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award, seven All-Star selections, and four Silver Slugger Awards. Other career accomplishments include 300 home runs, more than 2,000 hits, 100 stolen bases, and batting over .300 eight times.
Joseph Daniel Votto is a Canadian professional baseball first baseman for the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut with the Reds in 2007. He is the first Canadian MLB player since Larry Walker to hit 300 home runs.
Mark Andrew Reynolds is an American former professional baseball infielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Washington Nationals, and two stints with the Colorado Rockies. A right-hander both when batting and throwing, Reynolds was known for his frequent and long home runs, high strikeout totals, and defensive versatility, having been primarily a third baseman before transitioning to first base while playing for the Orioles.
The 1926 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 45th season in St. Louis, Missouri and their 35th in the National League. The Cardinals went 89–65 during the season and finished first in the National League, winning their first National League pennant. In the World Series, they defeated the New York Yankees in 7 games, ending it by throwing out Babe Ruth at second base in the ninth-inning of Game 7 to preserve a 3–2 victory. This was Rogers Hornsby's only full season as manager for the team.
Lester Rowland Bell was an American professional baseball player, a third baseman who appeared in 896 games played in the Major Leagues from 1923 to 1931 for the St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Braves and Chicago Cubs. A native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, he threw and batted right-handed, stood 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m) tall and weighed 165 pounds (75 kg).
The 1936 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fifth in the National League with a record of 74–80, 18 games behind the New York Giants.
The 1933 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished eighth and last in the National League with a record of 58–94, 33 games behind the New York Giants.
The 1941 Brooklyn Dodgers, led by manager Leo Durocher, won their first pennant in 21 years, edging the St. Louis Cardinals by 2.5 games. They went on to lose to the New York Yankees in the World Series.
David Richard Freese is an American former professional baseball corner infielder in Major League Baseball (MLB). He began his MLB career with the St. Louis Cardinals, where he was a key player during the 2011 postseason, batting .545 with 12 hits in the 2011 National League Championship Series (NLCS). He also set an MLB postseason record of 21 runs batted in (RBIs), earning the NLCS MVP Award and World Series MVP Award. In addition, Freese won the Babe Ruth Award, naming him the MVP of the 2011 MLB postseason. He also played for the Los Angeles Angels, Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Allen Thomas Craig is an American former professional baseball first baseman and outfielder, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox. The Cardinals drafted Craig from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2006, and he made his Major League debut with the Cardinals in 2010.
Stephen Edward Piscotty is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the St. Louis Cardinals. He played college baseball for Stanford and was the St. Louis Cardinals' first-round selection in the 2012 Major League Baseball draft. He made his major league debut on July 21, 2015, and was the Cardinals' organization Player of the Year that season. The Cardinals traded him to the Athletics after the 2017 season.
Patrick Ian Wisdom is an American professional baseball third baseman and first baseman for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played in MLB for the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers.
| Hitting for the cycle |
July 15, 1927