George Rooks

  • Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Chicago
  • Team: Maroons
  • League: Western Association

George Brinton McClellan Rooks (nee Ruckser) (1863-1935) had a vanishingly brief stint in the National League, seeing action in five games in left field for the Boston Beaneaters in May of 1891. He had a grand total of 20 plate appearances with 16 official at bats. He had twice as many walks as hits and ended his tour in the majors with a .125 average. He did score a run, allowing him to approach home plate from an alternate direction. This sketch doesn’t do justice to a much longer professional experience for the young Chicagoan who had debuted with the Lincoln Tree Planters of the Western League in 1886 before moving on to the Northwestern League’s Oshkosh franchise to finish the season. George remained in the league the following year with the LaCrosse Freezers where he was a regular. He hit .333, higher than any teammate with as many at bats. He showed both power and speed with four home runs and 70 stolen bases. Rooks got a cup of coffee in ’88 with his hometown Maroons but got into only eight games before being shipped out to the Lima Lushers of the Tri-State League. 1889 would be the second and last time George played an entire season for one team, this time with the Detroit Wolverines of the International League. He was one of four to play 112 games and he produced a fine .303 average, second on the club among regulars.

  • Following his sojourn in Boston, Rooks finished out his minor league career primarily close to home with clubs in Wisconsin and Michigan, including the intriguing bi-city squad from Ishpeming-Negaunee in 1892
  • George strayed south for his swan song in ’93 with Vicksburg of the Mississippi State League
  • Although Baseball Reference data list George as right-handed, the Old Judge poses when he was with the Maroons depict a lefty both at bat and throwing

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