Edd Roush

  • Card series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: Indianapolis
  • Team: Hoosiers (FL)
  • League: Federal League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Edd J. Roush (1893-1988) was an Indiana farm boy who knew his own mind. He built a Hall of Fame career on doing things his way. Spring training? Not for Edd, he stayed in shape. Use a bat heavier than any other player? Why not? His farm-bred arm strength allowed him to hit the ball wherever he chose with the weight of the bat doing most of the work. Stand still in the box awaiting the pitch? Not for Edd. He’d move his feet after the ball left the pitcher’s hand, positioning himself according to his read. Endure management’s miserly ways? No, Edd would hold out every year for a fairer contract. He’d skip to pirate leagues (the Federals) if necessary to find a better salary, something he had done as a school-boy player in Hoosier country and continued throughout his long and storied major league tenure. It took a few years in the bigs and a curious impatience by renowned manager John McGraw to get Edd to Cincinnati and the stage on which he would set records. Twice he edged out Rogers Hornsby for batting titles. He led the Reds to the Series championship in 1919, only to have that accomplishment tarnished by scandal. There is little doubt he was right in asserting that his club was better than Chicago’s and really won it fair and square. During his twelve years with the Reds, Roush’s batting average was .331. He never struck out more than 25 times in a season. He was fast on the bases and a terror in center, regarded as perhaps the premier defender of the Dead Ball era with Tris Speaker the competition.

  • McGraw sent young Edd from the Giants to Cincy in 1916 along with two other future Hall-of-Famers: Bill McKechnie and Christy Mathewson. Matty was tickled to get a manager position and Edd and Bill were thrilled to get out from under the tough taskmaster McGraw
  • When Edd threw out the ball at the last game played at Crosley Field, Joe Morgan said Roush was “the best of us all.”
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1962

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