Patsy Tebeau

First Base
  • Card series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Cleveland
  • Team: Spiders
  • League: National League

Oliver Wendell Tebeau (1864-1918) played first and third-base for five ML teams from 1887-1900. He was player-manager for three of those clubs 11 of his 13 seasons, squaring off with his arch-rival John McGraw and his Orioles. Tebeau led Cleveland during the rough-and-tumble era closing the 19th century. His obituary said he belonged to “the blood and iron brigade of baseball.” It was said that when the Spiders and Orioles met, “wild war raged up and down the field.” The august founding father of the game, Henry Chadwick, wrote in 1896 that Tebeau “degraded the game more than any player of the previous quarter century.” But the Cleveland fans loved Patsy and the League’s attempts to silence him soon faded.

  • After retiring from the diamond, Tebeau ran a successful saloon in St. Louis
  • Patsy couldn’t endure his wife’s decision to leave him and take the kids back to Cleveland. After his death at his own hand the local paper headlined: “Patsy Tebeau Acts as His Own Umpire”

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