Tris Speaker (1928)
Like Ty Cobb before him, Tris Speaker was considered one of the great centerfielders of his time. And, like Cobb, his career ended in Philadelphia.
Before the days of Babe Ruth, the great debate in the American League was whether or not Cobb or Speaker were the best player in the game. Speaker’s Hall of Fame plaque refers to him as the “greatest center fielder of his day,” but that was in reference to his fielding. While Speaker holds the career record with 792 doubles, Cobb was better with the bat and on the bases.
Cobb and Speaker were both brought together in a cheating scandal, where they were accused of conspiring to throw a game. However, due to relatively flimsy evidence and the refusal of the accuser to testify, those allegations were dismissed. Nonetheless, Speaker’s time in Cleveland was over, as he headed to the Senators for 1927.
At the end of that season, Speaker joined Cobb in Philadelphia. He actually set a record as a member of the A’s franchise – his 14 consecutive games with an RBI set an American League record. However, he had just two more RBI after that streak, ending the year with a .267/.310/.450 batting line, hitting 22 doubles and driving in 30 runs.
Tris Speaker was not the player he had been during his time with the A’s, but he still set a record. Not bad for just 60 games with the franchise.