|Name:||George Thomas Stovall||Position:||First Base/Manager|
|Best Season (1911)||126||458||48||124||17||7||0||79||155||21||11||.306||.338||.271||.644||.068|
In 1904 George Stovall joined the Cleveland Blues and became the teams first long-term first baseman. Unlike the majority first baggers to follow him, Stovall was a defense first player, recording a career .986 fielding percent at first base. He lead the league in fielding percent in 1910 and 1911 and ranked at least third from 1907 on. He also ranked first in assists from first base every year from 1909 through 1911.
Offensively, Stovall was subpar compared to both the players of his age (like Napoleon Lajoie and Elmer Flick) and the first basemen of the future, but he still contributed to the team for a lengthy career. During his eight years in Cleveland his most impressive stat was his 110 stolen bases. While caught stealing numbers are unavailable from that time period, the total steals still rank among the top 20 in Indians history. Despite little power, he still had over 200 extra base hits and knocked in and scored more than 375 runs. To this day he remains ranked in the top ten Indians first basemen.
At the end of his playing career his leadership ability was recognized and he became player/manager before being traded to the St. Louis Browns in 1912 for Lefty George. He continued managing every team he played for during his last four seasons with the Browns and Kansas City Packers (Federal League). As a Cleveland manager he ranks tenth all time among managers with at least 100 games under their belt. Stovall retired in 1915 after 12 years of professional baseball. George Stovall died in 1951 at the age of 73.
I found out yesterday (8/6/2013) from the Association of Professional Ballplayers of America (APBP) that George Stovall was an important member of that humanitarian organization for 12 years during the time period that included the Great Economic Depression . He was First Vice President from 1926-1932 and was President fom 1933-1937. During that era the APBP organized games to benefit needy former ball players,
George Stovall was my great uncle. He married my grandmother's sister. He lived with my grandmother the last two years of his life, in Burlington, Iowa, where he had been sold from to Cleveland in 1904. I have been collecting his old tobacco cards and other items from his past. George was an humanitarian. George and Cy Young organized the benefit game for perfect game pitcher Addie Joss's family after Addie died, and raised nearly $13,000, in 1911. My dad had a picture of all the players in that game but the picture hung in the musty basement and deteriorated. George was President of the Professional Ballplayers of America in the 1930"s and organized benefit games for former players in financial need. After George died, my brother and I were given baseballs signed by Ty Cobb and other major stars but took them out and played with them.