4. Ginger Beaumont (1899-1906)
Ginger Beaumont has several claims to fame even now, over a century after his career ended. Beaumont was the first even batter in the World Series, hitting leadoff for the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game One of the 1903 Fall Classic. He was also known for his incredibly heavy bat, weighing an astonishing 55 ounces. Just imagine someone using that bat now.
Somehow, Beaumont was quite adept with that heavy a piece of lumber in the batter’s box. He led the National League in hits from 1902 through 1904, and his .357 batting average led the league in 1902. Overall for the Pirates, Beaumont produced a .321/.369/.404 batting line, stealing 200 bases and hitting 127 doubles. Considering that Beaumont was essentially swinging a fence post, those numbers are fairly impressive.
On defense, Beaumont was about league average, not doing anything particularly well with the glove, but not embarrassing himself in center either. He did, however, lead National League outfielders with eight double plays in 1902, further solidifying the idea that Beaumont would have received heavy consideration for the MVP award, had it existed back then.
A solid leadoff hitter, Ginger Beaumont was more than the answer to a sports trivia question. He was a vital part of the turn of the century Pittsburgh Pirates teams.
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