The Success and Tragedy of the Deadball Era’s Greatest First Baseman
The life story of Jake Daubert, who left the coal mines of Pennsylvania to become a two-time major league batting champion.
Jake Daubert could have followed the path of two of his brothers and died as a young coal miner. Instead he died as an active baseball player. Baseball provided an escape from the dangerous coal mines of Pennsylvania, but it couldn’t save him from an undiagnosed genetic condition that cut short his life as one of the best players of the Deadball Era. Jake died in 1924 after a 15-year career during which he had a lifetime .303 batting average, set a National League record for career sacrifices that still stands, won a most valuable player award, was a two-time batting champion, and won NL titles with Brooklyn and Cincinnati and a World Series championship with the Reds in 1919 over the infamous Chicago Black Sox.
After his wife convinced him to follow his baseball dream, Jake became baseball’s premier first baseman in an era that produced some of the all-time greats, including Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, and Zack Wheat, all Hall-of-Famers. Despite Jake’s stellar career, he didn’t join them in the Hall of Fame, perhaps because of his conflicts with team owners and his active union role as a defender of players’ rights.
Time has relegated Jake to baseball obscurity, but 100 years ago, he was a star known as much for his clean living, intelligence, and integrity as he was for his batting and defensive skills.
by Harry Deitz Jr.
Page Count: 279
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Publish Date: August 8, 2023
Imprint: Sunbury Press
Genre: Baseball Biography
SPORTS & RECREATION / Baseball / History
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Sports