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Jesse 'The Crab' Burkett Jesse 'The Crab' Burkett

Left-handed Outfielder, 1890-1905. Played for the New York Giants, 1890-91; Cleveland, 1891-1902; St. Louis Browns, 1902-05.

Jesse Burkett was noted by sports' writers in the late 1890's and early 1900's as the crabbiest player on the baseball diamond. He was always bitching, complaining; a real sourpuss. Even the umpires disliked Burkett and positioned themselves far away from him. If a call went against him, he crabbed nonstop for the rest of the game. The Giants signed Jesse in 1890 as a pitcher. He was 3-10 in pitching with an ERA over 5.00. Jesse was moved to the outfield where he hit .309 but his fielding was very poor. . Playing outfield in 1892 he hit .278 but his batting average soared to .348 in 1893. He made 46 errors! At that time the glove was made out of leather and designed to protect one's hand not to help catch the ball. All regular playing outfielders made at least 20 errors a year. In 1895, Jesse led the league with 225 hits and batted .409.

Burkett's best season was 1896, he got 240 hits, scored 160 runs and batted .401. He led the league three times in batting. His career batting average was .338; including 2,850 hits, while scoring 1,720 runs. This great hitter was a pioneer of baseball playing in the 1890's. The Hall of Famer was a great hitter and one of the best bunters. Baseball changed the bunting rule because of Burkett. When he started playing there was no third strike on a two strike foul. The rule was changed and it is now a strike out if a player bunts foul with two strikes. Jesse, was still a great hitter but his batting average did drop after the rule change. Baseball Historian

Jesse Burkett
Birthdate: 12/4/1868
Died: 5/27/1953
Height / Weight: 5' 8" / 155 lbs.
Place of Birth: Wheeling, WV, USA
Bats / Throws: L / L

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