Baseball player James Crandall, New York Giants pitcher, standing on the field at West Side Grounds prior to game vs Cubs 1908 Photo SUMMARY
Informal head and shoulders portrait of baseball player Doc Crandall of the National League's New York Giants baseball team, standing on the field at West Side Grounds, located between West Polk Street, South Wolcott Avenue (formerly Lincoln Street), West Taylor Street, and South Wood Street in the Near West Side community area of Chicago, Illinois. SDN-054361, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Sociey
One of the top athletes during the dead ball era James Crandall, using a then legal spitball, was one of the first relievers in major league baseball history. After his first season when he posted a 12-12 record for the New York Giants, the next year, 1909, he started being used more-and-more out of the bullpen. In 1910 Doc Crandall had a resounding 17-4 record, with a 2.56 ERA, and led the NL with seven relief wins.
James Crandall picked up his nickname of Doc from this era’s famous sports’ writer Damon Runyon, who wrote this: ‘Crandall is the Giants ambulance corps. He is the first to aid the injured. He is the physician of the pitching emergency. The doctor of ballgames. He is without an equal as an extinguisher of batting rallies and run riots. He is the greatest relief pitcher in baseball.’
A very solid hitter, he played in the infield on some days when he wasn’t pitching, and hit .285 in his career with 253 hits in 887 at bats. Doc Crandall pitched in 278 games, played second base in 70 games, shortstop 8 games, Of 4 games and one game at first base.
In 1912 Doc Crandall gathered a 13-7 pitching record. Traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in mid-1913 he pitched until the end of 1918 for various teams.