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Doc Crandall Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: October 8, 1887 in Wadena, Indiana
Died: August 17, 1951 in Bell, California
Player Career
Bat: Right Throw: Right Height: 5' 10.5" Weight: 180
First Game: April 24, 1908; Final Game: August 31, 1918
Biography | show moreshow less
Doc Crandall This article was written by R. J. Lesch and is presented in part, courtesy of the Society for American Baseball Research Doc Crandall is generally regarded as the premier relief specialist of the Deadball Era. Though he never led the National League in saves, he did lead the league in relief appearances each year from 1909 to 1913, and from 1910 to 1912 he led the NL each year in relief victories, compiling an overall record of 45-16. "Crandall is the Giants' ambulance corps," wrote Damon Runyon after the 1911 campaign. "He is first aid to the injured. He is the physician of the pitching emergency, and they sometimes call him old Doctor Crandall. He is without an equal as an extinguisher of batting rallies and run riots, or as a pinch hitter." In the latter role the .285 lifetime hitter never really excelled, batting just .229 in 96 pinch at-bats over the course of his 10 seasons, but one reporter nevertheless proclaimed him "the only pinch-hitting pitcher ever developed in the Big Leagues."James Otis Crandall was born on October 8, 1887, in Wadena, Indiana, a town with fewer than 60 inhabitants but a long baseball history. Three Wadena residents, the Rowley brothers (Warren, Frank, and Tom), organized the town's first club in the late 1860s or early 1870s and later played organized baseball with George and Harry Wright. Two generations later, four more Wadenans went on to play organized baseball. One of them, Fred "Cy" Williams, is featured on pages __-__. The other three, fittingly, were brothers: Otis, Karl, and Arnold Crandall. Their father, Mark, had been part of the second generation of Wadena ballplayers in his youth, and later owned a farm and co-owned the Crandall Mead & Co. general store, which sponsored the town baseball team. Once the chores were done on the farm and at the store, he had no qualms about his sons taking off for an open pasture to play ball with friends. The same went for young Williams, who also worked in the store as a clerk."Ote" (as his brothers called him) made the jump from the town team to semipro ball before turning 15, pitching for the Brook club in 1902. The next year he tried out for the club in Fowler, the county seat, but caught on with a team from Frankfort, Indiana, when Fowler passed on him. In 1906 Crandall reached Cedar Rapids of the Three-I League, where he caught the attention of John J. McGraw, manager of the New York Giants. In My Thirty Years in Baseball, McGraw wrote that in reviewing the list of players available for the 1907 draft, he noticed a Crandall playing for Cedar Rapids. The Giants manager knew nothing about the player, but he had been the Cedar Rapids shortstop early in his own professional career, felt warmly toward the club there, and decided to take Crandall on that basis alone.

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