Napoleon "Larry" Lajoie, almost always called "Nap". Baseball player. Played second base. Born September 5, 1874, died February 7, 1959. Height, 6'1", Weight, 195 lbs.

Debuted with the National League Philadelphia Phillies in the 1896 season. In 1901 he joined the American League Athletics when they too were in Philadelphia. In 1902 he joined the Cleveland Indians, then went back to the A's, only to join the Cleveland Indians in 1903. He played his last 2 seasons, 1915 and 1916, again with the Philadelphia Athletics.

The reason for his joining the Indians the first time is that, miffed that he joined the Connie Mack's Athletics, the Phillies got a court order preventing him from playing in Philadelphia. So American League president Ban Johnson put him over with Cleveland.

Nap was the popular favorite in the 1910 race for the batting title, which Ty Cobb ended up winning with a .383 over Nap's .384! Cobb's average at the time was thought to be .385, but this was due only to one of Cobb's games being counted twice. Nevertheless, in 1981 baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn decided not to retroactively correct the error- though most baseball references now list the correct averages.

He managed the Cleveland Indians from 1905 to 1909, during which time they were often called the Naps. He quit that because he felt it was hurting him as a player, and the stats bear that out. His career managerial winning percentage was .550, and here's the breakdown by season:

Managerial Winning Percentages
1905 .496
1906 .582
1907 .559
1908 .584
1909 .500

In 1937, he became the 6th player elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Why? Well, finished his career with 3,251 hits, and check out his seasonal batting averages. Note that in 1901, he became one of the very few players to ever break .400 for the season- and he also won the Triple Crown that season! Nap was also one of the best defensive players of his time.

Seasonal Batting Averages
1896 .326
1897 .361
1898 .324
1899 .378
1900 .337
1901 .426
1902 .378
1903 .344
1904 .376
1905 .329
1906 .355
1907 .299
1908 .289
1909 .324
1910 .384
1911 .365
1912 .368
1913 .335
1914 .258
1915 .280
1916 .246

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