Sportswriter Frank Graham
called Dave Bancroft "the greatest shortstop
the Giants ever had and one of the greatest that ever lived." Born on April 20, 1891 in Sioux City, IA
, Bancroft was always small
. He was only 5 feet 9 1/2 inches tall and he never weighed more than 160 pounds as a player. While in the minors, he earned his nickname from his habit of shouting "Beauty
!" on each good pitch to the opposition. He was quick
, and rose quickly to the minors, where he chalked up a .944 fielding percentage.
The energetic, competitive Bancroft helped the Giants win the 1921-1923 National League pennants and two World Series titles. His years with the Giants were his best. Although he batted over .300 twice while piloting the Braves from 1924 to 1927, he lacked talented players and could only manage four second place finishes. Later, he managed several minor league teams, including a team from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, and worked as a warehouse supervisor before retiring in 1956. He was elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971 by the Committee on Baseball Veterans. Dave Bancroft died on October 9, 1972, in Superior, WI.
The text on his plaque in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame
DAVID JAMES BANCROFT
"BEAUTY"Philadelphia N.L., New York N.L.,
Boston N.L., Brooklyn N.L.
Set major league
record for chances handled by a shortstop
in a season - 984 in 1922. Led league in putouts
for shortstops in 1918-1920-1921-1922. Hit .319 in 1921, .321 in 1922 and .304 in 1923 with New York Giants. Hit .319 in 1925 and .311 in 1926 with Boston.
of Braves, 1924-1927.
I transcribed the text of the plaque from a picture found at The Virtual Baseball Hall Of Fame Gallery.