- OF, SS, 2B, 3B
- March 24, 1872
- 5' 7"
- 190 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 4-24-1894 with WSN
Short but sturdy (5'7", 190 lbs), Selbach was a regular outfielder with speed and a good eye at the plate. He stole 334 bases and, with Washington in 1895, led the NL in triples. He secured Boston's 1904 pennant (their second in a row) when, in the next-to-last game of the season in New York, he raced in from left field to make a knee-high catch of Kid Elberfeld's hard liner, ending the game. From 1894 through 1906, he played for the Washington Senators (NL), Cincinnati Reds, New York Giants, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Senators (AL) and Boston Ameiricans (1904–1906). Selbach batted and threw right-handed. He was born in Columbus, Ohio.
A strong defensive player and good contact hitter, Selbach made his debut with the Washington Senators of the National League in 1894. He hit over .300 during his first five major league seasons, with a high .322 in 1895, and in 1896 posted career-highs with 115 runs, 100 RBI, 49 stolen bases and 22 triples (a NL lead). Then, in 1897, he scored 113 runs with 25 doubles, 16 triples and 46 steals, while batting .313.
Selbach was sold by Washington to the Cincinnati Reds before the 1899 season. After hit .296 for his new team, he was sold to the New York Giants at the end of the season. With the Giants, Selbach posted career-highs with a .337 average and 176 hits in 1900, while scoring 98 runs with 36 steals.
In 1902 Selbach moved to the new American League, playing for the first Baltimore Orioles team, the new Washington Senators, and the Boston Red Sox. He enjoyed a productive season in first AL year, hitting .320 with the Orioles. After that, he played part of two seasons with Washington and ended his major league career with Boston in 1906.
In a 13-season career, Selbach was a .293 hitter with 44 home runs and 779 RBI in 1610 games played. He added 1064 runs, 1803 hits, 299 doubles, 149 triples and 334 stolen bases.
Selbach died in Columbus, Ohio, at the age of 83.
- May 20, 1897: Collected five stolen bases against the Chicago Colts to lead Washington to a 16–14 victory.
- June 9, 1901: Went 6-for-7 to help the Giants win 15–4 over Cincinnati.
- October 10, 1904: At Hilltop Park, secured a Boston Red Sox 3–2 victory against the New York Highlanders, helping his team win their second American League pennant in a row, when in the first game of a double header raced in from left field to make a knee-high catch of Kid Elberfeld's hard line drive, ending the game.
He is buried in Section 56, near the chapel in Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio.
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