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Harry Steinfeldt

Harry Steinfeldt

Position(s):
1B, 2B, 3B, OF, SS
Born:
September 29, 1877
Bats:
Right
Throws:
Right
Height:
5' 9"
Weight:
180 lbs
Major League Debut:
4-22-1898 with CIN

Biographical Information

Harry Steinfeldt was the unofficial MVP of perhaps the greatest team in history, the 1906 Chicago Cubs who won 116 games and lost only 36. He led the league in RBI that year.

Harry Steinfeldt was the fourth member of the Tinker-Evers-Chance infield. As a player, he was the equivalent of Joe Tinker and Johnny Evers - Chance was a cut above - but never received any Hall of Fame consideration, unlike his more famous teammates. There is a picture of Tinker, Evers, and Chance that is often seen, but what is not widely known is that Steinfeldt was part of that picture but frequently cropped out.

Steinfeldt played 14 seasons in the major leagues, of which 8 were with the Cincinnati Reds. However, his four World Series appearances were all with the Cubs between 1906 and 1910.

His batting had sharp ups and downs over the years. Other than 1906, his best year was 1903, when he led the league in doubles, and was 5th in the league in slugging and RBI. In 1907 and 1908, he was in the top 10 in the league in RBI.

Manager Frank Chance was ready to let him go in 1911. An article in the New York Times of March 18, 1911, claims that Chance was ready to trade him for Al Mattern, but that manager Fred Tenney didn't want to let Mattern go. The Cubs then sold Steinfeldt to St. Paul in April, and St. Paul traded him to Boston in July for a couple of players who did not include Mattern.

Steinfeldt died shortly before age 37. His obituary says that he had been ill for several years, but that the illness had only recently turned serious. He was survived by his widow. As a comparison, Tommy Leach was born the same year as Steinfeldt, and played through 1918 - in 1914, the year of Steinfeldt's death, Leach was playing for Steinfeldt's old team, the Cubs.

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