- 3B, SS, OF, 2B
- July 27, 1880
- 5' 9"
- 175 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 4-17-1902 with CHN
- Hall of Fame:
A solid defensive shortstop, Joe Tinker was a vital cog on four Chicago Cub pennant winners in the early 20th century. With fellow infielders Johnny Evers and Frank Chance, he earned immortality when Franklin P. Adams wrote a poem about their double play prowess. The flowery prose helped all three earn induction to the Hall of Fame years later.
Jimmy Smith, a college ballplayer who replaced Tinker at short for the Whales in 1915. He later served as a utility infielder for several National League clubs in parts of six seasons.
As many players do, Tinker gained more power after he turned thirty. With the Reds in 1913 he hit 20 doubles, 13 triples, and a single home run, while bating a career high .317 with a career-best .445 SLG mark. In the field he performed wonderfully - posting a .968 average at shortstop - more than 30 points above the league norm.
According to one source, the first double play ever turned by Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance, came about due to some luck. A grounder was hot to the left of shortstop Tinker and he missed it with his glove, but it bounced of his shoe and caromed to second baseman Evers, who tagged the bag and fired to Chance for the completion of the double play.
Bucky Harris, Gabby Hartnett and Joe Tinker, are the only Hall of Famers who died on their birthdays.
Tinker had decent power for a shortstop of his era. He hit as many as 10 triples in five different seasons, and his career .353 SLG is above league average for that time.
Tinker had a large strike zone and he walked relatively little. His career OBP of .308 is 22 points below league average for his era, even though his batting average was almost exactly league average.
Going to the Chapel
The first City Series pitting the Cubs and White Sox was played in October of 1903. The two teams were slated to engage in a 15-game series for bragging rights to the city. However, when the players' contracts expired on October 15, the teams were unable to agree on terms to pay them. In addition, Joe Tinker had to leave for Kansas City to be married. For those reasons, the series was never concluded and remained a 7-7 tie.