Sherry Magee Anecdotes
After writing Thursday’s article on voting Sherry Magee into the baseball hall of fame I came across a great biography piece by the SABR Bio Project. The entire article, written by Tom Simon, can be read here: Sherry Magee SABR Bio. I’ve borrowed some of the key points from the article, which are shared below. Hopefully this adds some color to the strong statistics that we presented earlier in the week.
In late-June 1904, Phillies scout Jim Randall was getting off a train in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, when he overheard some baseball fans raving about a kid named Magee…After checking out the kid and liking what he saw, Randall approached him and asked if he’d be interested in playing with a league team. “With what team?” asked Magee. “With the Phillies,”… The next day he was in Philadelphia, practicing with the Phillies, and the day after that-June 29, 1904, to be exact-19-year-old Sherry Magee was starting in left field against the Brooklyn Superbas.
Philadelphia Times after the 1908 season; “That he is one of the most hot-headed players in either big league is admitted; it couldn’t be denied, because the records, showing how often he has been suspended for scrapping with the umpires, speak for themselves.”
Named captain of the Phillies in 1914, Magee went out of his way to do everything he could to help the team win. Up to this point he had spent over ten seasons in primarily left field. Injuries weakened the Phils depth and Magee demanded to be shifted to the shortstop position. That season he played 39 games at short, 32 at first and 8 at second base. Surprisingly, Magee posted better than league average range factor and fielding percentage from short.
Reporting to spring training for the 1915 season… when he stepped in a hole while shagging a flyball. He fell and injured his shoulder. Weeks later, when it failed to improve, he finally saw a doctor and learned that his collarbone was broken. Magee was only 30 years old but never again was the same player.
After his major league career, Magee played seven seasons in the minors. He retired at the age of 42 after his final season in the minors as the player/manager for Jack Dunn’s Baltimore Orioles.