Born: May 23, 1888|
Died: May 11, 1972 (aged 83)|
|September 11, 1909 for the Brooklyn Superbas|
Last MLB appearance
|September 21, 1927 for the Philadelphia Athletics|
|Runs Batted In||1,248|
Career highlights and awards
|Election Method||Veteran's Committee|
Zachariah Davis "Zack" Wheat (May 23, 1888 – March 11, 1972), nicknamed "Buck", was a Major League Baseball left fielder for Brooklyn in the National League. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1959.
A consistent hitter throughout his 19-year career, he still holds many Dodger franchise records. His brother McKinley "Mack" Wheat also played in the major leagues, and the two were teammates in Brooklyn for five seasons.
Born in Hamilton, Missouri, the son of Basil and Julia Wheat. His father was of English descent and his mother was full-blooded Cherokee. Wheat began his professional baseball career in
- REDIRECT Template:Baseball year for Enterprise in the Kansas League, followed by Wichita in
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- REDIRECT Template:Baseball year. It was during that 1909 season that the Brooklyn Superbas of the National League purchased Wheat for $1200, and he made his Major League debut in September. He batted with a corkscrew type of swing, and held his hands down near the end of the bat, unlike most hitters during his time, a time noted as the "Dead Ball Era". Even with his consistent high levels of hitting, he was also noted for his graceful and stylish defense.
Wheat played his first full season in
- REDIRECT Template:Baseball year. He played every game for the Superbas that season as the regular left fielder, leading the league in games played. He batted .284 that season, the second-lowest average of his career, which led the team, and was among the league leaders in hits, doubles, and triples. It was in
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Wheat continued his steady and consistent climb up the batting charts in
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- REDIRECT Template:Baseball year, he topped off the string of seasons with a finish in the top ten in all the above categories, topping the league in total bases and slugging. He also had a career-high hitting streak, which reached 29 games. The Brooklyn Robins won the National League pennant that season. In the World Series, they faced the Boston Red Sox, which had the formidable pitching rotation of Ernie Shore, Dutch Leonard, Carl Mays, and Babe Ruth. The Red Sox won the series four games to one, holding the Robins to a .200 batting average, and Wheat to a paltry .211.
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A subtle, but longstanding friction existed between Wheat and his manager, future Hall of Famer Wilbert Robinson. The friction reportedly stemmed from Robinson's belief that Wheat seemed to pursue the manager's job behind his back. When owner Charles Ebbets died in
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Wheat was signed by the Philadelphia Athletics after his release from Brooklyn in
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After Wheat retired from baseball, he moved back to his Script error: No such module "convert". farm in Polo, Missouri, until the Great Depression forced him to sell it in 1932. He moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where he operated a bowling alley with Cotton Tierney. He later became a police officer. It was during his duties as an officer in 1936, that he was chasing a fleeing felon in his vehicle, when he crashed and nearly died. Wheat spent five months in hospital after the accident, and after he was discharged, he moved his family to Sunrise Beach, Missouri, a resort town on the Lake of the Ozarks, to recuperate. It was here that he opened a Script error: No such module "convert". hunting and fishing resort.
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- REDIRECT Template:Baseball year, the committee unanimously elected him. In 1981, Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig included him in their book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time. In 2006, the stretch of Route 13 that runs through Caldwell County, Missouri was named the Zach Wheat Memorial Highway. Due to his Cherokee ancestry, Wheat was featured in “Baseball’s League of Nations: A Tribute to Native Americans in Baseball,” a 2008 exhibit at the Iroquois Indian Museum in Howes Cave, N.Y.
- List of major league players with 2,000 hits
- List of Major League Baseball players with 400 doubles
- List of Major League Baseball players with 100 triples
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 runs
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 RBI
- List of Major League Baseball leaders in career stolen bases
- List of Major League Baseball batting champions
- "Zack Wheat's Stats". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
- "Zack Wheat's Stats". retrosheet.org. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
- "Zack Wheat's Obit". The New York Times, Sunday, March 12th, 1972. Archived from the original on 2008-04-03. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
- Zack Wheat at the SABR Bio Project, by Eric Enders, retrieved 2008-04-19
- "The 1916 World Series Stats". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
- "The 1920 World Series Stats". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
- "1923 National League Stats". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
- "1924 National League Stats". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
- "Zack Wheat's Hall of Fame profile". baseballhalloffame.org. Archived from the original on 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
- Grayson, Harry (July 5, 1943). "Black Lightning Zack Wheat Most Popular Player Brooklyn Ever Had". The Tuscaloosa News. p. 7. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
- "Missouri Revised Statutes; Chapter 227, State Highway System, Section 227.309, August 28, 2007". moga.mo.gov. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
- Mallozzi, Vincent M. (2008-06-08). "The American Indians of America's Pastime". The New York Times.
|40x40px||Wikimedia Commons has media related to Zack Wheat.|
- Zack Wheat at the Baseball Hall of Fame
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference
- Zack Wheat at Find a Grave
- Zack Wheat at the SABR Bio Project, by Eric Enders, retrieved 2008-04-19