Baseball

Area baseball beat: After Solons traded him, Ross Eldred soared in Seattle

During a Pacific Coast League game in the spring of 1920, Sacramento Solons manager William “Raw Meat” Rodgers accused his 27-year-old outfielder of loafing and fined him $50. The player was so upset over the accusation he refused to suit up and play the next day.

Rodgers immediately suspended him and within 72 hours traded him within the league to the Seattle Indians.

The trade may have been the worst in Solons history.

The player was Ross Eldred, who honed his skills on the diamond at Sacramento High School in 1910 and became the most accomplished minor leaguer to come from the schoolyards of this region.

Eldred, whose 5-foot-6, 180-pound stature landed him the nickname “Brick,” played a little more than two seasons with the Solons, hitting .264 in 1918 and .311 in 1919.

But from 1920 through 1925, Eldred set off on a Hall of Fame career. The right-handed batter was a hitting machine, with at least 200 hits in five of those six seasons – 231 for Sacramento/Seattle in 1920, 260 for Seattle in 1922, 262 in 1923, 240 in 1924 and 242 in 1925.

Seattle Times reporter Alex Shults once wrote, “Brick Eldred made Coast League pitchers moan for a decade.”

Eldred is immortalized in the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame at The Baseball Museum of the Pacific Northwest on the main concourse at Safeco Field. Although a minor leaguer, his name is alongside major-league greats Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez and Ichiro Suzuki.

In his 11 years in the PCL, Eldred played in 1,709 games, with 2,034 hits, 516 doubles, 219 stolen bases and a .332 batting average. He was posthumously inducted into the PCL Hall of Fame in 2003; he died Dec. 22, 1976, in Sacramento at 84.

Eldred, who played before the major leagues reached the West Coast, hit .327 in 13 minor-league seasons between 1916 and 1930. He never played in the majors.

In 1928, The Seattle Times described Eldred as “the niftiest sticker ever to wear the spangles of the Seattle Indians. When some young pitcher got the idea that he could breeze a fastball past Brick or fool him with a change of pace, it was cruel to watch. Brick would dip his knees, level the hickory and knock the pitch off the boards.

“We recall years ago when Brick whammed Satchel Paige’s change-of-pace over the left wall at Bakersfield in a spring training game for one of the few hits off the speedy hurler.”

Catching up

▪ Clearwater (Fla.) Threshers catcher Andrew Knapp (Granite Bay) was named Florida State League Player of the Week for April 27-May 3 after going 9 for 24 (.375), with two doubles, two triples, four RBIs and nine runs. The Philadelphia Phillies’ No. 13 prospect seems fully recovered from Tommy John surgery in October 2013.

▪ Lansing (Mich.) Lugnuts first baseman Rowdy Tellez (Elk Grove) was named Midwest League Player of the Week for May 11-17 after going 10 for 28 (.357) with five doubles, a homer and seven RBIs. Tellez is the Toronto Blue Jays’ No. 23 prospect.

▪ The CIF recently announced its All-Century baseball team. The 100 student-athletes included Dusty Baker (Del Campo, 1967), Derrek Lee (El Camino, 1993) and J.P. Howell (Jesuit, 2001). The list also included National Baseball Hall of Famers Walter Johnson (Fullerton, 1905), Joe Cronin (Sacred Heart-San Francisco, 1924), Joe DiMaggio (Galileo-San Francisco, 1931), Ted Williams (Hoover-San Diego, 1935), Bobby Doerr (Fremont-Los Angeles, 1936), Jackie Robinson (Muir-Pasadena, 1937), Bob Lemon (Wilson-Long Beach, 1938), Frank Robinson (McClymonds-Oakland, 1953), Don Drysdale (Van Nuys, 1954), Willie Stargell (Encinal-Alameda, 1959), Robin Yount (Taft-Woodland Hills, 1973), Rickey Henderson (Oakland Technical, 1976) and Tony Gwynn (Long Beach Poly, 1977).

Mark McDermott is a freelance writer specializing in Sacramento-area baseball. Contact him at egmacker@yahoo.com

Sacramento’s top minor leaguers

Most statistics before 1960 for runs, RBIs, stolen bases, starts, complete games, shutouts and strikeouts are incomplete; some players may be missing.

GAMES PLAYED

Player

Years

High School/College

Total

Ross Eldred

1916-1930

Sacramento

1,851

Henry Steinbacher

1930-1945

Sacramento

1,702

Spider Jorgensen

1941-1960

Folsom/Sacramento JC

1,546

Neill Sheridan

1943-1954

Sacramento

1,446

Bevo LeBourveau

1918-1934

Marysville

1,435

Joe Marty

1934-1952

Christian Brothers

1,391

Billy Hulen

1892-1909

Dixon

1,359

Lenny Backer

1925-1938

Sacramento

1,341

Joe Thurston

1999-2012

Sacramento City

1,302

Les Sheehan

1916-1929

Sacramento

1,279

AT-BATS

Player

Years

High School/College

Total

Ross Eldred

1916-1930

Sacramento

6,740

Henry Steinbacher

1930-1945

Sacramento

6,584

Bevo LeBourveau

1918-1934

Marysville

5,433

Billy Hulen

1892-1909

Dixon

5,404

Spider Jorgensen

1941-1960

Folsom/Sacramento JC

5,240

Lenny Backer

1925-1938

Sacramento

5,015

Neill Sheridan

1943-1954

Sacramento

5,006

Joe Thurston

1999-2012

Sacramento City

4,966

Joe Marty

1934-1952

Christian Brothers

4,826

Les Sheehan

1916-1929

Sacramento

4,607

AVERAGE (500)

Player

Years

High School/College

Avg.

Bevo LeBourveau

1918-1934

Marysville

.346

Frank Demaree

1930-1950

Winters

.332

Stan Hack

1931-1933

Sacramento

.329

Ross Eldred

1916-1930

Sacramento

.327

Joe Borcich

1945-1953

Christian Brothers

.326

Jimmy O’Connell

1919-1922

Sacramento

.322

Frank Mascaro

1948-1953

McClatchy

.321

Tommy Agosta

1953-1960

Sacramento

.321

Pete Scott

1920-1933

Woodland

.320

LaSchelle Tarver

1981-1987

Sacramento State

.312

RUNS

Player

Years

High School/College

Total

Joe Thurston

1999-2012

Sacramento City

772

Spider Jorgensen

1941-1960

Folsom/Sacramento JC

736

Dave Hajek

1990-1999

San Juan

692

Ted Wilborn

1976-1987

McClatchy

652

Neill Sheridan

1943-1954

Sacramento

636

Jermaine Clark

1997-2006

Will C. Wood/Sacramento City

627

Max Venable

1976-1989

Cordova

600

Bill McNulty

1965-1975

Highlands

593

Trace Coquillette

1993-2005

Casa Roble/Sacramento City

592

Jim Bowie

1986-1997

Sacramento City

584

HITS

Player

Years

High School/College

Total

Ross Eldred

1916-1930

Sacramento

2,204

Alex Kampouris

1932-1948

Sacramento

2,085

Henry Steinbacher

1930-1945

Sacramento

1,996

Bevo LeBourveau

1918-1934

Marysville

1,878

Billy Hulen

1892-1909

Dixon

1,584

Lenny Backer

1925-1938

Sacramento

1,544

Joe Marty

1934-1952

Christian Brothers

1,490

Joe Thurston

1999-2012

Sacramento City

1,476

Spider Jorgensen

1941-1960

Folsom/Sacramento JC

1,466

Neill Sheridan

1943-1954

Sacramento

1,418

DOUBLES

Player

Years

High School/College

Total

Ross Eldred

1916-1930

Sacramento

531

Henry Steinbacher

1930-1945

Sacramento

359

Bevo LeBourveau

1918-1934

Marysville

335

Lenny Backer

1925-1938

Sacramento

324

Joe Marty

1934-1952

Christian Brothers

289

Dave Hajek

1990-1999

San Juan

289

Les Sheehan

1916-1929

Sacramento

287

Joe Thurston

1999-2012

Sacramento City

279

Neill Sheridan

1943-1954

Sacramento

272

Spider Jorgensen

1941-1960

Folsom/Sacramento JC

257

TRIPLES

Player

Years

High School/College

Total

Bevo LeBourveau

1918-1934

Marysville

129

Henry Steinbacher

1930-1945

Sacramento

94

Ross Eldred

1916-1930

Sacramento

90

Joe Thurston

1999-2012

Sacramento City

72

Billy Hulen

1892-1909

Dixon

70

Ted Wilborn

1876-1987

McClatchy

67

George Valine

1937-1949

Sacramento JC

64

Jermaine Clark

1997-2006

Will C. Wood/Sacramento City

57

Ray Rohwer

1923-1931

Dixon

57

Max Venable

1976-1989

Cordova

57

HOME RUNS

Player

Years

High School/College

Total

Bill McNulty

1965-1975

Highlands

227

Ray Rohwer

1923-1931

Dixon

182

Gary Rushing

1956-1964

Sacramento

180

Dave Revering

1971-1977

Bella Vista

129

Alex Kampouris

1932-1948

Sacramento

124

Bob Oliver

1963-1979

Highlands/American River

118

Spider Jorgensen

1941-1960

Folsom/Sacramento JC

118

Neill Sheridan

1943-1954

Sacramento

118

Ken Hottman

1968-1974

Elk Grove/Sacramento City

117

Joe Marty

1934-1952

Christian Brothers

116

RBIs

Player

Years

High School/College

Total

Jim Bowie

1986-1997

Sacramento City

703

Bill McNulty

1965-1975

Highlands

648

Bob Oliver

1963-1978

Highlands

629

Neill Sheridan

1943-1954

Sacramento

602

Joe Thurston

1999-2012

Sacramento City

591

Spider Jorgensen

1941-1960

Folsom/Sacramento JC

556

Trace Coquillette

1993-2005

Casa Roble/Sacramento City

534

Dave Hajek

1990-1999

San Juan

526

Dave Sax

1978-1992

Marshall/Cosumnes River

525

Tony Torcato

1998-2006

Woodland

517

STOLEN BASES

Player

Years

High School/College

Total

Jermaine Clark

1997-2006

Sacramento City

277

Ted Wilborn

1976-1987

McClatchy

272

Rusty McNealy

1980-1987

Grant

267

LaSchelle Tarver

1981-1987

Sacramento State

249

Jason McDonald

1993-2002

Elk Grove/Sacramento City

230

Eric Farris

2007-2014

Johnson

224

Max Venable

1976-1989

Cordova

208

Leon Brown

1967-1980

Grant

199

Aaron Fuller

1993-1998

McClatchy

190

Kristopher Negron

2006-2014

Cosumnes River

187

GAMES PITCHED

Player

Years

High School/College

Total

Walter Mails

1914-1936

Christian Brothers

602

Darryl Scott

1990-2000

Yuba City

480

Charley Schanz

1938-1954

Christian Brothers

455

Manny Salvo

1931-1949

Sacramento

419

Frank Nelson

1938-1952

Elk Grove

410

Bobby O’Keefe

1903-1921

Folsom

385

Gordon Jones

1949-1965

Sacramento

373

Pete Daglia

1925-1937

Sacramento

360

Mike Griffin

1976-1989

Woodland

365

Joe Horgan

1996-2011

Cordova

357

ERA (minimum 300 innings)

Player

Years

High School/College

ERA

Ken Forsch

1968-1986

Johnson

2.47

Elmer Myers

1913-1929

Elk Grove

2.54

Brad Kilby

2005-2010

Laguna Creek

2.65

Ryan Larson

2000-2004

Rocklin/Sacramento City

2.70

Preston Guilmet

2009-2015

Oakmont

2.76

Thor Skogan

1969-1974

Placer/Sierra

2.84

Spider Thomas

1965-1971

Winters/Sacramento State

2.92

Steve Andrade

2001-2008

Woodland/American River

2.95

Mike Jones

1988-1990

Cosumnes River

2.96

Dan Greenhalgh

1972-1978

Folsom

3.11

Steve Senteney

1979-1985

Casa Roble

3.11

WINS

Player

Years

High School/College

Total

Walter Mails

1914-1936

Christian Brothers

226

Bobby O’Keefe

1903-1921

Folsom

187

Charley Schanz

1938-1954

Christian Brothers

145

Pete Daglia

1925-1937

Sacramento

144

Manny Salvo

1931-1949

Sacramento

143

Elmer Myers

1913-1929

Elk Grove

139

Frank Nelson

1938-1952

Elk Grove

126

Tom Flynn

1927-1936

Sacramento/Sacramento JC

109

Mike Griffin

1976-1989

Woodland

99

Gordon Jones

1949-1965

Sacramento

98

SAVES

Player

Years

High School/College

Total

Darryl Scott

1990-2000

Yuba City

105

Preston Guilmet

2009-2015

Oakmont

100

Chris Lemp

1991-1996

Valley/Sacramento City

91

Mike Neu

1999-2005

Sacramento City

76

Travis Welch

1993-1998

Del Oro/Sacramento City

74

Clyde Keller

1989-1992

Del Campo/Sacramento City

68

David Sells

1968-1976

Vacaville

59

Josh Roenicke

2006-2015

Nevada Union

56

Kevin Price

1981-1988

Bella Vista/Cosumnes River

51

Steve Andrade

2001-2008

Woodland/American River

40

INNINGS PITCHED

Player

Years

High School/College

Total

Walter Mails

1914-1936

Christian Brothers

3739.2

Bobby O’Keefe

1903-1921

Folsom

2883.2

Charley Schanz

1938-1954

Sacramento

2510.2

Elmer Myers

1913-1929

Elk Grove

2275.0

Manny Salvo

1931-1949

Sacramento

2273.1

Pete Daglia

1925-1937

Sacramento

2253.2

Frank Nelson

1938-1952

Elk Grove

2007.2

Tom Flynn

1927-1936

Sacramento/Sacramento JC

1862.0

Mike Griffin

1976-1989

Woodland

1708.1

Fernando Arroyo

1970-1986

Burbank

1512.2

STARTS

Player

Years

High School/College

Total

Mike Griffin

1976-1989

Woodland

218

Dave Zancanaro

1990-2001

Del Campo

190

Fernando Arroyo

1970-1986

Burbank

190

Johnny Briggs

1952-1962

Folsom

188

Jeremy Powell

1994-2010

Highlands

182

Jeffrey Marquez

2004-2012

Sacramento City

173

Steve Finch

1976-1986

Cordova

170

Steve Brown

1978-1985

Davis/UC Davis

164

Kevin Brown

1986-1995

Sacramento State

160

Charlie Zink

2001-2010

Oak Ridge/Sacramento City

156

COMPLETE GAMES

Player

Years

High School/College

Total

Mike Griffin

1976-1989

Woodland

57

Fernando Arroyo

1970-1986

Burbank

56

Steve Brown

1978-1985

Davis/UC Davis

55

Lowell Palmer

1966-1977

Norte Del Rio

49

Butch Metzger

1970-1980

Kennedy

48

Tim Jones

1972-1978

Ponderosa

47

Randy Lerch

1973-1986

Cordova

40

Roger Osenbaugh

1952-1959

McClatchy

39

Rich Rodas

1979-1985

Oakmont/Sierra/Sacramento City

38

Thor Skogan

1969-1974

Placer/Sierra

37

SHUTOUTS

Player

Years

High School/College

Total

Fernando Arroyo

1970-1986

Burbank

12

Thor Skogan

1969-1974

Placer/Sierra

12

Roger Osenbaugh

1952-1959

McClatchy

11

Jeff Chandler

1973-1978

Davis/Sacramento City

10

Mike Griffin

1976-1989

Woodland

9

Butch Metzger

1970-1980

Kennedy

9

Dan Greenhalgh

1972-1978

Folsom

9

Lowell Palmer

1966-1977

Norte Del Rio

9

Larry Prewitt

1975-1980

Placer/Sierra

9

Ken Forsch

1968-1986

Johnson/Sacramento City

8

Joe Bitker

1984-1991

Ponderosa/Sacramento City

8

Mike Baldwin

1969-1975

Johnson/Sacramento City

8

STRIKEOUTS (1960-present)

Player

Years

High School/College

Total

Mike Griffin

1976-1989

Woodland

1113

Lowell Palmer

1966-1977

Norte Del Rio

961

Marcus Moore

1989-1999

Sacramento City

954

Matt Riley

1998-2008

Sacramento City

860

Justin Reid

1999-2006

Jesuit/UC Davis

792

Gordon Jones

1949-1965

Sacramento

785

Zach Phillips

2005-2013

Galt/Sacramento City

779

Jermey Powell

1994-2010

Highlands

778

David Zancanaro

1990-2001

Del Campo

753

Jim Converse

1990-1999

Casa Roble

731

Source: Baseball Reference

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