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Nap Lajoie
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Baseball Player
    (September 5, 1874-February 7, 1959)
    Born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island
    'Nap' was short for Napoleon
    Second baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies (1896-1900), Philadelphia Athletics (1901-02,1915-16) and Cleveland Naps (1902-14)
    Lifetime batting average of .338
    3,242 hits
    1,504 runs scored
    Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame (1937)
    He began playing semi-pro baseball under a pseudonym to hide his activities from his disapproving mother.
    He missed five weeks of the season after breaking his thumb when he tried to punch out a teammate and hit the wall instead (1900).
    He was suspended after throwing chewing tobacco into an umpire's eye (1904).
    After being ejected from one game, he refused to leave the bench until he was removed by the police.
    Despite his great batting averages, he was an undisciplined hitter who would swing at almost anything, even on occasion swinging when the opposing team was trying to intentionally walk him.
    During a down to the wire battle with Ty Cobb for the AL batting title, the St. Louis Browns essentially threw the title to him by playing their third baseman so far back that he easily laid down seven bunts for hits in a season-ending doubleheader (1910).
    At 6'1 and 200 pounds, he received off-season offers from carnival promoters to be a model of the male physique.
    Connie Mack said of his fielding, 'He plays so naturally and easily, it looks like lack of effort.'
    He was the first superstar of the American League and was said to have single-handedly legitimized the AL's claim to major league status.
    He was the second of only six players to be intentionally walked with the bases loaded.
    He was the only active player in major league history to have his team named after him.
    Ironically, Cobb's 1910 batting average had been erroneously inflated when a game in which he went 2 for 3 was accidentally counted twice.

Credit: C. Fishel

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