Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance are, without a doubt, the best double-play group of all time. Tinker at shortstop, Evers at second base, and Chance at first base. They even had a poem written about them, "Baseball's Sad Lexicon."
Johnny Evers: Johnny Evers was one of the greatest second basemen to ever play the game of baseball. His name was actually pronounced (eeee-vers). However, Evers had his name pronunciation changed to what it is now. He was born in Troy, NY, just down the block from New York City.
Evers made it to the Cubs in 1902 and played very well. The Cubs rewarded his play, letting him stay there until 1913. During his time there, it's no coincidence the Cubs won three World Series (that still is their last three titles) and two N.L. pennants.
While most second basemen in the league today aren't big, they are at the 180 pound range. When Evers came to the league, he weighed a scary 94 pounds.
In the majors, his high was 125 pounds! In 1914, Evers was traded to the Braves, and it's no coincidence the Braves won the World Series with him. Evers played for them for four seasons before being picked up by the Phillies.
He retired after the 1918 season, finishing with 12 home runs, 538 RBI, a .270 batting average in 16 seasons.
Evers was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946 and died in 1947 because of cerebral hemorrhage.
Joe Tinker: Joe Tinker played most of his good career with the Chicago Cubs as the starting shortstop. He was known for his fielding, but could hit decently as well. He was born in Muscatoh, KS.
Despite Evers and Tinker being a double-play combination that has been known for over 100 years, in 1905, Evers and Tinker got into an on-field fight. They didn't speak to one another for 33 years, when they were both asked to help broadcast a World Series and they worked out their differences.
Tinker's career with the Cubs came to a close in 1912 when he claimed he wasn't getting enough money. The Cubs decided to trade Tinker to the Cincinnati Reds.
He played with them for a year and them jumped to the Chicago Whales of the Federal League. He played with them in 1914, 1915 and 1916.
Joe decided to come back to the Cubs. The Cubs welcomed him with open arms, but he clearly was past his prime. What do you expect? He was a Chicago Whale.
He played 1916 and then retired. In his career, he actually had 782 RBI, 774 runs scored and a .262 batting average.
Frank Chance: Frank Chance was a great first basemen who played with the Cubs from 1898 to 1912. He was the true veteran on the club. He is from Fresno, CA.
Chance began his career in 1898 with the Chicago Orphans, but he didn't begin to get good playing time until 1902. The next year, he had a monster year.
He had 81 RBI, 67 stolen bases, and a .327 batting average.
Chance then became the Cubs' manager in 1905, becoming one of the first player-managers.
Not only did he have skills as a player, he was an excellent manager. He coached the Cubs to pennants in 1906, 1907, 1908, 1910, and championships in 1907 and 1908.
After he left the Cubs, few know he managed the New York Yankees in 1913 and 1914 and then returned home to manage the Pacific Coast League Los Angeles team from 1916 to 1917.
He decided to hang up the cleats then. His career stats were pretty good: 596 RBI, 401 stolen bases, and a .296 average.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!