All-Time Indians: Patsy Tebeau

Name: Oliver Wendell Tebeau     Position: Third Base/Manager  
Nick Name: Patsy                  
Tribe Time: 1889-1898/1890-1898     DOB: 12/05/1864  
As Player G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG AVG OPS
Best Season (1893) 116 486 90 160 32 8 2 102 32 11 19 .375 .440 .329 .815
Career 1069 4265 636 1210 183 54 26 699 297 241 151 .330 .370 .284 .700
As Manager W L W%                        
Career 600 466 0.563                        

Not only was Patsy Tebeau one of the greatest hitters in Spiders history, one of just four with over 1,000 games played, he was also the team's player manager from 1891 through their second to last season in 1898. After starting his career in the Western League and Western Association, Tebeau got a flyer from the White Stockings (now the Cubs) in 1887. He struggled there in just twenty games before heading back to the Independent minor leagues the following season. He first came to Cleveland in 1889 when he joined the Cleveland Spiders in their inagural season in the National League. 

In his rookie campaign, he Tebeau lead the league in games played and batted .282 as the Spiders starting third baseman. The following season, the team split and Tebeau was one of many to jump to the brand new Cleveland Infants team that was part of the Players League. This was the only season of the team, but it gave Tebeau the opportunity to become manager as well as to continue starting at third. After the team was dimantled following the 1890, he went back to the Spiders where his career really started to take off.

The Spiders weren't anything to get excited about when he took over the helm, but they would soon be the home team for multiple Hall of Famers, including the greatest pitcher of all time, Cy Young and a talented group of supporting players as well, including short stop Ed McKean. Tebeau came into his own over this time and hit his prime in 1893 and 1894 when he batted over .300 and knocked in over 84 runs in two straight seasons.

In the end, Tebeau lasted as long as any player for the Spiders and ended up finishing third in career home runs and in the top five in runs, hits, doubles, triples all was batting .284 over his Cleveland career. Tebeau was among the plethora of players sold from the Spiders to the St. Louis Perfectos prior to the 1899 season in one of the greatest travesties in baseball history. He played just two seasons with the Perfectos and retired just before the advent of modern baseball. Tebeau stayed in St. Louis until his death, just 18 years later at the age of 54. Patsy was lucky enough to get to play beside his brother, who was an outfielder from 1887 through 1895. From 1894 through 1895 the two brothers were able to play together with the Spiders, becoming the first family to do so in Cleveland history.

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since it's inception in 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona.

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