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Bobby Byrne

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Robert Matthew Byrne

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 8", Weight 145 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

"Byrne is always a dangerous man for the reason that at all times he is cool, nervy and smart" - Alfred H. Spink

Bobby Byrne had an eleven-year career in the major leagues, primarily as a third baseman. In his best year, 1910, he led the National League in hits and doubles, and was second in Runs Created.

He was a top amateur soccer player before joining a semi-pro baseball team and then his first professional baseball team in 1904. He played in the minors in 1904-06.

Byrne broke in with the 1907 St. Louis Cardinals, playing in 149 of their 153 games as a rookie. He took over from the 1906 second baseman, Harry Arndt, who appeared at third base in only three games in 1907, his last year in the majors. Byrne had good range factors in his nearly three seasons with the Cardinals.

He was traded near the end of August 1909 to the 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates in time to be in the 1909 World Series. Having been second in the league in walks that season, Byrne was the lead-off batter in the series, batting ahead of Tommy Leach, Fred Clarke, and Honus Wagner. The Pirates won in seven games.

Between the 1912 and 1913 seasons, he had two serious health issues. First, in November, he had a car accident, running into a telegraph pole, and developed a jerking pain on his side that confined him to bed. Then, after he recovered he played in an exhibition game in March 1913 where he was beaned by Smokey Joe Wood. Byrne was knocked unconscious and and was out of action for a week, but thereafter returned to play.

Near the end of August 1913 he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies, and in 1914 became their second baseman, a position he had never previously played in the majors. He appeared in 101 games at second in 1914 with an average range factor, and only one other time appeared later in his major league career at the position.

1915 was a year in which he broke his hand, and was not a good year for him as a hitter. When the 1915 World Series came around, he appeared in only one game. In 1916 he appeared in 48 games, and in 1917 he appeared in 13 games for the Phillies before being selected off waivers in September by the 1917 Chicago White Sox, for whom he appeared in only one game. He did not appear in the 1917 World Series won by the White Sox.

He managed the Miami franchise in the 1921 Southwestern Lg and the Saginaw franchise in the 1922 Michigan-Ontario League, after his playing days. He worked for the City of St. Louis and the U.S. government and a steel company. He also owned a bowling alley in St. Louis, MO and bowled a 300 game. He played golf well, shooting a 74 when he was 74 years old. Two of his sons became World War II fighter pilots and played minor league ball, including Bobby Byrne Jr. Born on December 31st, Bobby Byrne died on his birthdate 80 years later.

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