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Buck Crouse

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Clyde Ellsworth Crouse
(Bucky)

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 8", Weight 158 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Catcher Clyde "Buck" Crouse played 8 seasons in the majors with the Chicago White Sox, primarily as Ray Schalk's backup and Ted Lyons' preferred backstop.

Born on a farm in Madison County, Indiana, Crouse moved to Muncie as a child. He began his baseball career in 1921 with the Jackson, Michigan team in the Central League in 1921. When the club folded, he moved on to a pair of Muskegon teams.

Crouse and son Bucky Jr.

Crouse was purchased by the White Sox in the middle of the 1923 season and began his longtime association with Hall of Famers Schalk and Lyons. His best season was in 1925 when he led the team in hitting with a .351 average in 54 games. However, he was better known for his strong arm and defensive abilities, averaging nearly one assist per game, an unusually high figure.

After splitting the 1930 campaign between Chicago and the minor league Indianapolis Indians, Crouse joined the Buffalo Bisons and their manager Schalk in 1931. Because of his hustle and defensive prowess, he was one of the club's most popular players. While with Buffalo, he caught two no-hit games, and during the 1935 pennant race he caught 32 straight games, including 5 doubleheaders in 6 days. His fielding average was an impressive .984 (only 8 errors in 499 chances). As a result of his popularity, he was honored with "Bucky Crouse Night" in front of over 13,000 fans at Offermann Stadium.

On May 20, 1937, Crouse was traded to the Baltimore Orioles for George Savino and became the club's new player-manager. He hit a solid .288 for Baltimore, but as skipper, he led the team out of the league cellar and into the first division and Governor's Cup series. They finished fourth, losing to the Newark Bears in the playoffs. Crouse was widely recognized by players, writers, and officials for his inspirational leadership and was again honored with "Bucky Crouse Night" at Oriole Park. He was also named Most Valuable Player of the International League. At age 40 and a grandfather, he was the oldest player ever to receive that honor. At the celebration, he received a trophy, the key to the city, a bag of money, and a new car.

In 1939, Crouse signed to catch for the Little Rock Travelers of the Southern Association but asked to be released to manage the Montgomery Rebels of the Southeastern League, leading the team into the playoffs. He finished his career as a member of the coaching staff of the Indianapolis Indians of the American Association in 1940.

Crouse was inducted into the Buffalo Bisons Hall of Fame in August 1964 and the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.

[edit] Notable Achievements

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