Dellas Clinton Gainer
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 180 lb.
- Debut October 2, 1909
- Final Game September 30, 1922
- Born November 10, 1886 in Montrose, WV USA
- Died January 29, 1947 in Elkins, WV USA
Del Gainer was a first baseman during the dead-ball era. He was one of the few major league players to play with Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, and Rogers Hornsby. He played ten years in the majors, mostly with the Detroit Tigers of Ty Cobb and the Boston Red Sox of Babe Ruth. He finished out his career with the St. Louis Cardinals of Rogers Hornsby.
He broke in for two games in 1909, but did not appear in the 1909 World Series. In 1911, he hit .302 in the year when Cobb hit .420. In 1913, he was the regular first baseman for the Tigers, hitting .267 on a team that hit .265. Cobb hit .390, Sam Crawford hit .317, and the third-highest regular, Bobby Veach, hit .269.
He was selected off waivers in May of 1914 by the Boston Red Sox, the year when Babe Ruth broke in during the month of July. The 1915 team won the World Series, and Gainer hit .295 in 200 at-bats during the regular season. Other than Tris Speaker who hit .322, Gainer had the highest batting average of players who had at least 100 at-bats (Ruth hit .315 in 92 at-bats).
The Red Sox repeated as champs in the 1916 World Series. During the 1916 regular season, Gainer hit .254 in 142 at-bats on a team that hit .248. Dick Hoblitzel, the regular first baseman, hit .259 but with no home runs, while Gainer had 3. Ruth hit .272 with 3 home runs in 136 at-bats. Gainer pinch-hit a single in the 14th inning of Game 2 of the 1916 World Series that won the game for pitcher Ruth.
In 1917, the Red Sox dropped to 2nd place in the American League, but Gainer hit .308, highest on the team except for Ruth who hit .325. Gainer and Ruth were the only two players to slug over .400, although both had fewer than 200 at-bats.
Gainer did not play in 1918, when Boston again won the World Series. In 1919 he returned, hitting .237. He did not play in 1920 or 1921, but in 1922 he returned with the St. Louis Cardinals at age 35, hitting .268 on a team that hit .301. Rogers Hornsby hit .401 and every regular hit at least .292.