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Frank LaPorte

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Frank Breyfogle LaPorte
(Pot)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 8", Weight 175 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

"In the second inning, Boston managed to get two men on base, with two out, only to have a little Washington outfielder named Pot LaPorte make a shoestring catch and prevent a run from scoring." - from a recounting in the Wilmington Star-News, 1973, about a hotly-contested game on September 6, 1912 between Walter Johnson's Senators and Smoky Joe Wood's Red Sox

Frank Breyfogle "Pot" LaPorte played 11 seasons in the big leagues. Although not usually among league leaders, his OPS+ was an above-average 110.

LaPorte was born in Uhrichsville, OH, in eastern Ohio. In 1903-05 he played for Buffalo before making his major league debut near the end of September 1905. He hit .400 in his first major league cup of coffee.

Frank became a regular in 1906-07 for the New York Highlanders. While he had made his debut in 1905 as a second baseman, he mostly played third base in 1906 and split his time in 1907 between third base and the outfield. Thereafter, though, he would be primarily a second baseman for the rest of his major league career except for 1913 when he went back to third base. The quote above about LaPorte playing outfield in the game in 1912 matching up Walter Johnson and Smoky Joe Wood is interesting because Laporte is listed in the stats as playing only second base for the Senators that year.

After the 1907 season the Highlanders traded Frank to the Boston Red Sox but reacquired him in August 1908 in a trade for Harry Niles, who had been playing second base for the Highlanders that year.

LaPorte did well with the bat in 1909 with the Highlanders, hitting .298 on a team which hit .248. Serving again as a regular in 1910, he was traded after the season to the St. Louis Browns and posted a good batting line of .314/.361/.446 for them in 1911. After playing most of 1912 with the Browns, he was sold in August 1912 to the 1912 Washington Senators.

Between the Browns and the Senators in 1912, LaPorte hit .311. The next year, however, at age 33, he fell off to .252, and his time in the American League was over. He jumped to the new Federal League and played as a regular in both 1914-15, leading the league in RBI in 1914.

Amazingly, 4 of his 15 career home runs were grand slams.

Baseball Digest from September 2004 recounts a time when Ty Cobb stole home, using his great speed to take advantage of young third baseman Frank LaPorte in 1906.

Bill James refers in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract to LaPorte being an early user of a black-stained bat. James listed him at # 109 among second basemen.

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