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Vin Campbell

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Arthur Vincent Campbell

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"Probably the most valuable find of the year . . ." - from the American Magazine in 1911, speaking about the Pirates picking up Campbell from the minors before the 1910 season

Outfielder Vin Campbell played six seasons in the majors, first in the National League and then in the Federal League. He was among league leaders in batting average in both leagues.

Vin Campbell, who was at Vanderbilt University in 1906-08, was the second player from that university to come to the majors. He did so in June 1908, presumably shortly after school had ended. He got one at-bat with the 1908 Cubs, who went on to win the 1908 World Series, the last time they won the Series.

In 1910, when Campbell came back to the majors, he finished second in the league in batting while with the 1910 Pirates. He beat Honus Wagner's .320 batting average by six points, although Campbell had only 282 at-bats.

After hitting .312 in 93 at-bats in 1911, he was traded to the Boston Braves for Mike Donlin. With the 1912 Braves he hit .296, leading the team in runs scored and doubles. The team, however, lost 101 games.

Campbell came back in 1914-15 to play in the short-lived Federal League, finishing in the top ten in batting average both years. His team in 1914, the 1914 Hoosiers, won the pennant and Campbell had the second highest batting average among the regulars (behind Benny Kauff).

A baseball card of Campbell from his days with the Pirates, put out by Tip Top Bread, is said to have sold for $550 (in excellent condition) in 2002.

An article called Seeking the .300 Hitter, in the 1911 American Magazine, states that Campbell was the son of a prominent doctor who attended a private prep school. He played football in college and joined the Cubs as a catcher but was not ready. Manager Frank Chance thought about using him at first base, but Campbell wasn't ready there either. Campbell was sent to Decatur, but it violated rules and Campbell was declared a free agent. He chose to go to Aberdeen to learn how to play outfield, and Fred Clarke of the Pirates was alerted to keep a watch on him.

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