Harry Lumley

From BR Bullpen


Harry Garfield Lumley

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 183 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

". . . the best slugger in the history of baseball" - per a writer in 1907

Harry Lumley had an excellent 133 OPS+ in a short career as a player, and a lousy .359 winning percentage in a short career as a manager.

He led the National League in triples and homers while playing for the Brooklyn Superbas in 1904, but his greatest success was in 1906 when he led the league in OPS+.

A husky fellow, Lumley was born in 1880 and played semi-pro ball on the same team as Wildfire Frank Schulte. When he started in the minor leagues in 1901, he hit .350 for Rome in the New York State League, then in 1902 led the league in home runs for St. Paul in the American Association, and in 1903 split his time between playing 12 games in the Western League and the rest of the season with Seattle in the Pacific Coast League where he led the league in batting average.

If a Rookie of the Year award had existed, Lumley would have won it for his 1904 season with the Brooklyn Superbas. He led the league in triples and home runs (which has never been done since), was in the top ten in doubles, and his .279 batting average was highest on the Brooklyn team, which hit .232. He was second in the league in RBI, and his runs scored were highest on his team. Jimmy Sheckard, who was probably the biggest star on the team, had as many doubles but far fewer triples and home runs, and his average was 40 points lower than that of Lumley.

1905 was another good year, as Lumley again led the team in batting average and homers, and was close to the lead in doubles and triples and RBI.

1906 was his monster year, as his .324 average was nearly 100 points higher than the team average. It was third in the league, and his slugging average was tops in the league. He was second in the league in homers, third in the league in triples, and his 35 stolen bases were in the top ten in the league. This was accomplished despite an injury and an illness that cut down the number of games he was able to play.

"The fight between Lumley and (Honus) Wagner for the leadership in National League batting has been fast and furious" - a writer in 1906

Unfortunately, he was never to have such a good year again, as he continued to have injuries and he put on weight. His stolen base count would plummet after 1906.

In 1907, in 127 games, he was third in the league in slugging percentage, 2nd in the league in home runs, sixth in doubles, and sixth in RBI in spite of breaking an ankle. In 1908, his ankle refused to cooperate, and in August he suffered an injury to his good leg. His season batting average of .216 sounds terrible, but was above the team average of .213. His slugging average of .327 was still second on the team to Tim Jordan.

In spite of that season, Brooklyn made Harry the player/manager in 1909, and he responded by dumping many of his teammates from the 1908 Superbas who had lost 101 games and finished seventh in the league. The team in 1909 lost 98 and finished sixth, so there was an improvement, albeit slight. As for Harry as a player, he appeared in 55 games at age 28, hitting .250 on a team that hit .229. His power fell behind several other players on the team, though.

Lumley was not invited to return as a manager, and played only 8 more games in 1910 before his major league career was over. He joined a team in the New York State League and was player/manager for a while longer, through 1912. He led the league in batting in 1912 and was second in 1910.

He ran a cafe until 1937, and died without children in 1938.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • NL Slugging Percentage Leader (1906)
  • NL Triples Leader (1904)
  • NL Home Runs Leader (1904)

Preceded by
Patsy Donovan
Brooklyn Superbas Manager
Succeeded by
Bill Dahlen

Year-By-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1909 Brooklyn Superbas National League 55-98 6th Brooklyn Superbas
1910 Binghamton Bingoes New York State League 8th none Replaced John Warner and J.H. Mooney
1911 Binghamton Bingoes New York State League 63-77 8th none
1912 Binghamton Bingoes New York State League -- none Replaced by Hollis Gitchell

Related Sites[edit]