Lafayette Napoleon Cross
born Vratislav Kriz
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 8½", Weight 155 lb.
- Debut April 23, 1887
- Final Game June 6, 1907
- Born May 12, 1866 in Milwaukee, WI USA
- Died September 6, 1927 in Toledo, OH USA
Lafayette "Lave" Cross played twenty-one years in four major leagues.
In 1907 Lave Cross became the all-time leader in hits by a third baseman. A converted catcher who once split a big-league catching job with brother Amos, Cross is the only player to set two new records for fielding percentage at 3B, doing so in 1895 (.940, breaking Billy Nash's .933) and 1899 (.959, 12 points better than Billy Clingman's record).
He was the fourth child and third son of an immigrant family that came to Cleveland, OH from Bohemia. His brother Frank also played in the majors. Another brother, Joe, also played briefly in the majors.
Lave Cross also holds the unique (AFAIK) position of appearing on four different teams in four different leagues, all in the same city, as he played for Philadelphia teams in the American Association, Players League, National League and American League.
In 1894 he hit .387, for a team which hit .350 - it was the height of the lively ball era and four outfielders hit over .400. His second-highest batting average was at age 36, playing for the 1902 Philadelphia Athletics, for whom he hit .342. It was the highest average on the team, and he was also the team's RBI leader.
He was a teammate of Ed Delahanty for six years. He was two years older than Ed.
Cross managed the 1899 Cleveland Spiders for around a month. He also managed the Shamokin team of the 1908 Atlantic League for part of the season. He took over as manager of the Charlotte Hornets in the Carolina Association during the 1909 season. He also managed the team for 1910 and 1911. The team's overall records during the three years that Cross was involved was 154-171 and the Hornets finished 5th, 2nd, and 3rd in the league during those years.
In 1914, Cross coached Ohio Wesleyan University.
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1894)
- 100 RBI Seasons: 3 (1894, 1895 & 1902)
- 200 Hits Seasons: 1 (1894)