Harold Bell Elliott
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 160 lb.
- Debut September 24, 1910
- Final Game October 2, 1920
- Born July 8, 1890 in Kokomo, IN USA
- Died February 12, 1934 in San Francisco, CA USA
Rowdy Elliott was a catcher 23 years (1907-1929), five in the Majors (1910, 1916-1918 and 1920) and 20 in the minors (1907-1916, 1919 and 1921-1929), losing most of one year to the Military. Elliott was born on July 8, 1890, in Kokomo, IN. He broke into Organized Baseball at age 16 with Charleston in the Eastern Illinois League and Kewanee in the Central Association (1908-1909) when he was drafted by the Birmingham Barons of the Southern Association where he played in 1910. Drafted by the Boston Doves from Birmingham, he was 20 years old when he broke into the big leagues on September 24, 1910 but came to bat only twice with no hits in three games that season.
He was returned to Birmingham on December 21, 1910. He played for Birmingham (1911-1912) and was then sold to the Louisville Colonels of the American Association and transferred to the Nashville Volunteers, where he finished his 1911 season. He was with Nashville and the Chattanooga Lookouts in 1912 and was drafted by Venice of the Pacific Coast League , where he played in 1913 and 1914. He was traded by Venice to the Oakland Oaks for Carl Mitze and Gus Hetling and, in the middle of the 1915 season, when he was just 25 years old, he succeeded Tyler Christian as manager of the Oaks from July of 1915 to July of 1916.
The Oaks sold Elliott to the Chicago Cubs on August 1, 1916, with an agreement satisfactory to Elliott but no terms were given, and Del Howard was brought in to replace him as manager of the Oaks. Elliott played in 23 games for the Cubs in 1916, with an average of .255. In 1917, he played in 85 games and hit .251. After playing only 5 games in the 1918 season, he went into the U.S. Navy during World War I as a Fireman, Third Class, in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. He married Helen Kearns, a sister of Jack Kearns, former manager of boxer Jack Dempsey.
Upon discharge he returned to the Cubs, only to be released to Oakland, where he played in 1919 and anchored the Oaks' catching staff, along with Carl Mitze. He was then sold to the Brooklyn Robins in 1920. In 1920, he played one more MLB season for the Robins, hitting .241 in 41 games, and played his final MLB game on October 2 at age 30.
The Robins released him to the Sacramento Senators (PCL) in 1921 and he played with Sacramento (1921-1922), the Portland Beavers (PCL) (1922), the Columbus Senators (AA) (1923), the Toledo Mud Hens (AA) (1924), and Portland again (1924).
He was divorced from Helen in 1924. He played for Newark and Providence in the International League (1925); Pittsfield in the Eastern League (1926) where he also took over for Neal Ball as manager in mid-year; Shreveport in the Texas League (1927-1928); and Springfield in the Three-I League (1929); ending his baseball career at age 39.
In 1917, his best year in MLB, he had 56 hits, 18 runs, 8 doubles, 5 triples, 0 home runs, 28 RBI and 4 stolen bases at (.251/.292/.332) in 85 games. Overall in MLB, he had 100 hits, 37 runs, 15 doubles, 5 triples, 1 home run, 44 RBI and 5 stolen bases at (.241/.281/.311) in 157 games.
He died at age 43 at Harbor Hospital in San Francisco, CA on February 12, 1934 from injuries received in a fall from an apartment house window while intoxicated. Efforts to locate relatives of Elliott proved fruitless and it required contributions of friends to prevent his body being interred in Potter's Field; it is buried at San Francisco National Cemetery.
- Elliott caught the major portion of the record 26-inning game against the Boston Braves.
- His one career home run was off future Hall of Famer Jesse Haines
- Although he played in neither Series, he was on the rosters in two World Series: 1918 & 1920
VA Hospital and Cemetery Records
Elliott, Harold Bell, died on February 12, 1934, Fireman 3rd Class, Women's Army Auxilary Corps, United States Navy, buried in The Presidio (San Francisco National Cemetery) in Plot: C 768, on February 18, 1934
Principal sources for Rowdy Elliott include newspaper obituaries (OB), government Veteran records (VA,CM,CW), Stars & Stripes (S&S), Sporting Life (SL), The Sporting News (TSN), The Sports Encyclopedia:Baseball 2006 by David Neft & Richard Cohen (N&C), old Who's Who in Baseballs (none) (WW), old Baseball Registers (none) (BR) , old Daguerreotypes by TSN (none) (DAG), Stars&Stripes (S&S), The Baseball Necrology by Bill Lee (BN), Pat Doyle's Professional Ballplayer DataBase (PD), The Baseball Library (BL), Baseball in World War II Europe by Gary Bedingfield (GB) and The Pacific Coast League: A Statistical History, 1903-1957 by Dennis Snelling, The Texas League in Baseball, 1888-1958 by Marshall D. Wright, The Southern Association in Baseball, 1885-1961 by Marshall D. Wright, The International League: Year-by-year Statistics, 1884-1953 by Marshall D. Wright, The American Association: Year-By-Year Statistics for the Baseball Minor League, 1902-1952 by Marshall D. Wright, San Francisco National Cemetery Records, and VA Gravesite locator and independent research by Walter Kephart (WK) and Frank Russo (FR) and others.