Sy Sutcliffe

From BR Bullpen

Sy Sutcliffe.jpg

Elmer Ellsworth Sutcliffe

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 6' 2", Weight 170 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

"Sutcliffe outranks Ewing as the best batting catcher in the League." - Sporting Life on September 30, 1885, making no sense at the time since Ewing hit 150 points higher, but perhaps envisioning Sutcliffe's future

Elmer "Sy" Sutcliffe played 8 seasons in the big leagues. Although most of his major league career was in the 19th Century National League, his best years with the bat were the years he spent in the 1890 Players League and 1891 American Association.

Sutcliffe was born in Wheaton, IL, west of Chicago, and played for the Chicago National League team in 1884-85, finishing up 1885 with the 1885 St. Louis Maroons.

He was described in 1885 as "good-natured and popular".

He spent most of 1886 and 1887 in the minors with Augusta, Savannah and Des Moines, coming up to the majors in 1887 only to play in the post-season with the Detroit Wolverines, who won against the St. Louis Browns.

He played for Detroit in the 1888 regular season, in the last year of the franchise, and then moved to the 1889 Cleveland Spiders. In 1890 he stayed with Cleveland's entry in the 1890 Players League (which had some of the same players) while in 1891 he performed for the 1891 Washington Statesmen in the last year of the American Association as a major league. In 1892 he was back in the National League with the 1892 Orioles where he was a teammate of the 19-year-old John McGraw.

He umpired 3 National League games: 2 in 1889 and 1 in 1892.

In 1886, The Sporting News reported that he was a clarinet player in the Savannah Symphony Orchestra. He died of Bright's disease at age 30 in February 1893.

The book Detroit Sluggers: The First 75 Years has a photo of him.

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