May 14, 2021

The Baseball 100: No. 18, Tris Speaker (The Athletic)

Starting in December and ending on Opening Day, Joe Posnanski will count down the 100 greatest baseball players by publishing an essay on a player every day for 100 days. In all, this project will contain roughly as many words as “Moby Dick.” Yes, we know it’s nutty. We hope you enjoy.

There are so many wonderfully unexpected origin stories in baseball, but I think Tris Speaker’s may be the best of them all.

Before we get to that, Tristram E. Speaker — the “E” did not stand for anything, in case you were wondering — was born in 1888 and grew up in Hill County, Texas in a family that often still seemed to be fighting the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy. His father, Archie, had been too young to fight in the war, but both of Archie’s brothers were Confederate soldiers, as was his mother Nancy Jane’s brother. For the rest of Tris’ life, he engaged in titanic arguments over the fight he never stopped…

Read “The Baseball 100: No. 18, Tris Speaker” at The Athletic