Saturday, May 27, 2006

May 27th, 1981

Elmer Leonard Dies

In the ever-growing (but sadly rarely shrinking) list of things that easily confuse me, we come to Elmer Leonard. Elmer Leonard, born in 1888 and quite obviously dead, is not to be confused--as I did--with the crime writer Elmore Leonard, who is, in fact, very much alive.

Elmer Leonard meanwhile, the confusion he provokes in me notwithstanding, was not much of a ballplayer. He played just one season in the Majors, 1911, as a twenty-two year old pitcher, appearing in just five games (one start) and going 2-2 with a respectable 2.84 ERA. (1911 being the time when 2.84 ERAs were "respectable" rather than "sparkling"). The most interesting thing about him, it appears, is that despite being listed at 210 pounds, his nickname is given as "Tiny," which I'm assuming was given ironically.

Other than that, I got nothing on Leonard, although given how young he was during his debut season; it would seem almost a sure thing that unless injuries derailed him he pitched in the non-Majors a bit more. Leonard was born and died in Napa, maybe he got into the wine business. I can think of worse ways to spend one's post-baseball life.

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