Nov 19, 2012

Early Twentieth Century New York Giants Backup Catcher: Lew McCarty (1916-1920)

George Lewis McCarty was born on November 17th, 1888 in Milton Pennsylvania. The five foot eleven rugged catcher played three years in Newark, New Jersey playing AA ball from 1913-1915.

Lew McCarty began his career in Brooklyn playing for the Brooklyn Superbas who changed their name to the Robins. They would become the Dodgers in the early thirties. In his first full season he was one of the league's best catchers, coming in the top twenty for the MVP voting. He batted .254 with one HR 30 RBIs. Behind the plate he threw out 42% of would be base stealers, although he allowed 103 stolen bases (third most in the NNL) posting a .970 fielding %. In Brooklyn he was a team mate to Casey Stengel.

Late in th 1916 season he was traded to the New York Giants in exchange for the infamous Fred Merkle. At the time of the trade the Robins were in first place & went on to win a pennant that year as well. With the Giants he settled in as the backup catcher to Bill Rariden, playing 25 games while batting a strong .387. In 1917 he played in 56 games behind Rariden, 24 at catcher, throwing out 32% of would be base stealers. His batting average fell off to .247.

That year the Giants won the pennant & face off against the mighty Chicago White Sox team of the time. The same team, that two years later would be black balled for throwing the 1919 World Series. In the Series McCarty saw action in three games going 2-5 with an RBI.

In 1918 he took over as the Giants main catcher for the next two years. He allowed seven passed balls each season, finishing second & fourth most in the league those years. The Giants finished in second place both years & McCarty never got to another World Series. He batted a best .281 in 1919 & threw out 36% of would be base stealers. On July 4th 1920 his contract was purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals. He ended his MLB career there that season.

He would play in the minors through 1927. In a nine year career he batted .266 with 393 hits 5 HRs 47 doubles 20 triples a .318 on base % & 137 RBIs. In 421 career games at catcher he threw out 40% of would be base stealers.

Retirement: After playing he did some managing with the Durham Bulls & Richmond Colts. McCarty passed away in Reading Pennsylvania in 1930 at age 42.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He was on Newark from 1911-1913, not 1913-1915. See http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=mccart001geo