Ossee Schreckengost

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Ossee Schreckengost
Ossee Schreckengost.jpg
Catcher
Born: (1875-04-11)April 11, 1875
New Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Died: July 9, 1914(1914-07-09) (aged 39)
Philadelphia
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 8, 1897, for the Louisville Colonels
Last MLB appearance
October 2, 1908, for the Chicago White Sox
MLB statistics
Batting average .271
Home runs 9
Runs batted in 338
Teams

Ossee Freeman Schreckengost (April 11, 1875 – July 9, 1914), born F. Osee Schrecongost, was a Major League Baseball catcher and first baseman. He played for seven major-league teams between 1897 and 1908. Between 1902 and 1908, he caught for the Philadelphia Athletics, where he was the roommate and battery mate for pitcher Rube Waddell. Schreckengost's first name is sometimes spelled "Ossie" and his last name is sometimes shortened to "Schreck" to suit the limited space in baseball box scores.

Early life[edit]

Schreckengost was born in New Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to Naaman Schrecongost and the former Sarah Caroline Protzman. The family lived in the nearby town of Fairmount City for a few years when Schreckengost was a child before moving the two miles back to New Bethlehem. Schreckengost worked in the mines and played local baseball in New Bethlehem before he went to Williamsport in 1895 to play semipro baseball.[1]

Career[edit]

He made his Major League Baseball debut with the Louisville Colonels on September 8, 1897.[2] He spent the 1898 season and part of the 1899 season with the Cleveland Spiders before joining the St. Louis Perfectos, where he took over at first base for the team's player-manager, Patsy Tebeau.[3]

Playing in the minor leagues with the Buffalo Bisons in 1900 and with the Boston Red Sox in 1901, Schreckengost went to the Philadelphia Athletics in 1902. In his first year there, the team won the American League pennant; the modern World Series was not played until the next season. He did get to play in the 1905 World Series, but the Athletics lost the series 4-1 to the New York Giants. Schreckengost appeared in three games, recording two hits in nine at bats and scoring two runs. It was only career World Series.[2]

He appeared in his final game on October 2, 1908, which was the perfect game pitched by Addie Joss. He was also on the wrong side of Cy Young's perfect game, pitched four years earlier. He may be best remembered for being Rube Waddell's primary catcher and roommate for the duration of Waddell's Philadelphia Athletic years. Waddell's unpredictable and bizarre nature famously led to Ossee insisting on a "no crackers in bed" clause added to Waddell's contract.[4] Schreckengost played without shin guards and was one of the last major-league catchers to do so.[5]

Later life[edit]

Though Schreckengost made his last major-league appearance in 1908, he spent the next two years in the minor leagues.[2] He died of uremia at the age of 39 in Philadelphia; he collapsed at a local café the day before his death.[6][7] He was buried at Kittanning Cemetery in Kittanning, Pennsylvania.[8] His battery mate Waddell had died a few months before him.[7] Schreckongost was survived by his wife, the former June Reed, who was from New Castle, Pennsylvania.[9]

References[edit]

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