Edd Roush

Edd RoushMany players and managers have taken a nap during a game in the corners of a dugout or the secluded bullpen. Baseball seasons are long and for decades the travel was brutal, resulting in some tired folks.

But Edd Roush is the only player in major league history to take a nap while in the field.

In a game between his Reds and the Giants at the Polo Grounds in New York on June 8, 1920, Roush not only took a snooze in center field, he was tossed out of the game for it. Roush saw no reason to explain his transgression, he was simply tired of waiting for his manager to stop debating the umpires over a disputed call. Pat Moran and home plate umpire Barry McCormick, a hot-tempered Irishman, were going at it pretty good in the eighth inning when Roush laid down in center and rested his eyes. It wasn’t like Roush had worked extra hard that afternoon, he was 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and an error in the outfield. But he must have been tired for some reason and he felt he needed some shut eye.

Highest Batting Average, NL (1917-1924)

Rogers Hornsby … .366
Edd Roush … .341
Zack Wheat … .334
Ross Youngs … .332
Jack Fournier … .328

Hornsby was head and shoulders above his contemporaries in the National League as a batter. Roush, Wheat, and Youngs were similar hitters: line-drive hitters who hit a lot of singles, a few doubles, and plenty of triples.