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November 29, 1901: Buddy Crump

On the final day of the 1924 baseball season, the New York Giants welcomed the last-place Philadelphia Phillies to town at the Polo Grounds where a young outfielder named Buddy Crump was given the start in centerfield. It was more than the Giants could say for another former outfielder of theirs, Moonlight Graham, who was a defensive replacement and whose on-deck appearance was as close as he ever got to a major-league at bat.

Crump, on the other hand, got to the plate five times that afternoon to face Bill Hubbel and Johnny Couch. Crump would end up with as many career big-league hits as Graham. He went 0-for-4 with a sacrifice fly, which drove in a run. So, although Crump never recorded a big-league hit, he did notch one MLB RBI. His Giants still fell 11-6 to Philly even with future Hall of Famer Freddie Lindstrom in the lead-off spot. Lindstrom's son, Chuck, would become a one-game player of his own, joining the dubious "Cup of Coffee Club".

Crump's fall from the major leagues was strange and winding. After his final big-league pitch, he didn't throw another one professionally for more than a year, reappearing with the Wilson Bugs and Norfolk Tars, each of the Virginia League. He recorded just 140 plate appearances in 1926, but was back with the Tars in 1927 where he hit an impressive .345 in 466 at bats. The Selma Cloverleafs then signed him in 1928 when his batting average dropped more than 100 points to .241 in 303 at bats.

1929 saw him play for Selma and then the Pensacola Flyers in Class-B. He made just 55 plate appearances that season and at 27, seemed to be out of organized baseball for good. However, incredibly he came back six years later in 1935 playing in 34 games for the Portsmouth Truckers, the Cubs' Class-B affiliate. He hit .260 in 123 plate appearances, which amounted to his final ride in professional ball. It was a long and winding road with his first and only big-league moment coming when he was 22 years old. While it would've been nice to stay, he's one of very few that gets to say they spent any time there at all.


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