One of the finest fly-chasers of all-time, Baby Doll had more go-get-’em than any outfielder of his time. Gifted defensively, Baby Doll had 18 outfield assists on three separates occasions and retired with a fielding percentage nine points higher than the league average. Leatherworks were his area of expertise, but he was an exceptional hitter as well.
With an odd moniker, Baby Doll, who was so nicknamed because the lyrics in a song played after he hit a climatic homerun employed the phrase “baby doll,” played the bulk of his career for the St. Louis Browns. The Browns of Baby Doll’s time were stocked with solid offensive players but no pitching outside of Urban Shocker.
Baby Doll made his debut in 1915, splitting the season between Detroit and the Browns. He was given a regular job in 1917 but missed the entire 1918 campaign to military service during World War I. He returned to the diamond in 1919 and finished second to Ty Cobb in batting and slugging among AL center fielders, hitting .323 and slugging .453 for the season. In 1920, Baby Doll topped Cobb with a .355 batting average and led all center fielders with 122 runs batted in.
In 1921, Baby Doll had his second straight season with a batting average above .350 when he massaged the apple at a .352 clip. This average was third among center fielders, behind the two greatest middle gardeners of all-time: Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker. His robust .487 slugging average also finished behind Cobb and Speaker but he topped the two Hall of Fame men in base hits, stroking 211 safeties during the season.
Baby Doll knocked in 102 runs in 1922, leading all center fielders. He tied The Georgia Peach for most triples by a center fielder, knocking 16 three-baggers. His finest year came in 1924 when he led AL center fielders in slugging percentage, doubles, triples and homeruns. He was also a demon in the outfield, posting 488 put-outs and a fielding percentage sixteen points higher than the league average. He received 17% of the MVP voting – the highest percentage he ever gathered.
For the seventh consecutive season, Baby Doll posted a batting average above .300 in 1925 when he hit .341. After clubbing 19 homeruns the year prior, he reached double digit figures again, swatting 15 in ’25. And, for the second straight year, his slugging average eclipsed the .500 mark. In the middle of the ’26 season an aging Jacobson was dealt in a three-team swap, sending him to the Red Sox. He hit .305 for Boston in what would be his last good season. After hitting .246 in 1927 – with three teams – his Major League career came to a close.
G 1,472/R 787/H 1,714/2B 328/3B 94/HR 83/RBI 819/SB 86/BA .311/SA .450