Introducing… Everett Scott

Never one to go ga-ga over with lumber in his hands, Everett “The Deacon” Scott was essentially an all-field-little-hit shortstop.  The slick-fielder led American league shortstops in fielding percentage seven consecutive seasons: 1916 to 1922.  Scott’s claim to fame is setting the consecutive games played streak that Lou Gehrig eventually shattered.

One of the many in the long line of Red Sox to Yankees players, Scott joined the BoSox in 1914 and scored 66 runs as a rookie.  He showed enough promise as a freshman that he tied Ty Cobb in MVP voting with eleven shares.  Although his bat was middling in 1914 it became a liability in 1915 when his batting average dipped to just above .200.  Even though he couldn’t hit with Cobb and Speaker, he could pick it with the best of ’em.  Scott led the Red Sox to the World Series in 1915 with a .961 fielding percentage–the league average was .935.

The Red Sox repeated as World Champs in 1916 with Deacon’s fielding percentage of .967.  His bat was never vociferous throughout his career–usually muzzled and squelched in the corner–it was his leather that did the crooning.  In 1917, Scott notched 483 assists (he would top 500 twice) and turned 64 double plays.  Despite not carrying a heavy stick, Everett nevertheless was the only American League shortstop in 1917 to notch 50 RBI.

Deacon, at the age of 25, tried on his third World Series ring in 1918 when the Red Sox beat the Cubs in six games.  A contact hitter who rarely struck out or walked, Everett was the only junior circuit shortstop to whiff less than 20 times that season.  The following year he reached his highwater marks for batting average and on-base percentage while continuing his success with the glove.  That year he posted his best single season fielding percentage with a .976 mark while leading AL shortstops in base hits.

Scott played in every game in 1920, the advent of the Lively Ball Era, and led American League shortstops with a dozen triples.  He tallied 61 RBI in 1920 and then 62 in 1922–his last in Boston.  The Red Sox, always looking for ways to make the team worse, packaged Scott in a deal to the Yankees with pitchers Bullet Joe Bush and Sad Sam Jones for a group of players led by shortstop Roger Peckinpaugh and pitcher Jack Quinn. 

Deacon returned to the World Series in 1922 with the Bronx Bombers but they were beat by city rival Giants.  The following year, the always reliable defender flexed his muscles for the first time by leading Major League shortstops in homeruns.  He carried a hot bat into the World Series and hit Giants pitching at a .318 clip as the Yankees sank McGraw’s Men. 

In 1924, Scott only whiffed fifteen times in 548 at-bats and for the seventh straight year he posted a fielding percentage above .960.  But with offense the name of the game in the Lively Ball Era, the Yankees replaced Scott at shortstop in 1925 and he caught on with the Senators to finish out the 1925 campaign.  He split the 1926 season with two teams and then returned to the minors to finish out his career with the International League’s Reading Keystones.

THE NUMBERS

G 1,654/R 552/H 1,455/2B 208/3B 58/HR 20/RBI 549/BB 243/SO 282/SB 69/BA .249/SA .315

www.vintageball.com

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1 comment
  1. brettkiser said:

    The classic example of how defense is totally neglected by HOF voters, The Deacon was in a league all to his own with the leather, but since his stickwork was slight, he has received little HOF support. Had Scott been a little better with the lumber, or had some speed and on-base skills like Ozzie Smith, then he’d have a strong shot at eventual induction. But as it stands, Everett is a weak HOF candidate.

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