...During his rookie campaign in 1924, Pittsburgh Pirate shortstop Glenn Wright immediately established himself as one of the National League's top players. Wright batted .287 and drove home 111 runs while appearing in every Pirate game. While his solid hitting and run producing ability made Wright an instant fan favorite, it was his superb fielding at shortstop that helped set him apart from other National League performers. The tall, rangy lad had 601 assists during his rookie campaign and manned the position like no Pirate had done since Honus Wagner patrolled Pittsburgh's infield during his heyday.
...Wright's follow-up effort during the Pirates championship season in 1925 was every bit as spectacular as he batted .308, recorded 121 RBIs and finished fourth in voting for National League MVP. During his first four season's playing for Pittsburgh, Wright's name was always included in any discussion involving major league baseball's top players. A potential Hall of Fame career was circumvented by a severe beaning incident in 1927 and a shoulder injury in 1928.
...On May 7, 1925, Wright pulled off one of baseball's rarest plays against the St. Louis Cardinals at Forbes Field. With St. Louis runners occupying first and second base in the ninth inning, Jim Bottomley scorched a drive that seemed destined to land in the outfield. Wright ran over toward second, speared the sharp drive, touched the keystone sack and then tagged the befuddled runner tearing into second. One of baseball's greatest plays was over in a few seconds as fans in the ballpark did not realize what they had just witnessed until Pittsburgh came up to bat in the bottom of the ninth inning.
...Twenty-six years after Pittsburgh won the 1925 World Series over Washington, the team was honored in August of 1951 by Pirate management. During the festivities, Pittsburgh Press scribe Pat Livingston caught up with Wright, now a Boston Red Sox scout, and asked the former shortstop about the triple play that had placed him among the immortals of baseball.
..."Jimmy Cooney was on second," explained Wright, "and Rogers Hornsby on first. Sunny Jim Bottomley hit a line drive over second and I caught the ball and stepped on the base. I wanted to throw to first but Hornsby was in the way. He was coming so fast that I just reached out and tagged him."
...When Livingston brought up the 601 assists during his rookie season in 1924 that still stood as a major league record in 1951, Wright did not seem to be as excited over that accomplishment.
..."I probably had a record for errors too," joked Glenn. "I certainly busted a lot of concrete in back of first base."
...Since Wright was given the nickname of "Buckshot" because errant throws from his powerful arm were common, this assessment probably was an accurate one.
Quotes for this article credited to the following: "Blinding Speed Made Pirates World Champions In 1925," by Pat Livingston, The Pittsburgh Press, August 2, 1951, page 35.
Published on March 15, 2012 11:25 • Tags: glenn-wright
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