Roger Peckinpaugh played 17 big league seasons, all in the American League. Along the way he played with and against some of the greatest players the game has ever known.
Discovered and signed by his boyhood idol Nap Lajoie, Peckinpaugh played alongside the 5-time batting champ and .338 lifetime hitter in 1910. On the pitching side, Cleveland had 511-game winner Cy Young.
Traded to New York in 1913, he became Yankee captain the following season. When manager Frank Chance was fired late in the year, the 23-year-old Peckinpaugh was named the team’s skipper.
Toward the end of his 9-year stay in New York, Babe Ruth was his teammate. In 1921 Peckinpaugh watched in awe as Ruth hit .378 while leading the AL in homers, RBI, runs scored, walks, on-base and slugging percentage and total bases.
After the season the Yankees dealt him to the Red Sox who flipped him to the Senators three weeks later.
Each of Peckinpaugh’s five years in Washington came with Walter Johnson as a teammate. Peckinpaugh played shortstop behind Johnson in 1924 when the Big Train earned the American League pitching crown en route to Washington’s only World Series triumph.
In 1925 Peckinpaugh was named the American League Most Valuable player as the Senators again captured the pennant. For Johnson, it was the last of his twelve 20-win seasons.
Peckingpaugh thought highly of Johnson who finished with a record 110 shutouts. The pitcher’s 3,509 career strikeouts was the most in MLB history until Nolan Ryan passed it more than a half-century after Johnson threw his last pitch. The 417 wins by the Senators great remains second only to Cy Young.
Though they were never teammates, Peckinpaugh had great respect for Tigers centerfielder Ty Cobb. All of Peckinpaugh’s 17 seasons in the American League were overlapped by the owner of 11 batting crowns, 4,189 hits, and the highest lifetime average.
A fine player in his own right, Peckinpaugh witnessed the game’s finest players up close.
Shown here are Peckinpaugh’s thoughts of baseball’s best performers. He writes, “In my playing days, the greatest all around ball player was Ty Cobb. No one was close to Babe Ruth as a slugger and Walter Johnson was the best pitcher.”
Peckinpaugh adds his signature at the bottom.