Birdie Cree

Birdie Cree

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Birdie Cree

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William Franklin "Birdie" Cree (October 23, 1882 - November 8, 1942) was a Major League Baseball outfielder. He spent his entire 8 year career with the New York Highlanders, which would become the New York Yankees. Statistically, Cree's best comparison would be Homer Smoot.

Born in Khedive, Pennsylvania, Cree was a small man at 5'6" and 150 pounds. He threw and batted right-handed, and he also attended Penn State University.

Prior to the Major Leagues, Cree played in the High Hat League, then went to play ball in Burlington, Vermont and Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Cree made his Major League debut on September 17, 1908 at the age of 25. He was a solid outfielder until 1911, when he had an extraordinary season. He had or tied career highs in every major category, with the highlights being 22 triples (which tied him for 32nd all-time in a season and the most in a season for a right-hander in the AL), 48 stolen bases and a .348 batting average. He was third in the league in stolen bases and because of his great performance, he was tied with Hall of Famer Tris Speaker for 6th highest in the voting for MVP. As a matter of fact, he was the only non-Hall of Fame player in the top six for the MVP voting. He also hit his only career grand slam in 1911.

Cree was on pace for another amazing season in 1912, but his season was cut short by a wrist injury from a Buck O'Brien pitch and he only played a total of 50 games. He hit .332 in that time. On April 22, 1910 Cree was hit...
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