Bobby Wallace

Shortstop

Class of 1953

Bobby Wallace

Shortstop

Class of 1953
Bobby Wallace made his major league debut in 1894. In a few short years, he evolved into one of the game's best shortstops.

Games

Birth year

About Bobby Wallace

Bobby Wallace made his major league debut in 1894, taking the mound for the Cleveland Spiders. In a few short years, he evolved into one of the game's best shortstops.

Wallace pitched for a starting rotation that included Cy Young – and in his first full season in 1895 he won 12 of his 26 decisions. Though his pitching wasn’t overwhelmingly impressive to the team’s management, the level of athleticism he displayed was enough for them to give him chances at other positions.

Wallace played the outfield as much as he took the mound by his third year in Cleveland, and he eventually turned into a regular infielder. The versatile player’s best season came in 1897 when he batted .335 with 173 hits in 130 games while playing third base full time. He drove in a team-leading 112 runs, scored 99 runs and hit 21 triples.

He was moved from the hot corner to the middle infield, first spending time at second base before getting a chance at shortstop, where he made a lasting impression with his teammates.

“[Bobby Wallace] is one of the greatest fielding shortstops who ever lived,” fellow St. Louis Browns player Jimmy Austin said. “It was a delight to play third base next to that fellow.”

In 1901 with the St. Louis Cardinals, Wallace led all NL shortstops in chances per game, assists and double plays and was still a threat at the plate, batting .324 with 91 RBI. He jumped to the American League's St. Louis Browns in 1902, holding down the starting shortstop job for 11 seasons. He also served as the team's manager during the 1911 and 1912 seasons.

“The Scot was not the most robust hitter that ever lived, but he was no pigeon at the plate,” sportswriter Bill Corum said. “Save for that, Bobby had one weakness as a shortstop – that was that he played in the same era as Honus Wagner.”

Wallace led his league in assists four times in his career and fielding percentage twice. He also finished in his league's Top 10 in RBI eight times in his career.

Because of his smart style of play and his remarkable defensive skills, Wallace remained in the big leagues until he was 44 years old.

Wallace was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1953. He passed away on Nov. 3, 1960.

The Basics

Year inducted
1953
Birth Place
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Birth Year
1873
Died
1960, Torrance California

Career at a Glance

Primary Team
St. Louis Browns
Primary Position
Shortstop
Bats
Right
Throws
Right
Played For
Cleveland Spiders, 1894-1898
St. Louis Cardinals, 1899-1901
St. Louis Cardinals, 1917-1918
St. Louis Browns, 1902-1916

Career MLB Stats

Games
2,383
At bats
8,618
Runs
1,057
Hits
2,309
Doubles
391
Triples
143
Home Runs
34
RBI
1,121
Stolen Bases
201
Walks
774
Batting Average
.268
Ops
.690
On Base %
.332
Slugging %
.358

Bobby Wallace Stories

Explore the archives and go deep into the lives, careers, and stories of the Hall of Fame's honorees.

The Hall of Fame Class of 1953 featured eight electees