Saturday, September 27, 2003

Ohio Moments

Hall-of-Famer Lajoie reached 3,000-hit level

On Sept. 27, 1914, second baseman Napoleon "Nap" Lajoie became the first Cleveland player to reach 3,000 hits.

Lajoie had revived the moribund Cleveland Bronchoswhen he joined them in 1903. So thrilled were the club and the city to have Lajoie that the team was renamed the Naps. The Cleveland Naps became the Indians in 1915.

A graceful and powerful hitter, Lajoie batted .300 or better in 16 of his 21 seasons. In 10 of those seasons, he hit higher than .350. His lifetime average was .339.

In 1910, Lajoie found himself competing against Ty Cobbfor the batting title and a Chalmers automobile. The results were contested and while Cobb took the title, Lajoie also received a Chalmers car.

Lajoie was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937.

Rebecca Goodman

E-mail or call (513) 768-8361

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