I think that today, it’s time you learned about some of the other “fellers” on the 1912 Red Sox team. We’ve looked at the big boys, and the stars, now we meet some of those guys who provided the link in the 1912 Fenway Park chain.
Let’s start with the catchers. We met Bill Carrigan, he was the main man behind the dish, catching 87 games for manager Jake Stahl. But do you know that there were three other dudes who caught for the first Fenway Park team, three! Two of them were rookies and one was in his second year.
So, in order of most games caught I introduce first, Mr. Forrest Leroy Bergland, aka, Forrest Leroy Cady, aka Hick Cady (good lord do I love those old names)
Hick Cady caught for the Red Sox from 1912 through 1917 seeing action in three World Series!
Next is Leslie Grant “Les” Nunamaker
Nunamaker caught with Boston from 1911-1914 including 35 games in Fenway Park’s inaugural 1912 season.
And last but certainly not least is, Chester David “Pinch” Thomas, see what I mean about those names?
Thomas caught from 1912-1917 in Boston and appeared in the 1915 and ’16’ World Series.
It was Hick Cady’s deadly accurate arm which impressed manager Jake Stahl in Hot Springs Arkansas during spring training in 1912 and impressed him enough to take the 26-year-old rookie to Boston as Bill Carrigan’s back up catcher for Fenway Park’s inaugural squad.
A defensive stalwart behind the plate, Cady actually became the preferred catcher of Red Sox ace “Smokey” Joe Wood in 1912. The battery clicked pretty well as Wood went an astounding 34-5 in Fenway’s inaugural year.
Hick Cady races and wins against teammate “Buck” O’Brien (head turned) and trainer Jack O’Brien at Fenway Park in September of 1912, just a few days before Fenway Park’s first ever World Series.
Cady caught in the World Series of 1912, ’15’ and ’16’ with the Red Sox including seven of the games of the 1912 Series. Hick Cady actually pinch hit for a guy named Babe Ruth during the 1915 season. Ruth was strictly a pitcher in those days and did not appear as an everyday player until 1918.
Les Nunamaker saw limited duty with the Red Sox in parts of the 1911, ’12’, ’13’ and ’14’ seasons. He caught only 131 games for them, however he is forever solidified in history as a member of the 1912 World Champion Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park’s first team.
Nunamaker was traded to the Yankees in 1914 where he became the first catcher in history to throw out three runners in an inning trying to steal second base.
Chester ‘Pinch” Thomas caught only 13 games with the Red Sox in 1912, however he was the regular Red Sox catcher for the 1915 and ’16’ World Championship seasons.
Thomas was a pinch-hitter extraordinaire throughout his career, going 13-31 (a .417 clip) in that role from 1913-1918.
Chester David “Pinch” Thomas played for 10 seasons. He was a .237 lifetime hitter. He hit only two career home runs and he never had more than 24 RBI nor more than 24 runs scored. However, “Pinch” Thomas was a winner, for in four of those 10 seasons, Thomas was part of four World Championship teams. Three of them were the Boston Red Sox of 1912, ’15’ and ’16’.
And so it was at this time in Fenway Park history, 1912 Fenway’s inaugural season.