The Boston Americans purchased the contract of young outfielder Tris Speaker from Houston of the Texas League in September 1907 and brought the 19-year-old to the majors, where he didn’t impress right away.
He struggled in a longer audition in 1908, but in 1909 took over as the every-day center fielder in Boston, now known as the Red Sox. He topped the .300 mark at the plate, starting a streak of 10 straight seasons over that mark.
In 1912, Speaker was the MVP after hitting .383/.464/1.031 and leading the AL in doubles, homers and slugging as the Red Sox won their first World Series title since 1903.
He was fourth in the MVP race the following season and in 1914 topped the league in hits, doubles and total bases.
Speaker helped Boston to another World Series title in 1915, even as his individual numbers tailed of some, and in April 1916 was traded to the Cleveland Indians for Sad Sam Jones, Fred Thomas and $55,000.
In parts of nine seasons with the franchise, Speaker hit .337/414/.896, an OPS+ of 166, with 39 homers, 542 RBI, 704 runs and 267 stolen bases.
In two World Series appearances with Boston, Speaker hit .298/.400/.847 in 13 games, with two RBI and six runs scored.
Speaker went on to play 11 more years with Cleveland and finished his career with single seasons with the Washington Senators and Philadelphia Athletics, with his career total of 792 doubles still No. 1 all-time.
Speaker was part of the inaugural Hall of Fame induction class in 1939.
After retiring as a player, Speaker as a broadcaster in Chicago for both the Cubs and White Sox and later manager and part-owner of the American Association’s Kansas City Blues, per the Society for American Baseball Research.
He died Dec. 8, 1958 from a heart condition at the age of 70.