Name: John Gladstone Graney
Induction year: 1984
Born (date, year, place): June 10, 1886 in St. Thomas, Ontario
Died (date, year, place): April 20, 1978 in Louisiana, Missouri
Primary Position: Outfielder, Broadcaster
Years Played: 1908, 1910 to 1922
Teams Played: Cleveland Indians
Jack Graney’s road to the big leagues began in St. Thomas, Ontario, where he was discovered and recommended to the Chicago Cubs by fellow Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer, Bob Emslie. After a season in the Cubs organization, Graney was sold to the Cleveland, where he would evolve into a steady, dependable outfielder.
His big league resume boasts a number of firsts. When Graney walked to the plate in a game against the Red Sox on July 11, 1914, he became the first batter to face Babe Ruth. Almost two years later, on June 26, 1916, he would be the first major leaguer to bat wearing a number on his uniform. A scrappy leadoff hitter, Graney would lead the American League in walks twice (1917 and 1919) and in doubles once (1916). The speedy Canuck also finished in the top 10 in triples in 1913 and 1916, with 12 and 14 three-baggers respectively. He was also a member of the World Series-winning Indians squad in 1920.
After his playing career, Graney became the first ex-player to make the transition to the broadcast booth, performing radio play-by-play for the Indians from 1932 to 1953. The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame now presents an award named in his honor to a media member who has made a significant contribution to the game of baseball in Canada through their life’s work. Jack was inducted into the Cleveland Indians Distinguished Hall of Fame for non-uniformed personnel. The inductions took place on Saturday, August 11 prior to the 6:05PM game vs. Boston Red Sox at Progressive Field.
To view Jack’s season by season Major League statistics click HERE.