Born in Dublin, Ireland, Jimmy Archer moved with his family to Montreal as a baby and relocated to Toronto when he was three. At age 20, the young catcher made his professional baseball debut in Fargo, North Dakota. The following year in Boone, Iowa, he would hit .299, convincing the Pittsburgh Pirates to purchase his contract and insert him in their lineup that September.
Serving primarily as a backup catcher, Archer’s next big league assignment was with the Detroit Tigers in 1907. After participating in just 18 games in the regular season, the rifle-armed Canadian was summoned to thwart the Cubs running attack in Game 5 of the World Series. Archer did throw out speedy Cubs outfielder Jimmy Slagle, but the Cubs still won the game and later the series.
Impressed by Archer, the Cubs brass offered him a contract prior to the 1909 campaign. Archer accepted the deal and served as the Cubs regular catcher for eight seasons. His best offensive season was in 1912, when he hit .283 with 58 RBIs. But Archer was best known for his potent arm and is often acknowledged as the first catcher to throw out a runner from the squat position. His catching contemporary, Chief Meyers, once said, “The best throwing catcher of them all was Jimmy Archer. He didn’t have an arm. He had a rifle and perfect accuracy.”
Career Major League Statistics
To view season by season career MLB statistics click HERE.