With his 6-foot-5 frame making him one of the tallest catchers in big league history, Larry McLean toiled for parts of 13 seasons in the majors. Dubbed “Larry” due to his physical resemblance to Larry “Nap” Lajoie, the young Maritmer moved to the Boston area with his family when he was a child, but returned to his native country to begin his pro career. McLean would suit up for semi-pro squads in St. John and Fredericton, prior to making his big league debut with Boston in 1901. After just nine games in Beantown, however, McLean was released and soon resurfaced with the Halifax Resolutes.
He competed in one contest with the Chicago Cubs in 1903 and 27 more with the St. Louis Cardinals the following campaign, before returning to the minors. His .355 batting average with the Pacific Coast League’s Portland Beavers in 1906 earned him another big league opportunity with the Cincinnati Reds. It was in the Queen City that “Big Larry” would enjoy his greatest big league success, hitting .289 and knocking in 54 runs in 1907, prior to delivering a career-best .298 batting average and 71 RBIs in 1910.
After a short stint with St. Louis, McLean was dealt to the New York Giants in August 1913. The tall Canadian would hit .320 in 30 games for the Giants during the stretch run, and continue his torrid hitting in the Fall Classic, where he had six hits in 12 at bats. A fan favourite wherever he played, McLean also battled alcoholism throughout his career. Unfortunately, life didn’t get any easier for McLean after baseball. Unable to tame his demons, he was shot and killed in a bar fight in Boston in 1921.
Career Major League Baseball Statistics
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