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Swedes in the Major Leagues

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  • Swedes in the Major Leagues

    http://www.nordstjernan.com/news/sports/1872/

    Charles Hallström was the first to play professionally. Hallström was born in Jönköping, Sweden on January 22, 1864. Known as the "Swedish Wonder" in baseball circles, his major league career was short-lived. His career began and ended on September 23, 1885 as he pitched a complete game (nine innings) for the Providence Grays. The Grays lost that particular game and Hallström's numbers are indicative of why he never pitched in the major leagues again. While completing the game he allowed sixteen runs on eighteen hits, three of which were homeruns.

    Charles Bold was born October 27, 1894 in Karlskrona, Sweden and had a slightly longer career than his fellow countryman Hallström, four days longer to be exact. Bold made his major league debut on August 24, 1914 with the St. Louis Browns and finished his career on August 28, 1914. While with the St. Louis ball club for those five days Charles "Dutch" Bold appeared in two games getting one at bat. Unfortunately, his one at bat culminated in a strikeout. Defensively, he appeared at first base and had two chances to handle batted balls. He was unable to field one successfully and was credited with an error.

    Born August 26, 1895 in Gustavsberg, Sweden, Axel Lindström was the third Swede to play professionally. His pitching career lasted just as long as fellow countryman and predecessor Charles Hallström. On October 3, 1916, Axel Lindström pitched his one and only game in the major leagues. The twenty-one year old right-hander pitched four innings of relief for the Philadelphia Athletics. In his debut Axel gave up four hits, two runs, hit one batsman and struck out one. Although off to a promising start, The Philadelphia Athletics Ball Club nor any other major league team retained his baseball services again.

    The most recent Swede to play professional baseball in the Major Leagues was Erick “Swat” Erickson. Born in Göteborg, Sweden on March 13, 1895, Erickson enjoyed the most prosperous and successful career of his Swedish contemporaries. He lasted seven years in Major League Baseball and pitched for three different teams.

    On October 6, 1914, the nineteen year old Erickson started his major league career by pitching for the New York Giants. That day he pitched five innings, striking out three and walking three but was saddled with the loss. Out of the major leagues in 1915, he resurfaced in 1916 as a member of the Detroit Tigers. From 1916 to 1919 he pitched in twenty-three games for Detroit earning four victories and seven defeats.

    During the 1919 season he was traded by Detroit to the Washington Senators where he finished his career. Between 1919 and 1922 Erickson experienced the most activity of his professional career. He played in 121 games for the Washington ball club earning thirty victories and forty-nine losses. For his entire pitching career Erickson won 34 games, lost 57 and appeared in 145 games.

    The four Swedish born players may not hold any baseball records or bring national acclaim to their country, but their names and birth places appear forever in the chronicles of Major League baseball.


  • #2
    Cool post, thanks!
    "He'd give you the shirt off his back. Of course he'd call a press conference to announce it" (Catfish Hunter talking about Reggie Jackson)
    Play the Who am I? game in trivia and you can make this signature line yours for 3 days (baseball signatures only!)

    Go here for a link to all player links! http://www.baseball-fever.com/forum/...player-threads

    Go here for all your 1920's/1930's OF info

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    • #3
      I will always associate the word "Swede" in a sports context with the book American Pastoral by Philip Roth (great book!)
      My top 10 players:

      1. Babe Ruth
      2. Barry Bonds
      3. Ty Cobb
      4. Ted Williams
      5. Willie Mays
      6. Alex Rodriguez
      7. Hank Aaron
      8. Honus Wagner
      9. Lou Gehrig
      10. Mickey Mantle

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Toledo Inquisition View Post
        Cool post, thanks!
        It's the cover story on the current (Volume 149, No. 5, April 1, 2021) edition of "Nordstjernan: The Swedish Newspaper of America."

        Nordstjernan.jpg

        Here is the picture of Erick "Swat" Erickson:

        Swat.jpg



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