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Baseball Legends - November 4, 2016

A portrait of Joe Tinker, shortstop for the Chicago Cubs, c. 1910. (Photo via Library of Congress)

Q: It took 108 years, but the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series! When the Cubs last won the series - back in 1908 - they had help from a young Kansas ballplayer. What's the name of the famous Cubs shortstop who was born in Muscotah, Kansas?

A: Joe Tinker
Joseph Bert Tinker was born in 1880 in Muscotah, Kansas. He started playing semi-professional baseball in the late 19th century. In 1902, he made his Major League debut with the Chicago Cubs. With Tinker playing shortstop, the Cubs won four pennants and two World Series championships between 1906 and 1910. 
Tinker became part of a great double-play combination with fellow Cubs teammates Johnny Evers (on 2nd base) and Frank Chance (on 1st base). The three men were immortalized as "Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance" in the poem "Baseball's Sad Lexicon."
Tinker would go on to manage baseball teams and even became part-owner of the Columbus Senators before moving to Orlando, Florida, to manage the Orlando Tigers. Tinker also developed a real estate firm in Florida. It did well in the 1920s, but after a hurricane and the Great Depression wiped out most of his money, Tinker returned to professional baseball in the late 1930s.
Tinker was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946, the same year as Evers and Chance. He died in 1948.

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