March 25, 2014

Frank Elton "Pancho" Snyder

Originally from San Antonio, Snyder began his major league career with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1912 at the age of 18 and soon nicknamed "Pancho" since he was of Mexican descent. He was traded to the New York Giants in the middle of the 1919 season and was a member of John McGraw's Giants teams that won four consecutive National League pennants (1921-1924) and two World Series winners (1921-1922).

During that period, Snyder posted a batting average above .300 three times, with a .320 average in 1921, a .343 average in 1922 and a .302 average in 1924. He hit the first major league home run in the history of Braves Field in 1922. In 1926, he was selected off waivers by the St. Louis Cardinals and played for them in 1927 before retiring at the end of the season at the age of 33.

In a sixteen-year major league career, Snyder played in 1,392 games, accumulating 1,122 hits in 4,229 at bats for a .265 career batting average along with 44 triples, 47 home runs and 525 runs batted in. A good defensive player, his .981 career fielding average was 8 points higher than the league average over the span of his playing career. Snyder led National League catchers in fielding percentage three times: in 1914, 1923 and 1925. He also led the league twice in putouts and caught stealing percentage and, once in assists and in baserunners caught stealing. His 204 assists as a catcher in 1915 is the seventh highest single-season total in major league baseball history. His 1,332 career assists rank him 17th all-time among major league catchers.

The Society for American Baseball Research ranked Snyder as the ninth-most dominating fielding catcher in major league history. His reputation as a defensive standout is enhanced because of the era in which he played. In the Deadball Era, catchers played a huge defensive role, given the large number of bunts and stolen base attempts, as well as the difficulty of handling the spitball pitchers who dominated pitching staffs.

After his playing career, he served as a coach for the New York Giants, and was a minor league manager until his retirement from the sport. Snyder died in his hometown of San Antonio on January 5, 1962.

GPS Coordinates
29° 28.660, -098° 25.866

Section PH
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
San Antonio

No comments:

Post a Comment