Max Bishop

Professional Baseball Player , 1899 - 1962

Max Frederick Bishop was a second baseman in Major League Baseball, where he played from 1924 through 1935, first for the Philadelphia Athletics (1924-1933), and from 1934 to 1935 for the Boston Red Sox. Bishop batted left-handed and threw right-handed. He was born on September 5, 1899 in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, to Ulyssis Grant Bishop of Mount Rock, Cumberland County, and Lulu Blanch Zullinger of Upper Strasburg, Franklin County, both in Pennsylvania. Through his mother max is therefore connected to the Zollinger family, although the spelling had been changed, and is thus of Swiss descent.

Bishop was the lead-off hitter for the last three American League pennant-winning Philadelphia Athletics teams of Connie Mack. Nicknamed "Tilly" or "Camera Eye" for his notable ability to judge pitches, Bishop was adept at working counts and drawing walks, as evidenced by his .423 career on base percentage, in front of Athletics sluggers such as Al Simmons, Michael Cochrane and Jimmie Foxx. Eight times he collected 100 walks, leading the AL with 128 in 1929; twice he walked eight times in a doubleheader, to set a major league record. He also twice drew five walks in a single game, to become the only major leaguer to do so, and he recorded a 2.55 strike-out ratio (1153-to-452). His walk percentage of .204 is only surpassed by Ted Williams’s .207. He also scored 100 or more runs during four consecutive seasons (1928-1931), with a career-high 117 in 1930. Rated as one of the best fielders in the game, Bishop led American League second basemen four times in fielding percentage, and played 18 World Series games without committing an error. When Bishop scored 117 runs in 1930, he became the only player in major league history to score at least 70 runs while collecting more runs than hits. In his overall 12-season career, Bishop was a .271 hitter with 41 home runs and 379 RBI in 1338 games played.

When Mack dismantled the Philadelphia Athletics in 1933, he sent Bishop, Lefty Grove and Rube Walberg to the Boston Red Sox for two players and $150,000. After two years in Boston, Bishop ended his playing career in 1936 with the Baltimore Orioles of the International League, and then, in 1937, he scouted for a year for the Detroit Tigers. After that, from1938 to1962, he served as baseball head coach at the U. S. Naval Academy. During his 25 years as Navy Midshipmen coach, he posted a 306-143 record, including an seasonal record of 24 victories and two defeats in 1961.

Bishop died at his home at Waynesboro on February 24, 1962 at the age of 62.

The baseball stadium at the Naval Academy is named for Bishop.

Source: Janice Roden

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