He was born in Hamilton, Missouri on May 23, 1888, son of an English-descended father and a Cherokee mother, but made his name playing right field in Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, and today we celebrate
NATIONAL ZACK WHEAT DAY!
He was a Brooklyn Dodger before they were the Dodgers. Zachariah Davis Wheat was playing minor league ball for the Mobile Sea Gulls, tearing up the Southern Association, when his contract was purchased for $1,200 by a National League franchise, the Brooklyn Superbas, previously called the Brooklyn Grooms, Brooklyn Bridegrooms and Brooklyn Grays.
Zack Wheat had hit the the Big Time, and made the most of the opportunity, showcasing his graceful defensive skills in the outfield and a lethal bat at the plate, and by the 1911 season when Brooklyn adopted the name The Dodgers, he was their star.
In 1914 the team changed its name yet again, to the Brooklyn Robins, and kept that name for the remainder of his career. No matter the team’s name, Wheat hit with remarkable power in the Dead Ball Era, consistently among the league leaders, and led his team to 2 World Series appearances, a true Brooklyn legend.
His only drawback as a ball player were his tiny feet, an absurdly small Size 5, but that didn’t prevent him from setting franchise records for hits, doubles, triples and total bases that still stand.
After his baseball career, Wheat became alternately a farmer, a cop and finally, owner of a hunting and fishing resort until his death in 1972. Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1959, Zack Wheat was as recently as 1981 considered one of the 100 best baseball players of all time.
•Suggested Activities: Cursing Los Angeles and Robert Moses.