January 26 – Happy Birthday Hick Cady

When yesterday’s Beantown Baseball Birthday Celebrant, Les Nunamaker, was sold to the Yankees during the 1914 season, it was today’s Beantown Baseball Birthday Celebrant who replaced him as the Red Sox’ back up catcher. Hick Cady had actually been a Red Sox since 1912, when he made the big league roster as a 26-year-old rookie. The Bishop Hill, IN native was such an outstanding defensive catcher that Boston kept him on the roster for three seasons even though they already had Nunamaker and a very talented starting receiver named Bill Carrigan. After Nunamaker got sold to New York, Cady saw lots more action and he pretty much evenly shared Boston’s receiving responsibilities with Carrigan, catching 77 games in 1915 and 63 more the following season. He was the preferred catcher of Red Sox ace, Smokey Joe Wood. He also won three World Series rings during his Red Sox career and got a chance to play in all three of those Fall Classics. Offensively, Cady was nothing special but he did however manage a career high .278 average in 1915. When that figure dropped to .191 the following season, Cady saw a precipitous drop in playing time and his days in Beantown were numbered. During the 1917 offseason, Cady was the driver of a car that was involved in a horrendous accident. One of his passengers was killed in the crash and Cady’s right shoulder was shattered. Amazingly, the mishap did not stop A’s Manager, Connie Mack from trading for the catcher the following January. His shoulder did not heal quickly enough and Cady ended up sitting out the 1918 season. He attempted an unsuccessful comeback for the Phillies the following year and went back to playing minor league ball for the balance of his playing career. He was killed in a 1946 hotel fire that took place in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Cady is the only member of the all-time Red Sox roster to be born on this date.

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