John Walker “Jack” Lapp

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John Walker “Jack” Lapp
Baseball • Frazer

John Walker “Jack” Lapp, (1884-1920) born Frazer, PA, was a professional baseball player who played catcher in the major leagues from 1908 to 1916. He played for the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Athletics.

Jack Lapp was a second or third-string catcher for eight of his nine years in the big leagues (seven with Philadelphia and one with Chicago). He did catch 503 games in his career, so he wasn't exactly "riding the pines" for all those years.

In 1911, the Athletics' first-string catcher was Ira Thomas, with Paddy Livingston and Lapp backing him up. Philadelphia played the New York Giants in the 1911 World Series, which went six games with the A's winning. Thomas caught the first two games and was "slightly injured" in the 7th inning of Game 2. Livingston, who had been a key figure during the regular season, was suffering from injuries to his legs, arms, and hands. He did not play in the Series.

Lapp was called on to catch Game 3 on October 17, 1911, which lasted 11 innings. He set a record for catcher in a single game, catching base stealers with five, and he also had 14 putouts. Thomas came back to catch Game 4, a nine-inning affair that had Thomas limping by the end. Lapp was assigned to catch Game 5 (10/25/1911), which lasted 10 innings. He "only" caught one base stealer and had four putouts in that game. Thomas caught Game 6 for a Philadelphia series victory.

The next year (1912), Lapp split catching duties with Thomas and Ben Egan, but Lapp caught the majority of the games (83).

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