Born in Wales, Austin was one of the best third basemen of his day. In his twelve
seasons as a regular, he led the AL five times in total chances per game, four times
in double plays, twice each in putouts and assists, and once in fielding average.
An inconsistent hitter, he compensated by drawing walks and stealing bases, pilfering
244 lifetime with a high of 37. The switch-hitting chatterbox is most famous for
a photo of him at third base, attempting to avoid the flying spikes of Ty Cobb
signed with Pittsburgh of the Federal League
but never reported, as the Browns matched
Austin was the first of Branch Rickey's "Sunday Managers" with the
Browns (Rickey would not enter a ballpark on a Sunday due to an early promise to
his mother). Austin had three short stints as the Browns' interim manager. The last
four years of his playing career each consisted of just one game, including his sole
appearance behind the plate. He coached with the Browns until 1932, when he joined
the White Sox for seven years.