A so-so hitter but an outstanding defensive centerfielder, Birmingham led AL outfielders
with 33 assists in 1907. On October 2, 1908, he scored the only run in Addie Joss's
perfect game against Ed Walsh. As the manager of the 1913 Cleveland team, then called
the "Naps" in honor of second baseman Nap Lajoie, he caused a local furor by benching
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»May 27, 1911:
At Chicago, Cleveland and Chicago battle to a 5–5 tie after nine innings, before Ed Walsh takes over in the 10th. The Naps rattle him for two doubles and a run, and ace rookie Vean Gregg, who takes over in the 8th, holds on for a 6–5 win. Frank Lange strikes out 10 Naps in nine innings, but gives up nine hits and five walks. Joe Birmingham has three hits to pace Cleveland.
»October 27, 1911: A's longtime captain and 1B Harry Davis is named manager of Cleveland. He won't last the 1912 season and 28-year-old J.L. Birmingham will take over, going 21–7 to earn the job.
»May 28, 1914: Boston's Harry Hooper leads a successful triple steal against Cleveland that results in three players getting thrown out of the game. With Rip Hagerman on the mound in the 3rd inning, Dode Birmingham, Fred Carisch and Ivy Olson get tossed for protesting too vigorously. Tris Speaker, on the back end of the triple swipe today will be on the front end of another Red Sox triple steal.