Lafayette Napoleon Cross (May 12, 1866 – September 6, 1927) was an American third baseman in Major League Baseball who played most of his 21-year career with Philadelphia-based teams in four different leagues. One of the sport's top all-around players in the years surrounding the turn of the 20th century, when he retired he ranked fifth in major league history in hits (2,644) and runs batted in (1,371), ninth in doubles (411) and total bases (3,466), and third in games played (2,275) and at bats (9,064). Also starring on defense, after beginning his major league career as a catcher, he led third basemen in fielding percentage five times, and ended his career with nearly every fielding record at that position: games (1,721), putouts (2,306), assists (3,706), total chances (6,406), and fielding average (.938); his 212 double plays ranked third behind Billy Nash and Arlie Latham. He captained the Philadelphia Athletics teams which captured two of the first five American League pennants.
His older brother Amos was a major league catcher from 1885–87, and his younger brother Frank played one game in right field for the 1901 Cleveland Blues.
By Dean Hanley
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