Smead Jolley

Smead Powell Jolley (January 14, 1902 – November 17, 1991) was an outfielder in Major League baseball for four seasons during the 1930s.

Jolley was raised in Arkansas. He compiled a .305 lifetime batting average and considerable power. However, Jolley was a famously poor fielder, and in an era before the designated hitter, when all starting players had to play a defensive position, Jolley's glove was too great a liability to sustain an MLB career.

As an outfielder, Jolley made 44 errors in 788 career chances for a .944 fielding percentage. Jolley once committed three errors on one play. First, he let a ground ball roll through his legs; trying to play the ball off the wall, he let it roll through his legs; and finally he overthrew the cut-off man for the third error.

Jolley is known to many only for his major league career; however, before and after his major league career, he had a long, successful career in the minor leagues, in an era when the minor leagues were independent teams. He hit .367 lifetime in 16 minor league seasons, playing ten seasons in the Pacific Coast League (PCL) for San Francisco, Hollywood and Oakland. The PCL was the top minor league of that era. The league had a minimum salary of $5,000 per year, comparable to the two major leagues, and often paid their established players as well as the National and American Leagues. The PCL was sometimes called The Third Major League (Source: Baseball's Hometown Teams, by Bruce Chadwick, pp. 88–97).

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  2. ^ Robbins, Mike (2004). Ninety Feet from Fame: Close Calls with Baseball Immortality. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers. p. 64-65. ISBN 0-7867-1335-6. 
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By Dean Hanley

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