Lord, Harry (1969)
Harry Lord was a player whose record speaks volumes and who never backed off from field exchanges with Cobb. Third baseman Lord, who felt Cobb's flying feet many times and had the slash marks on his legs to prove it, always defended Cobb's playing style. Recalled his widow, Hazel Hannaford of Cape Elizabeth, "Harry said Ty was entitled to the base paths. The trick was to give him his running room and keep the ball between Cobb and the bag. Easier said than done of course"
Lord, who hailed from Porter originally, captained Red Sox and Chicago White Sox teams before jumping to the Federal League as Buffalo manager..
Vern Putney Portland Press Herald sports February 1969
From American Society for Baseball Research
This article was written by Will Anderson
This biography originally appeared in Will Anderson’s self-published 1992 book Was Baseball Really Invented in Maine?
Another couple of miles west and New Hampshire could have claimed Harry Lord as a New Hampshire native. Porter, Maine – where our guardian of the hot corner was born on March 8, 1882 – is that close to the state line.
But Mainers take pride in the Porter lad, for Harry Lord was a ballplayer’s ballplayer. Growing up in Kezar Falls, Lord learned an early love of the game, and went on to star in it – and football, as well – at Bridgton Academy. From there it was on to Bates, where he again excelled in both sports. It was at Bates that he first came to consider baseball as a possible career. As Harry explained years later, “As a little chap I played the game, but never with any thought or desire to use baseball as a means of gaining a livelihood. In fact, I had ambitions in other fields. During my high-school baseball days I gave the team the best that was in me, yet I never regarded the game with serious thought until I entered Bates College. There I settled down to study baseball. The further I advanced in baseball the more I saw in the line of making plays. The game interested me beyond the mere physical enjoyment derived.”
Harry played the better part of three seasons with the Red Sox, as they renamed themselves beginning in 1908. With the Sox, he developed into one of the game’s premier third basemen. He was of the old school: If he couldn’t stop the ball with his glove he’d stop it with his chest. He gave way to no man on the basepaths either. That included Ty Cobb. In fact, Cobb so respected Lord’s fiercely competitive play – and vice versa, it should be noted – that they became fast friends off the field.
And Harry was no slouch with the bat. In his first full season in the majors, 1908, he contributed a .259 average, 23 steals, and 61 runs scored. The Boston Post wrote: “The crowd alwtook 59ays looks to Lord or Amby McConnell to start something. They generally succeed, too.” In 1909 Harry really came into his own, leading all Red Sox regulars – one of whom was Tris Speaker – with a .315 mark. His stolen base and runs scored counts also increased measurably, to 36 and 89, respectively. The Boston Globe in September honored him by writing, “Harry Lord is by all odds the best run getter among the third basemen of the American League.”
After the demise of the Federal League, Harry came home to New England. He managed and held down third base for the New England League’s Lowell Grays in 1916. The following year he was with Portland in the Eastern League, batting .266 in 102 games, and in 1918 he managed in Jersey City.
Harry then tried his hand in the grocery business: He purchased a store in South Portland, close to his home in Cape Elizabeth. It afforded him plenty of time to do one of the things he enjoyed most: share life with his wife and his son and daughter. He loved to hunt and fish, too. He also kept close to the game. He coached at South Portland High, was player-manager of a semipro team, later managed a spirited Dixfield nine. In 1925 Harry went into the coal business as co-proprietor of the Portland Lehigh Coal Company. He remained in that work the rest of his life.
After several years of a lingering illness, the great old third baseman passed away in Westbrook on August 9, 1948. His one regret: that he had exited the White Sox before the Black Sox infamy of 1919. He was a leader among the Sox players, was trusted by them. “I’m sure,” he voiced in his later years, “that if I could have been there, Joe Jackson and Buck Weaver, whom I still don’t believe were in it, and the others would have listened to me. I could have stopped it if I’d had to punch the ringleader in the nose.” And that’s probably exactly what Harry Lord, if that’s what it would have taken, would have done.
Born: March 8, 1882 Porter, Maine
Died: August 9, 1948 (aged 66) Westbrook, Maine
Batted: Left Threw: Right
September 25, 1907, for the Boston Americans
Last MLB appearance
September 27, 1915, for the Buffalo Blues
Batting average .277
Home runs 14
Runs batted in 294
Stolen bases 206
Boston Americans/Red Sox (1907–1910)
Chicago White Sox (1910–1914)
Buffalo Blues (1915)