Eddie Ainsmith
Born: (1890-02-04)February 4, 1890
Russian Empire
Died: September 6, 1981(1981-09-06) (aged 91)
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 9, 1910, for the Washington Senators
Last MLB appearance
July 21, 1924, for the New York Giants
MLB statistics
Batting average.232
Home runs22
Runs batted in317

Edward Wilbur Ainsmith (born as Edward Anshmedt; February 4, 1890 – September 6, 1981), nicknamed "Dorf,"[1] was a catcher in Major League Baseball (MLB). He played fifteen seasons with the Washington Senators (1910–1918), Detroit Tigers (1919–1921), St. Louis Cardinals (1921–1923), Brooklyn Robins (1923), and New York Giants (1924). He batted and threw right-handed. In 1,078 career games, Ainsmith batted .232 with 707 hits and 317 runs batted in.

After retiring as a player, Ainsmith worked as a minor league umpire, a baseball scout, and a manager in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

Early life

Ainsmith was born in Moscow. His family came to the United States through Ellis Island when he was young. He attended Colby Academy in New Hampshire. He began his playing career in the New England League in 1908 before joining the Senators in the American League.[1]


The Day Book in Chicago, Illinois described Ainsmith in their May 10, 1913 edition as "a gingery young receiver, throws well, can handle Walter Johnson and is a good batter. But he is not the man to handle a young pitcher like [Joe] Engle".[2] The Washington Times wrote in 1922 that Ainsmith "is a formidable blocker at the plate. He is endowed with tremendous strength like an ancient Greek athlete or a Roman gladiator. It is almost impossible to upset him when he sets himself on the base path."[3]

Ainsmith was known for his toughness on the field. Walter Johnson said that if Aimsmith was bleeding from being spiked by an opposing player, Ainsmith would refuse assistance from the team trainer, denying that he was injured.[4] In 1913, as a member of the Washington Senators, Ainsmith was suspended by Ban Johnson for throwing dirt at umpire Peter McLaughlin.[5]

On April 21, 1915, Ainsmith was sentenced to 30 days at Occoquan Workhouse for an assault on a streetcar operator in Washington, D.C.[6]

In 1918, Ainsmith was drafted into the United States armed forces. He appealed to the United States Department of War for an exemption from the draft, but Secretary of War Newton D. Baker ruled that baseball was not an exempt occupation.[7][8]

Later life

Ainsmith also worked as a scout in the New York Giants organization. In the early 1940s, he provided a scouting report on pitcher Sal Maglie that, though lukewarm, led to Maglie being drafted by the Giants.[9] Ainsmith managed the 1947 Rockford Peaches in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.


  1. ^ a b "Eddie Ainsmith statistics and history". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
  2. ^ "Untitled". The Day Book. Chicago, Illinois. May 10, 1913. p. 9. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  3. ^ "Up to his old tricks; A good blocker". The Washington Times. Washington, D.C. July 14, 1922. p. 14. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  4. ^ Carroll, Jeff (2008). Sam Rice: A Biography of the Washington Senators Hall of Famer. McFarland. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-7864-8321-1.
  5. ^ "Untitled". The Day Book. Chicago, Illinois. June 4, 1913. p. 8. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  6. ^ "Eddie Ainsmith jailed". Harrisburg Telegraph. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. April 21, 1915. p. 1. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  7. ^ "Baseball status to be decided". The Ogden Standard. Ogden, Utah. July 19, 1918. p. 7. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  8. ^ "Untitled". Monroe City Democrat. Monroe City, Missouri. July 26, 1918. p. 8. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  9. ^ Szalontai, James D. (2002). Close Shave: The Life and Times of Baseball's Sal Maglie. McFarland. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-7864-1189-4.