Frank Isbell
First baseman/Second baseman
Born: (1875-08-21)August 21, 1875
Delevan, New York, U.S.
Died: July 15, 1941(1941-07-15) (aged 65)
Wichita, Kansas, U.S.
Batted: Left
Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 1, 1898, for the Chicago Orphans
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 1909, for the Chicago White Sox
MLB statistics
Batting average.250
Home runs13
Runs batted in455
Stolen bases253
Career highlights and awards

William Frank Isbell (August 21, 1875 – July 15, 1941) was an American Major League Baseball first baseman, second baseman, and outfielder in the 1910s.


Born in Delevan, New York, Isbell was nicknamed Bald Eagle due to his receding hairline, something he was quite sensitive about. Isbell was a good enough hitter to earn a starting spot on some very good White Sox teams, including the pennant-winning 1901 team, managed by Clark Griffith, the second-place 1905 team led by Fielder Jones, and finally the 1906 World Series champion White Sox team that included shortstop George Davis and pitchers Doc White and Ed Walsh. It was known as one of the worst-hitting teams to ever win the World Series, with only Davis and Isbell hitting above .260 (Davis hit .277, Isbell .279).

He played for the Chicago Cubs in 1898, briefly, with 37 hits in 159 at bats (.233 batting average), and pitched as well as playing the outfield. Thirteen of his seventeen games pitched came with the Cubs.

Isbell safe at first after pickoff attempt during the 1906 World Series

After not being seen in baseball for the next year, Isbell showed up again in 1900 playing for the Chicago White Sox as a full-time first baseman. The American League was not recognized in the Majors until 1901. Isbell played with the Sox until 1909. He batted left-handed and threw right-handed.

Isbell set many offensive World Series records that year, including doubles and extra base hits in a game. As of 2020, Isbell remains the only player to hit four doubles in a single postseason game.[1] However, he was better known for his outstanding speed, including his 1901 season when he had 52 stolen bases and led the Majors. He averaged 37 steals a year and ended with 253 for his career.

In 1,119 games, Isbell finished with a .250 batting average with 13 home runs and 455 RBIs. He had 1,056 career hits in 4,219 at bats. As a pitcher, he went 4–7 with a 3.59 ERA.

Isbell also became notable for being manager and owner of many teams in the Western League. He died in Wichita, Kansas.

See also

Further reading


  1. ^ "Batting Game Finder". Sports Reference. Retrieved 21 October 2020.