Inductee — Clyde Crouse

Crouse2-10Clyde Crouse

Class of 1981

Birthplace: Anderson, IN

Contributor

Deceased

Biography:

CROUSE, Clyde Ellsworth (“Buck”)  born Jan. 6, 1897, Anderson; died Oct. 23, 1983, Muncie. Chicago (AL) 1923-1930. C. 470g, 1,306ab, 8hr, .262. Debuted Aug. 1, 1923. 5-8, 158, BL. TR.

Buck Crouse, who spent much of his big league career as a backup to Hall of Fame catcher Ray Schalk, won the International Leagues most valuable player award at the age of 40. Crouse lived most of his life in Muncie and was one of the areas best-liked, most respected athletes.

Crouse entered professional baseball in 1921 with Jackson (Central). He joined the Chicago White Sox in 1923 and served as Schalks understudy through 1926. In 1925 Crouse batted .351 in 54 games. For the next two seasons he was part of a catching tandem, first with Harry McCurdy and later with Moe Berg. On May 12, 1929, Crouse managed an unassisted double play  extremely rare for a catcher  against Washington. He had an excellent throwing arm, averaging nearly one assist per game.

After the 1930 campaign Crouse returned to the minors. He helped Alexandria to the Cotton States League pennant in 1929, earning MVP honors. In 1931 he joined Buffalo and in 1936 he helped the Bisons win the International League. In May 1937 he became player-manager for Baltimore (International). The 40-year-old Crouse led the Orioles to the playoffs, winning league MVP honors. He spent his final year in baseball as a coach for the Indianapolis Indians (American Association).

Returning to Muncie, Crouse worked for the Hemingway Glass Company and later for the Acme-Lees Company, an automobile moldings manufacturer. He occasionally played for the Muncie Citizens, a semi-professional team. Crouse, who died at 86 years of age, is enshrined in the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame (Class of 1981), the Buffalo Bison Hall of Fame and the Delaware County Athletic Hall of Fame.

From The Encyclopedia of Indiana-Born Major League Baseball Players, copyright © 2007 by Pete Cava. Reproduced with the authors permission.