Continue my series on Illinois Born Major League Players.

Ray Sinclair

Raymond Sinclair “Ray” Richmond (June 5, 1896 – October 21, 1969) in Fillmore, Illinois which is in Douglas County near Champaign. He was a Major League Baseball pitcher who appeared in eight games for the St. Louis Browns in 1920 and 1921. He made his debut on September 25, 1920 with the Browns and compiled a 2-1 record with an 8.62 ERA. He played his last game on June 26, 1921.

He died on October 21, 1969 and is buried in DeSoto, Missouri.

Mem Lovett

Merritt Marwood (Mem) Lovett (June 15, 1912 – September 19, 1995) was a major league baseball player who appeared as a pinch-hitter in a single major league game for the Chicago White Sox on September 4, 1933. A native of Chicago, Illinois, USA, Lovett batted and threw right-handed. He went 0-for-1.

Lovett died in Downers Grove, Illinois, at age of 83.

Lou North

NorthLouLouis Alexander North was born on June 15, 1891 in Elgin, Illinois. He  was a professional baseball pitcher that was a right-handed pitcher over parts of seven seasons (1913, 1917, 1920–1924) with the Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Braves. For his career, he compiled a 21–16 record in 172 appearances, most as a relief pitcher, with an 4.43 earned run average and 199 strikeouts. In 1918 North served in the military during World War I. He died on May 15, 1974 in Shelton, Connecticut.

Heinie Reitz

ReitzHeinieHenry Peter Reitz was born on June 29, 1867  in Chicago and was nicknamed “Heinie”.
In 1893, Reitz was sold, for $300, by the San Francisco Friscos to the Baltimore Orioles. His five-year tenure at Baltimore included his most notable season, 1894, during which he collected 31 triples. At the time, this tied Dave Orr’s mark, set in 1886, for most triples in a single season.

Although Chief Wilson surpassed both of them with his 36 triple season in 1912, Reitz and Orr still hold second place for this record. Contributing to Reitz’s 31 triples in 1894 were two bases loaded triples he hit in the 3rd and 7th inning on June 4 against the Chicago Colts that led Baltimore to a 12–4 victory.

Reitz’s two bases loaded triples in a single game matched a feat achieved by Sam Thompson in 1887. The frequency with which Reitz hit triples in 1894 was marked departure from every other season in his career. Excluding his record-tying season, he averaged under six triples per year.

On December 10, 1897, he was traded (with Jack Doyle and Doc Amole) to the Washington Senators in exchange for Doc McJames, Gene DeMontreville, and Dan McGann. After one season in Washington, Reitz was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Dick Padden, Jimmy Slagle, and Jack O’Brien. Reitz played 34 games for Pittsburgh in the 1899 season, and was traded in March 1900, to Milwaukee of the American Association in exchange for a player to be named later. In September 1900, Pittsburgh received Harry Smith to complete the transaction.

Reitz was killed in a car accident (November 10, 1910) at the age of 47 in Sacramento, California. This marked the first time that a car accident claimed the life of a major league baseball player, although it would not be until 1924 that an active major-leaguer, Boston Braves shortstop Tony Boeckel, would die in an auto accident.