Friday, August 7, 2015

The Travels of a Man Named Ebba

Ebba St. Claire was a big, switch-hitting catcher who played in the fifties or the Giants and Braves, who seemingly didn't get much of a chance at the big time given his abilities. He had quite a career in transactions though.

Ebba went to Minneapolis in 1954 after awhile up with the Giants, and suffered a head injury which curtailed his season dramatically. For the start of 1955, he found himself in Richmond:

The Troy (NY) Times Record of Jan 27, 1955 has this:

"Richmond Buys Ebba St. Claire Richmond, Va. (AP)--The Richmond Virginians of the international League yesterday announced the purchase of catcher Ebba St. Claire, 33, from Minneapolis of the American Association. He split last season with the New York Giants and Minneapolis, hilling .262 in 20 National League games and .188 in the Association. He was sidelined by a head injury after reporting to Minneapolis."

Richmond, an independent team at the time, dealt Ebba to Rochester before 1955 was over.

"Catcher Ebba St. Claire, former major leaguer with the New York Giants, was sold to Rochester by the Richmond Virginians. Richmond is now left with only one catcher, Neil Watlington, who has been out with an injured hip the past two weeks. St. Claire was hitting .232 with the International League’s last place club. Rochester is in fourth place."

St. Claire plays in San Diego in 1956, for Cleveland's organization. I haven't been able to track that move down. San Diego bounces him to Sacramento after the season...

“The Sacramento Solons of the Pacific Coast league have traded pitcher Chet Johnson to San Diego for catcher Ebba St.Claire …
Johnson, a 38-year-old left-hander, was sold to Shreveport of the Texas League last season but refused to report.”

Johnson was quite a guy, maybe we will look at him later. Ebba's travels weren't over yet, as he never played a game for Sacramento! It was off to Toronto for him...

"Toronto’s baseball Maple Leafs purchased catcher Ebba St. Claire from Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League Thursday.”

The then-35-year-old St. Claire played the season at independent Toronto, then was loaned to the Braves' AA Atlanta farm team partway through the 1958 season before being released by Toronto. 

“The Leafs also said former major league catcher Ebba St. Claire, 37, owned by Toronto and loaned last season to Atlanta of the Southern Association, has been released.”

That was it for St. Claire's playing career, he stayed in baseball afterwards, and his son, Randy St. Claire, made the majors as a pitcher. 


St. Claire pic lifted from

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