Fred Lewis (lewisfr01)
Frederick Miller Lewis
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10½", Weight 194 lb.
- Debut July 2, 1881
- Final Game August 26, 1886
- Born October 13, 1858 in Buffalo, NY USA
- Died June 5, 1945 in Utica, NY USA
Fred Lewis had five seasons in the majors, hitting his peak with the 1884 St. Louis Browns. Browns manager Jimmy Williams resigned that year after frustration with Lewis's alcoholism and violence. His lifetime average was .296.
Although Lewis was very talented, he had drinking problems and his career ended when he punched John Reilly in August 1886, in connection with Lewis either being unable or unwilling to play a game. Lewis was hitting quite well for Cincinnati, but Reilly was also a very talented player who played a key defensive position (first base), and who had more seniority on the Red Stockings than Lewis. Another player on the team called Lewis "a disturber" who criticized other players for their errors. David Nemec writes that Lewis "threatened or exasperated every manager for whom he played."
"We all recollect how Von der Ahe in 1884 suspended Fred Lewis. When Fred heard the news he grabbed a bat and started to hunt up Chris. . . Chris said (to Charlie Comiskey): 'Gomitzgy, go gwick back and dell Lewis dot I reinstate him alreatty.' So Fred was reinstated half an hour after he was suspended . . ." - Sporting Life, Nov. 30, 1887, from its New York correspondent O.P. Caylor
"Lewis is still a terror when in the cups. They usually send six blue-coats to arrest him when he is on his high horse." - Sporting Life, June 24, 1905, quoting Bill Clancy about the retired Fred Lewis in Utica, NY