John Tortes Meyers
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 194 lb.
- School Dartmouth College
- High School Riverside (CA) High School
- Debut April 15, 1909
- Final Game October 4, 1917
- Born July 29, 1880 in Riverside, CA USA
- Died July 25, 1971 in San Bernardino, CA USA
Jack Meyers played nine seasons in the major leagues and appeared in four World Series. Although used exclusively at catcher, he was typically in a large number of games each season, unlike many of his contemporaries who were used more sparingly. He is widely regarded as one of the better-hitting catchers of the Deadball Era.
Of Native American background, Meyers was born in Riverside, California, and briefly attended Dartmouth College before beginning his pro career. Like most Native American players at that time, he was often refered to as "Chief", however inappropriate the nickname was. He reached the majors as a 28-year-old with the New York Giants in 1909; he was already older than the average age of players on the team and only seven years younger than manager John McGraw. He became the club's regular behind the plate the following year.
Meyers hit .332 (third in the National League) in 1911 as the Giants reached the World Series. In the Fall Classic that year, he hit .300 and threw out 12 runners, but his team fell to the Philadelphia Athletics in six games. He had an even better season in 1912, hitting .358 (second in the NL) and slugging .477 (fourth in the circuit) while leading the league with a .441 on-base percentage. He finished third in Most Valuable Player voting that year, and he hit .358 in the World Series as the Giants fell to the Boston Red Sox. He had another fine year in 1913, hitting .312 while finishing fifth in MVP voting, but New York again fell to Philadelphia in the World Series.
Meyers' average dipped to .286 in 1914 and dropped off to .232 in 1915. Prior to the 1916, he was claimed off waivers by the Brooklyn Robins. He played a season and a half with the club before ending his big league days with a brief stint with the Boston Braves. He served in the Marines in World War I. He then returned to the minors and managed the New Haven Weissmen for part of the 1919 season.
- Lawrence Ritter: The Glory of Their Times, The Macmillan Company, New York, 1966, pp. 162-176.
- William A. Young: John Tortes 'Chief' Meyers: A Baseball Biography, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2012.