Roy Evans

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Robert Roy Evans

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Biographical Information[edit]

Roy Evans was the first major leaguer to come out of Emporia State University (known as the Kansas State Normal School at the time), where he attended in 1893-1896. No Emporia State player came to the majors until more than 50 years later, when Fred Kipp came up in 1957.

Although Evans started with the 1897 St. Louis Browns, he appeared in only 3 games before moving over to the 1897 Louisville Colonels, where he and Honus Wagner were both 23-year-old rookies. Evans pitched for 6 teams in his 5-year major league career.

Per his SABR bio [1], Evans was notorious for conning countless teams out of their money by asking for money in advance, promising to play for the team, but then taking off never to be seen again. He not only did this to baseball teams and players but to just about everyone he encountered along the way. In 1902 Evans tried to get Charles Comiskey to let him play for the Chicago White Sox while still being an acitve member of the New York Giants to which Comiskey said "Roy must be an ignorant cuss if he figures that the White Sox could use him even were he contract free".

In early 1903 Evans was caught and arrested in Montana after reports of him scamming people in Kansas City, MO reached the Montana police. Evans used the excuse that the reason he was taking out giant loans from banks that he couldn't possibly pay back was because he was a scout for the Brooklyn Superbas and was planning on using the money to pay players. He also claimed he signed a number of players to the Superbas including his former teammate from Louisville, Pete Dowling, Joe Corbett, and an imaginary player named Gabriel. Dowling was contacted and he denied Evans' claim. This was good enough for Evans to be placed under arrest and so he decided to contact Ned Hanlon and begged him to send him bail money, which Hanlon did not send. After being released by Brooklyn in June, Evans tried to join the Boston Americans but manager Jimmy Collins told him to get lost.

Evans joined the St. Louis Browns of the American League shortly after being let go by Brooklyn and scammed various minor league clubs out of money after being released by them a month later. He continued to scam countless clubs and people in the next few years too.

On May 27, 1908, Evans ditched a team in New Castle, PA after telling the owners that the Boston Doves had offered him a contract. He traveled to the hotel where the team was staying and ordered a room, which he said the team would be paying for. He then somehow managed to acquire a Doves uniform and began warming up before the game the next morning. Team owner, George Dovey asked him who he was and Evans said that he was a new player that Joe Kelley let join the team. Dovey found Kelley and confronted him about letting someone on the team without checking with him first and Kelley didn't even know what Dovey was talking about. The two suddenly realized what was going on and chased Evans out of there. After this, he appeared in the minor leagues for a few years before mysteriously disappearing.

He was long thought to have died in the 1915 hurricane that leveled the town of Galveston, TX, although this was not the case. In fact, in November of 1920 he was convicted of bigamy in Fort Worth, TX and sentenced to two years at the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, KS. Newspaper reports of the time indicate that he had been married at least three times during the previous year, and had violated the Mann Act by bringing a schoolteacher from Georgia into Texas. Prison records indicate that he was released in 1922 after serving his full sentence, but his trace disappears after that. He was evidently disowned by his father, Judge Edward N. Evans of Emporia, KS, as there is no mention of Roy in his father's obituary published in 1930.

Further Reading[edit]

  • "My Favorite Wife", in Bill Carle, ed.: January/February 2009 Report, Biographical Research Committee, SABR, pp. 3-4.

Related Sites[edit]