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About Elmer Harrison Flick
Elmer Harrison Flick (January 11, 1876 - January 9, 1971) was an American player in Major League Baseball from 1898 until 1910. An outfielder known predominantly for his solid batting and speed, Flick was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1963.
Born in Bedford, Ohio, Flick joined the Philadelphia Phillies in 1898, filling in for the injured Sam Thompson, and proved himself a capable big leaguer, batting .302 with 8 home runs, 13 triples and 81 RBIs. After the 1901 season, Flick was one of many star National League players who jumped to the fledgling American League, playing for the crosstown Philadelphia Athletics; but the Phillies obtained an injunction from the state Supreme Court prohibiting any player under contract with the Phillies from playing for another team. As a recourse, Flick and teammate Nap Lajoie signed instead with the Cleveland Naps, as the Pennsylvania injunction could not be enforced in Ohio; the two players often traveled separately from their teammates for the next year, never setting foot in Pennsylvania in order to avoid a subpoena. (While teammates with the Phillies, the pair had once engaged in a fistfight in which Lajoie's hand was broken.) Flick would spend the remainder of his career in Cleveland, and the contract dispute would be resolved when the leagues made peace in September 1903 with the National Agreement.
Flick was the AL batting champion in 1905 with a .308 average; in Major League history, only Carl Yastrzemski won a batting title with a lower mark (.301 in 1968). Flick also led the league in slugging percentage in 1905, one of his several productive seasons. He batted over .300 eight times in his career and finished with a .313 average, leading the league in RBIs once (with 110 in 1900), stolen bases twice (1904 and 1906) and triples three times (1905–07). His value was such that after the 1907 season, the Naps turned down a trade with the Detroit Tigers which would have exchanged Flick for the 21-year-old Ty Cobb. However, Flick soon developed stomach problems, and he only played 99 games from 1908 to 1910. In those years, although he had never before hit under .296, he batted only .254. He played two more seasons in the minor leagues before retiring. Despite his talent, Flick was never able to propel any of his teams to a league championship.
Elmer Flick died in his lifelong hometown of Bedford at age 94.