Published on May 8, 2012 by Amy
John Tortes “Chief” Meyers (July 29, 1880 – July 25, 1971) was a Major League Baseball catcher for the New York Giants, Boston Braves, and Brooklyn Robins from 1909 to 1917. He played on the early Giants teams under manager John McGraw and was the primary catcher for Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson. Meyers hit over .300 for three straight years as the Giants won three straight National League pennants from 1911 to 1913. Overall, he played in four World Series – the 1911, 1912, and 1913 Series with the Giants, as well as the 1916 Series with the Robins. Meyers was a Native American from the Cahuilla culture of California, and he was educated at Dartmouth College.
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Meyers had his greatest success in the 1912 season, hitting .358 and finishing third in the MVP award voting. His .441 on-base percentage led the league. Meyers was also a key player in that year’s World Series versus the Boston Red Sox, which featured the infamous “Snodgrass Muff” as well as captivating performances by Mathewson and Smoky Joe Wood. In 1919, Meyers was hired as manager of the New Haven entry in the Eastern League.
Meyers was interviewed by Lawrence Ritter for The Glory of Their Times in March 1964. This brought him a great deal of fame years after he had left baseball.