Evar Swanson Essentials

Positions:
Bats: R Throws: R
Height: 69 Weight: 170
Born: Wednesday, October 15, 1902 in DeKalb, IL USA
Died: 7 17 1973 in Galesburg, IL USA
Debut: 4/18/1929
Last Game: 9/30/1934
Full Name: Ernest Evar Swanson

Born October 15th, 1902 in DeKalb, Illinois Evar Swanson has a Major League Record that will never be broken, more on that later.

A collegiate sports superstar, Swanson would letter in Football, Baseball, Basketball and Track in all four of his years at tiny Lombard College in Galesburg. Eventually settling on Baseball and Football as his careers, Swanson was one of the first professional two sport athletes. Playing for the Chicago Cardinals through the 1927 season, before switching to baseball full time and making his MLB debut with the Reds in 1929.

In this era of baseball teams would often have field days, a series of exhibitions of talent and skill, in which the players would show off skills in various facets of the game. It was during one such event in 1929 that the Reds offered $100 to any player that could round the bases faster than 13.8 seconds from a standing position. In full uniform Swanson blistered the base paths in a still record 13.3 seconds (some accounts say 13.4). Incredibly a couple of years later he would set the minor league record as well when he bested his own time with a mark of 13.2 seconds. Since field days no longer exist, and I am sad they do not, these records will forever stand (unless field days make a comeback).

Largely regarded as the fastest player in the league at the time, Swanson had little power, but hit .303 in his short career. Evar’s final three seasons would be with the White Sox playing in 275 games, all in the three outfield positions.

Sadly, an arm injury that began in 1923, would hamper him for his entire career and led to shoulder issues as well. By age 31 he could no longer throw a baseball with any distance or accuracy without excruciating paid and he was forced to retire. Later, Swanson would sadly tell people that one his biggest regrets in life was that his arm prevented him from being able to play catch with his sons.

Swanson would go on to own a grocery store in Galesburg, and would eventually be postmaster as well. It is rumored that he helped discover a few major league players in his retirement, when he spent time watching a lot of baseball at local schools and would report on talent to several major league teams. Swanson would also help start Little League baseball in his home town shortly before his death in 1973 at age 70.