baseball

Eric "Swat" Erickson


Swat Erickson

Eric "Swat" Erickson was born in Gothenberg, Sweden in 1892. He moved to the United States and spent his early childhood in Johnsonburg, PA, before moving to Jamestown where he received all his education.

He began playing pro baseball for Leo's Semi-pros at Celoron in 1912 for $3 a game. Soon Dallas of the Texas League offered him a contract of $60 a month in 1913 and he moved into organized baseball. At Dallas the young pitcher Erickson won 20 games in 40 days.

In 1914 he pitched one game for the New York Giants before joining the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League. The Giants then sold him to Detroit, but his career was interrupted in 1917 because of World War I. When he returned to the United States, Erickson pitched for Detroit in 1918 and then was traded to Washington in 1919 where he spent four seasons. His best season was 1920 when he had a 12-16 record.

Erickson left the major leagues in 1922 and played semi-pro ball in Falconer and later with Billy Webb's Celoron Spiders where he had his last great game. On Aug. 8, 1930, at Celoron, the Boston Braves, managed by Bill MacKechnie, took on the Spiders in an exhibition game. Erickson set the Braves down on one hit and helped win the game by rapping a bases-loaded triple, which showed some people where the nickname "Swat" came from. The only Boston hit came with two outs in the ninth inning by a player MacKechnie had summoned from the Hotel Samuels. The player had been given the day off and was catching up on his sleep until a teammate, sent by MacKechnie, brought him to Celoron. He hit a weak bouncer between first and second that the second baseman failed to reach.


Newpaper account of Erickson's days as a Spider.

Erickson continued to live in the Jamestown area until his death in 1965.

Eric Erickson was inducted into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame in 1984.

Swat Erickson

courtesy of Linda Erickson

Swat Erickson

courtesy of Linda Erickson

Swat Erickson

courtesy of Linda Erickson

Swat Erickson is recognized by Frank Hyde as Ray Caldwell, second from right next to Hugh Bedient, far right, applaud.


Swat Erickson career stats


Hugh Bedient with Swat Erickson


1920 Washington Senators, spring training in Tampa, Florida. Swat is in the back row, 5th from left. Other notables in the back row with Swat are Sam Rice, 6th from left, a Cooperstown Hall of Famer; Walter "Big Train" Johnson, 8th from left, another Cooperstown Hall of Famer; and Leon Carlson, 9th from left, another Jamestowner.


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The Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame has a collection of DVD's chronicling sports in Chautauqua County, the Hall of Fame inductees and interviews with sports personalities. They are available for viewing by visitors at the hall. See the complete list on our video archive page.

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Hall of Fame
Baseball
Inductees
Hugh BedientHugh Bedient
Walt BrownWalt Brown
Ray CaldwellRay Caldwell
Dave CriscioneDave Criscione
Howard EhmkeHoward Ehmke
Eric EricksonEric "Swat" Erickson
Nellie FoxNellie Fox
Les JamesLes James
Tommy LeachTommy Leach
Lory LodestroLory Lodestro
Dan LunettaDan Lunetta
Harry MartensonHarry Martenson
Ken MartinKen Martin
Joe MistrettaJoe Mistretta
Morris MistrettaMorris Mistretta
Al MuckAl Muck
Joe NagleJoe Nagle
John NewmanJohn Newman
Irv NorenIrv Noren
John O'NeilJohn O'Neil
Lyle ParkhurstLyle Parkhurst
Craig PaternitiCraig Paterniti
Leo SquinnLeo Squinn
Craig SwansonCraig Swanson
Billy WebbBilly Webb
Morris MistrettaTed Wyberanec

 


 
 
 
 
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