Danny Moeller

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Daniel Edward Moeller

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Danny Moeller played seven seasons in the majors, showing an ability to hit for power, draw walks and steal bases. In 1913 he was second in the league in stolen bases, fifth in home runs, sixth in walks and first in strikeouts.

Moeller was born in DeWitt, IA in eastern Iowa, the only major leaguer through 2010 to have been born there. He attended Millikin University in Illinois during 1906-07 and became the first attendee of Millikin to come to the majors. Through 2010 he remains the player from Millikin with the most major league at-bats.

Danny had already started playing minor league ball in 1905 with Burlington, and in 1907 played for Troy, hitting .333. He made his major league debut in September 1907 with the 1907 Pittsburgh Pirates, playing right field. He was 11 years younger than teammate Honus Wagner.

After another season with the Pirates, he spent 1909-11 in the minors, playing for Jersey City and Rochester. He came back to the majors in 1912 to be a regular for the Washington Senators, serving as their regular right fielder during 1912-15 and part of 1916. Oddly, he had exactly 10 triples in each of 1912-15.

An article about "stable outfields" in the June 1978 issue of Baseball Digest recognized Moeller, Clyde Milan and Hank Shanks as having played together for five seasons (1912-16).

One site says Moeller was the first major leaguer to strike out 100 times in a season. The September 1981 issue of Baseball Digest listed him as one of only two major leaguers prior to 1950 to have 100+ strikeouts with 5 or fewer home runs (a bit unfair given that it was the dead-ball era). The other was Gus Williams in 1914.

In August 1916 he was traded to the 1916 Cleveland Indians and finished out his major league career with them that season. Thereafter he played in the minors with Des Moines and managed at Oklahoma City. Jack Coffey managed him at Des Moines.

Washington Post, April 8, 1912, page 8: Stanley T. Milliken's column reports that Moeller injured his shoulder while playing football at (by an odd coincidence) Milliken University. The shoulder troubled him later, and he missed playing time after dislocating it while sliding into second during the 1911 season.

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