Merle Theron Adkins
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10½", Weight 220 lb.
- School Beloit College
- Debut June 24, 1902
- Final Game September 29, 1903
- Born August 5, 1872 in Troy, WI USA
- Died February 21, 1934 in Durham, NC USA
Doc Adkins started his major league baseball career at 29, pitching for the Boston Somersets of the American League in 1902. The right-hander got into four games, pitching 20 innings with a 1-1 record. He also appeared that year for the Class A Western League Milwaukee Creams, pitching in 16 games. 1903 saw Doc back in the majors, this time with the New York Highlanders. He appeared in only two games, his success instead coming in the Eastern League (the ancestor of today's International League) with Ned Hanlon and Jack Dunn's Baltimore Orioles whom he joined that season. In ten seasons with the club, Adkins was 165-111. He won 20 or more games four times with his best season coming in 1908, when he went 29-12. He led the Orioles to their first minor league pennant that season while leading the Eastern League in wins. Even though he won 21 games in 1909, Adkins led the EL in losses with 19 as the Orioles dropped in the standings.
While playing in Baltimore, Adkins attended Johns Hopkins medical school. He received his M.D. in 1907. He also coached the baseball team at Trinity College, now Duke, from 1908 to 1914 while playing with the Orioles. His teams posted a 108-67-4 record. After the 1913 season, Doc retired and settled in Durham, NC, where he became "one of Durham's most prominent physicians," according to his obituary in the Raleigh News and Observer of February 22, 1934.
The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball: Third Edition
SABR Minor League Database