One of the earliest superstars and a crowd favorite, Louis Santop was solid, strong-armed catcher who was better known as a power hitter. The left-handed hitting Texan was noted for his tape-measure home runs during baseball’s dead-ball era.
A lifetime .406 hitter, the big 6’4″, 240-pounder starred with several great teams during his career, including the Lincoln Giants and Lincoln Stars, for whom he starred from 1911-16. With the Lincoln Giants, “Top” caught the two contemporary hardest throwers, Smokey Joe Williams and Cannonball Dick Redding, and chalked up batting averages against all levels of competition of .470, .422 and .455 for the years 1911, 1912 and 1914, respectively.
After navy service during World War I, he played with Hilldale from 19290-26, including the pennant-winning teams of 1923-25. Santop hit for averages of .358, .364 and .405 for the 1922-24 seasons, respectively, and .333 in the 1924 World Series against the Kansas City Monarchs.
The following year, the 35-year-old Santop’s playing time was restricted, as Biz Mackey assumed the catching duties. Soon thereafter, he faded from the baseball scene, but is still remembered today for his colorful exploits and his powerful bat.
c, lf, rf, 1b, 3b, manager
Philadelphia Giants, New York Lincoln Giants
Brooklyn Royal Giants, Chicago American Giants
New York Lincoln Stars, Hilldale Daisies