Clifford Carlton “Gavvy” Cravath

Clifford Carlton “Gavvy” Cravath

Escondido, San Diego County, California, USA
Death 23 May 1963 (aged 82)
Laguna Beach, Orange County, California, USA
Burial Anaheim, Orange County, California, USA
Plot Carnation, Lot 299, Grave 1
Memorial ID 3611 · View Source
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Major League Baseball Player. The home-run king of baseball before Babe Ruth was the son of Augustus Cravath, the first mayor of Escondido, California and his mother Kate, who hailed from an old San Diego county pioneer family. Clifford Cravath was born in a rural area of the County in what today is Rancho Bernardo. He attended Escondido High School, lettered in both football and baseball and his passion after gradation led him to a San Diego team connected with a California League. A year later, he was signed by the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League. Cravath made his entry into the major leagues with the Boston Red Sox and after one season traded to Chicago, then Washington finally winding up back in the minor leagues with the Minneapolis Millers. An outstanding record won Cravath another chance in the majors with the Philadelphia Phillies where he became a mainstay for eight years. His total of 24 homers in 1915 was the highest ever for a major-league team until broken by Babe Ruth in 1919. His career home run total of 119 was also broken by Babe Ruth in 1921. Cravath's major league career was relatively short because he was 31 when he hit his stride and began starring for the Phillies. He was a player-manager in his last two years as an active player then continued on as manager and a scout for the Phillies. Upon retirement from the game, he settled in Orange County, California selling real estate while serving as a justice of the peace until his death in Laguna Beach at age 82. Epilogue: He was inducted into the Breithbard Hall of Fame in the San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum located in historic Balboa Park. Campaigns to honor him at Cooperstown, N.Y. have been unsuccessful. Baseball is a sport steeped in trivia and is so with Clifford Cravath. He played in the dead-ball area when opposing pitchers could legally doctor baseballs. This practice was probably responsible for curtailing his hitting. He contributed to rule changes. During a game, caught in a rundown between second and third with the players lobbing the ball back and forth, Cravath grabbed the ball in mid-lob, threw it into the stands and raced home. A subsequent rules change made this action illegal. Cravath received his nickname while playing with the Los Angeles Angles in the Pacific League. He hit a drive which killed a sea gull in flight. Spanish fans took up the chant, gaviota! (sea gull), gaviota.' The nickname 'Gavvy' was created.

Bio by: Donald Greyfield


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 29 Sep 1998
  • Find a Grave Memorial 3611
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Clifford Carlton “Gavvy” Cravath (23 Mar 1881–23 May 1963), Find a Grave Memorial no. 3611, citing Melrose Abbey Memorial Park, Anaheim, Orange County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .