Frederick Charles Raymer was born on November 12, 1875 in Leavenworth, Kansas. At the age of 19, Fred found himself in Albuquerque working as a fireman for the Atlantic & Pacific Railway, and playing shortstop for the Albuquerque Browns Base Ball Club. I haven’t determined how long he lived in the Duke City, but I have a feeling that it wasn’t for very long.
Raymer got his chance to play in the big leagues on April 24, 1901 at the age of 25 when he served as a utility infielder for the Chicago Orphans. After committing 42 errors out of 215 opportunities in 119 games, Fred wouldn’t see big league action again for 2 full seasons. Quite likely, Raymer simply wasn’t cut out to play the hot corner. That said, Raymer did start a triple play for the Orphans on June 14, 1901 in a game they lost to the New York Giants.
The Boston Beaneaters took a chance on Raymer in 1904 by making him their second baseman for 114 of their 153 games. Fred hit the only home run of his major league baseball career that magical season.
Raymer played 136 games for the Beaneaters in 1905, including single starts at first base and in the outfield. After flying out in the top of the second inning of the first game of a double header against New York, Raymer was allowed to “courtesy run” for teammate Rip Cannell who had ironically ripped his leg open while stealing second base with Raymer in the batter’s box. It was reported that Raymer was stranded at 2nd base, and Cannell retuned to his defensive position when the Beaneaters took to the field at the bottom of the inning. Weird, huh?
Raymer’s career major league baseball offensive stats include 301 hits, 95 runs and 101 RBIs with a .218 batting average. Fred swiped exactly 50 bases without being caught a single time. Interestingly enough, the young speedster also never grounded into a double play.
Although Raymer played in his final major league game on October 7, 1905, he obviously continued to play professional ball in the minor leagues as confirmed by these intriguing tobacco cards from 1910 and 1911.
Raymer passed away in Los Angeles on June 11, 1957. He was reportedly cremated- perhaps in honor of his days spent shoveling coal into the furnaces of steam locomotives.