Baseball Hall of Famer Napolean Lajoie was born on September 5, 1874 in Woonsocket, RI. His family moved to the area from Canada to work in the mills, first settling in Vermont and later in Woonsocket where Lajoie was born. As a youth, he had very little schooling and worked in a textile mill where he joined a semi-professional baseball league.
Lajoie was nicknamed “The Frenchmen” during his career as a player/manager which ran from 1896-1916. In that time, he played for the Philadelphia Phillies, the Philadelphia Athletics and the Cleveland Naps, a team he also managed from 1905-1909.
Lajoie had a career batting average of .338, with 3,254 hits, second most ever at the time to Honus Wagner. He won the Triple Crown in 1901, led the American League in batting average five times, and led in RBI’s three times. Lajoie was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939.
Lajoie died in Daytona Beach, Florida in 1959.