Former Major League Baseball Player and Native of Auburn Died of Complications Tuesday Morning

("The Evening Star" - Auburn, Indiana - 12 September 1967)

Rollie (Polly) Zeider, an Auburn native honored for his baseball career, died at 8:20 a.m. Tuesday in the Garrett Community hospital of complications. He was 83 years old. Mr. Zeider had been in and out of the hospital several times and was last admitted July 25. He had suffered from an illness for five years.

The body was taken to the McKee funeral home in Garrett where the final rites will be conducted at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. The Rev. Philip Williams, pastor of the Methodist church in Garrett, will officiate. Interment will follow in Woodlawn cemetery near Auburn.

Mr. Zeider was born Nov. 16, 1883, in DeKalb county near Auburn. He was a lifelong resident of the area until moving to Orland in 1959. He lived there at the residence of Mrs. Maida Helms.

Former League Player

The former major league baseball player was elected to Fort Wayne’s Hall of Fame in 1966, and was officially inducted on Saturday, May 7, of that year at Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce building.

Mr. Zeider started in organized baseball in 1905 as a pitcher with Springfield, Ill., later switching to the infield and was able to play in every position.

He helped lead the San Francisco Seals to the 1909 Pacific Coast league flag.

Mr. Zeider spent three years with the Chicago White Sox from 1910-12, and played with the New York Yankees in 1913.

He also played with the Chicago Cubs.

He retired from baseball following the 1924 season.

Mr. Zeider operated Polly’s Tavern at 104 North Peters Street in Garrett until selling in 1959 and retiring.

The establishment is now known as Floyd’s Place.

He was a member of the Garrett Elks’ Lodge

Several nieces and nephews survive.

Friends may call at the McKee funeral home after 7:30 p. m. Wednesday.

Rollie Hubert Zeider article -

Rollie Hubert Zeider (born November 16, 1883 in rural Cass County, Indiana - died September 12, 1967 in Garrett, Indiana) was a Major League Baseball infielder (playing over 100 games at all four infield positions in his career) for the Chicago White Sox (1910-1913), New York Yankees (1913), Chicago Chi-Feds/Chicago Whales in the Federal League from 1914-1915, and lastly the Chicago Cubs (1917-1918).

He is one of only a few players to play for three different Chicago teams in his career, and one of two to do it in the 20th century. He is the only person to hit home runs for all three Chicago major league teams in the twentieth century.

Along with Dutch Zwilling he is the only 20th century player to play in the same city in three different Major Leagues (American League (White Sox), Federal League (Chi-Feds/Whales), and the National League (Cubs).

Strangely, Zeider contributed to another odd record along with Zwilling. The 1916 Cubs were one of the few teams in history, and the most recent until 1999 to have three players whose last names begin with "Z": Zeider, Zwilling, and Heinie Zimmerman. The 1999 Texas Rangers were the first and only since then with Jeff Zimmerman, Todd Zeile, and Gregg Zaun.

Nicknamed "Bunions", right-handed Zeider was one of the fastest players in the game, even at the time. With the White Sox, as a rookie, Zeider accomplished what would end up being his career-high in stolen bases with 49. Not only that, but his 49 stolen bases stood as the record for stolen bases by a rookie until 76 years later, when John Cangelosi, another White Sox player, broke it in 1986 with 50.

His nickname came from the blood poisoning he received when Ty Cobb rammed his spike into his "bunion" during a play.

Zeider's speed was not the only worthy part of his game, but it was very appealing. He reached the top 5 in the category twice (1910, his rookie season), and when he had 47 in 1912. Besides those two season, Zeider's early career came as a utility player. Not until 1914 did he begin to play regularly every year. By that point, his speed had decreased, but he still came in 8th in the league in steals with 35 that year (tied with Tom Downey and Baldy Louden). It was also, arguably, his best full season.

In a 9-season career, he batted .240 with 5 home runs and 253 RBIs in 941 games. He stole 223 bases in his career and scored 393 runs. He had 769 hits in 3210 at bats. In his only World Series appearance (1918 with the Cubs), Zeider had two plate appearances and walked twice.

Zeider played for the minor-league Toledo Mud Hens in 1919.

Personal history

Born near the unincorporated town of Hoover near Logansport, Indiana, where his father was a farmer, Zeider grew up in Auburn, Indiana, where his father took a job in a sawmill. Zeider was married twice, first to Alberta Doyle, who died of tuberculosis in 1916, then to Margaret Pilgrim.

After retiring from professional baseball, he ran a restaurant in Garrett, Indiana called Polly's Tavern. ("Polly" was his local nickname.) He moved to Orland, Indiana in neighboring Steuben County in 1959. He died in a hospital in Garrett and is buried beside Alberta in Woodlawn Cemetery in Auburn.

Click here here to see Rollie Zeider's baseball career statistics on the "" web site.

Click here here to see all the baseball uniforms Rollie Zeider wore during his career from the "Dressed to the Nines" on-line exhibit on the Baseball Hall of Fame web site. This link is supplied by the "" web site.

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