A natural leader and one of the top defensive players of his day, Roger Peckinpaugh is often cited as one of the best players to not be enshrined in Cooperstown. Though chiefly remembered for his strong throwing arm and rangy play in the middle of the infield, he was also capable at the plate, collecting 1,876 career hits. Traded from Cleveland to the New York Yankees in 1913, he quickly established himself as a leader in the clubhouse and was named captain by manager Frank Chance the next year. In 1914—at the age of 23—he became the youngest manager in the history of baseball, helming the Bronx Bombers for the last three weeks of the season after Chance's resignation. He served as a mentor to budding superstar Babe Ruth in 1920 and 1921, before being shipped off to Washington by way of Boston.
Reporting on the trade to baseball historian Marty Appel in 1974, Peckinpaugh recalled: "Babe Ruth hated [Miller] Huggins and wanted me to manage. Once we were leaving Boston after a tough loss, and Babe was drunk, and he said he was gonna throw Huggins off the train!...I got traded soon after to get me out of the picture." Starting for the Senators, Peckinpaugh earned his greatest accolades: World Series champion in 1924, and Most Valuable Player of the American League in 1925. Leg injuries plagued him in later years, and he retired from the field in 1927 to embark on a new chapter as a manager and later a baseball executive.