Showboat Fisher

Albany (MNHigh School alumnus and 15-year pro ballplayer George “Showboat” Fisher was born in Wesley, IA (maybe) on January 16, 1899. The Fishers moved to a farm near St. Anna, MN when George was just a few months old. 

After gaining notoriety with area townball teams, Fisher began a 15-year professional career with the Minneapolis Millers in 1919. He made it to the majors with the Senators in 1923, getting into 18 games over two seasons.

After being out of the majors for five seasons, Fisher went 8-for-9 with a walk in the first two games of the 1930 season with the Cardinals, becoming the second of just five players since 1908 with at least four hits in each of his team’s first two games (Ira Flagstead 1926, Wade Boggs 1994, Dante Bichette 1998, and Emilio Bonifacio 2014). Bonifacio had nine hits over the first two games. (See the list from Baseball Reference‘s Play Index).

1930 was Fisher’s best season, going 95-for-254 (.374) in 92 games (59 starts) with the National League Champion Cardinals. He made two pinch-hitting appearances in the World Series, going 1-for-2 with a double. The Philadelphia Athletics won the series in six games. Pine City, MN native Rube Walberg was a member of that team. 

Despite the breakout season, Fisher was back in the minors the following year. He made one more trip to the show, getting into 18 games (one start) with the 1932 St. Louis Browns.

Stew Thornley biographed Showboat Fisher for the 2009 book Minnesotans in Baseball. His essay includes an anecdote about Fisher being beaned by Hartford pitcher Lou Gehrig in 1932.

Fisher opened a tavern on the shore of Middle Spunk Lake in Avon, MN in 1932. Garrison Keillor was a co-owner of Fisher’s Club from 2005-2012. I’ve never been there, but I’ve never met a fried walleye I didn’t like.



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