Ten Million

Ten Million

Ten Million (1889-June 18, 1964) was a minor league baseball player who played for various teams in the Northwestern League in the years prior to World War I. He is best known for his unusual name, and for his appearance in the T212 Obak series of baseball cards.

Though it is sometimes reported that Million played for the St. Louis Cardinals,, no concrete, contemporary record of this has ever been found, and Million does not appear in any official record book of Major League baseball.

Baseball career

Million got his start in professional ball playing for the Tacoma (1912-14), Seattle, Victoria, and Spokane teams of the Northwestern League. His career was brought to an end by a knee injury.

While at least one web source reports that Million did play in the majors for St. Louis, no statistical evidence supporting this theory has been discovered, and Million does not appear in any official Major League baseball records.

It is within the realm of possibility that Million was invited to try out for the St. Louis Cardinals, or even that he participated in a Cardinals exhibition game or spring training game, neither of which would have been counted in official records. Even these assertions, though, have yet to be corroborated by any historical evidence.

The Obak

Between 1909 and 1911, Obak cigarettes issued a series of baseball cards in order to promote their product. The cards were printed and distributed in a manner similar to that of the American Tobacco Companies' T206 set. The Obak series, catalogued as T212, was unique in that it was the first major set to exclusively feature players from Pacific Coast League teams.

Million appeared in the 1911 issue while playing for the Victoria baseball team. This card became quite popular among baseball card collectors, probably due to his name, and not his skill as a baseball player. The T212 issue was one of only two series to feature Million on one of its' cards. The other series, T4, was a cabinet issue also printed by Obak Cigarettes.

Personal life

Million was born in Mount Vernon, Washington, and attended the University of Washington. Apparently, his mother had quite the sense of humor and decided to name him "Ten." She was a persuasive figure in his life, as she convinced his wife to name their daughter "Decillian," by bribing her with 50 dollars.

Million attended Broadway High School, and graduated in 1908. He went on to college at UW. After his playing days, he stayed close to home and moved to Seattle. There, he worked for the city as a claims adjuster. After leaving that position, he began working for the local Spalding Sporting Goods store, where he met his future wife, Christine. During his downtime, Million refereed in games for high school baseball, football, and basketball.

References & Footnotes

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