Ten Million

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Best known for his unconventional name, Ten Million was a minor league baseball player who played for several teams in the Northwestern League prior to World War I.  Born on October 14, 1889 in Mount Vernon, Washington, Million’s paternal grandmother wanted her grandson to have a name that stood out.  Suffices to say that she succeeded.  Million attended Broadway High School, where he graduated in 1908, then went on to attend the University of Washington.  While at UW, Million was captain of the baseball team.

Million, an outfielder, played for the Victoria Bees in the Cleveland Naps (now the Indians) organization in 1911, though he never made it to the majors due to a knee injury.  From 1912 to 1914, Million played for the Tacoma Tigers under Hall of Fame pitcher Joe McGinnity.  Million also played with the Sioux City, Moose Jaw, Victoria, and Spokane teams within the Northwestern League.  Much of his career was spent at the Class B level, and Million finished with a .257 batting average for his career.

His knee injury ended his career at the age of 25, and when his playing days were done, Million did a brief tour in the Army before moving to Seattle, where he could live close to home.  He worked for the city as a claims adjuster before taking on a job working at the local Spalding Sporting Goods store.  While working at the store, Million met his future wife, Christine. During his downtime, Million refereed in games for various high school sports.

Million later became a salesman for the Ford Auto Company. When Ford produced its 10 millionth car in the 1920s, the vehicle was shipped to Seattle in order that Ten Million could be the one to sell it.  Unsurprisingly, the story made the papers, as a Seattle newspaper ran an article with a photo covering the event.

Ten Million died on June 18, 1964.