Roy Akin of the Houston Buffaloes - Third Basemen, Journeyman, and Adoptive Father of a Baby Left on the Train on a Team Trip
During the first decades of the 20th century the Tennessee raised Roy Akin played 14 seasons and for nearly as many teams. While in the Texas League he manned 3rd Base for Galveston, Cleburne (with a team that despite only lasting one season featured 8 future Major league players highlighted by HOFer Tris Speaker), Fort Worth, along with several others. He spent three seasons on the west coast splitting time among the Seattle Turks and Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League.
In 1908 he was beginning his second season in a row, a rarity for Akin, with the Houston Buffaloes of the Texas League. The team finished a respectable 79-60 the previous year and hopes were high for the team. Akin himself was coming off a career year and at 26 was considered one of the leaders of the team, a quality that was belied by stints as a player-manager with the Galveston Sand Crabs and Mexia Gushers. However, what defined Roy Akin's 1908 season was what happened on the train during their first road trip.
While the Buffs were preparing to disembark, a cry carried through the train cars. Further investigation revealed that it was a baby boy that had was left alone. After a search for the child's parents proved to be fruitless, officials deemed the child abandoned and he was now considered an orphan. Feeling sorry for the little guy, the team decided to foster him until a set of parents could be found. At first they took turns keeping him and would even pass the hat between innings of games to gather donations in support of him. After a period, Akin found himself growing attached to the foundling and adopted him, giving him the name of Roy Benjamin Akin, Jr in the process.