orn and raised in San Francisco, California, Charles August Risberg had little in the way of a formal education. Charles explaination for dropping out of school in the third grade was that he "refused to shave."
In 1915, twenty-one year old Charles began playing minor league ball for the Venice Tigers of the Pacific Coast League. Due to poor attendance, the Tigers moved to Vernon on July 6,1915. The team finished the season in fourth place with a 102-104 record. The following season Charles was again a member of the Vernon team. The 1916 Tigers finished the season in second place with a 115-91 record.
Swede's Major League debut came on April 11, 1917 as a member of the Chicago White Sox. In his rookie season, Swede only hit .203, but due to his excellent defensive abilities, he became a regular at shortstop and played in 149 games.
Banished from professional baseball in 1921, Swede Risberg played outlaw ball across the United States and Canada from 1922-1932. According to Swede's son, Robert, the elder Risberg frequently earned more money in the Semi-Pros than he did as a member of the White Sox.
Cal. State Los Angeles Professor Alan Muchlinski has researched Swede's Semi-Pro career at length and explains that "Swede was a shortstop for the Chicago White Sox but for much of his post White Sox career he made his living as a pitcher."