Charlie Gehringer

Charles Leonard Gehringer (May 11, 1903 – January 21, 1993), nicknamed "The Mechanical Man", was an American professional baseball second baseman, coach, general manager, and team vice president, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Detroit Tigers, for 19 seasons (19241942).[1] He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, in 1949.

Charlie Gehringer
Charlie Gehringer 1937
Second baseman
Born: May 11, 1903
Fowlerville, Michigan
Died: January 21, 1993 (aged 89)
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 22, 1924, for the Detroit Tigers
Last MLB appearance
September 27, 1942, for the Detroit Tigers
MLB statistics
Batting average.320
Hits2,839
Home runs184
Runs batted in1,427
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction1949
Vote85.03% (fifth ballot)

Overview

Widely regarded as one of the greatest second basemen of all time, Gehringer, who batted left-handed and threw with his right, compiled a .320 batting average and had seven seasons with more than 200 hits. He was the American League batting champion in 1937 with a .371 average and was also named the American League's Most Valuable Player. He was among the Top 10 vote recipients in the Most Valuable Player voting for seven straight years from 1932 to 1938. He was the starting second baseman and played every inning of the first six All Star Games.

Gehringer had career totals of 2,839 hits and 574 doubles. Gehringer also led the Tigers to three American League pennants (1934, 1935, and 1940) and one World Series Championship (1935). Gehringer hit .379 in the 1934 World Series, and .375 in the 1935 Series.

Gehringer was also one of the best-fielding second basemen in history, having led all American League second basemen in fielding percentage and assists seven times. His 7,068 assists is the second highest total in major league history for a second baseman. He also collected 5,369 putouts as a second baseman (the 6th highest total for a second baseman) and 1,444 double plays (the 7th highest total for a second baseman). He recorded a career .976 fielding percentage.

Known for his consistency as a hitter and fielder, Gehringer was given the nickname "The Mechanical Man" by Yankee pitcher Lefty Gomez.[2] Teammate Doc Cramer quipped: "You wind him up Opening Day and forget him."[3] A durable player, Gehringer had two consecutive game streaks of more than 500 games—one from 1927 to 1931 and the other from 1931 to 1935.[4]

Career statistics:

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG TB SH HBP FLD%
2,323 8,860 1,774 2,839 574 146 184 1,427 181 89 1186 372 .320 .404 .480 4,257 141 50 .976

Early years: 1903–26

Gehringer was born on May 11, 1903 on a rented farm in Iosco Township, south west of Fowlerville, Michigan, in southwestern Livingston County, Michigan.[5] He was the second son of Leonard Gehringer and Theresa (Hahn) (Eisele) Gehringer, both German Catholic immigrants. Both of his parents had been married previously, and Charlie had eight half-siblings from Leonard's first marriage, and a half-sister from his mother's first marriage. As a young boy the family moved to a different rented farm just south of Fowlerville, Michigan in Handy Township, Michigan.[5] In 1922 after graduating from Fowlerville High School, he enrolled at the University of Michigan, about 30 miles from the family farm. Gehringer took physical education classes and played basketball and baseball. Gehringer later recalled that he lettered in basketball but not baseball.[2]

In the fall of 1923, after his first year at the University of Michigan, Gehringer was discovered by Detroit Tigers left fielder Bobby Veach. Veach heard about Gehringer, and brought him down to Navin Field to work out for a week and show the Tigers what he could do. (Anthony Connor, "Voices from Cooperstown" (1982), p. 37) Player-manager Ty Cobb was reportedly so impressed with Gehringer that he asked club owner Frank Navin to sign Gehringer to a contract on the spot. "I knew Charlie would hit and I was so anxious to sign him that I didn't even take the time to change out of my uniform before rushing him into the front office to sign a contract." Ty Cobb[6]

In 1924, Gehringer played with London Tecumsehs in the Class B Michigan Ontario League. He was called up briefly at the end of September and played five games for the Tigers, batting .462 in 13 at-bats. Nevertheless, the 21-year-old Gehringer returned to the minor leagues where he played in 1925 for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League, and 8 games with the Tigers.

Gehringer's first full season in the big leagues was 1926, which was also Ty Cobb's last season as the Tigers' player-manager. At first, Gehringer recalled that Cobb "was like a father to me." Gehringer's father had died in 1924. Cobb even made Gehringer use his own bat. According to Gehringer, Cobb's bat was "a thin little thing", and though Gehringer would have preferred a bigger bat, "I didn't dare use another one."[7] Gehringer hit .277 in his first full season, and collected 17 triples (2nd best in the American League). Cobb and Gehringer subsequently had a falling out, and Gehringer later described Cobb as "a real hateful guy." (Al Stump, Cobb: The Life and Times of the Meanest Man Who Ever Played Baseball (1994), p. 419)

Playing for the "small ball" oriented Cobb, Gehringer also had a career-high 27 sacrifice hits in 1926. Six Tigers from the Cobb era (Donie Bush, Ty Cobb, Harry Heilmann, Bobby Veach, Sam Crawford, and Ossie Vitt) rank in the Top 50 all time for sacrifice hits.[8] After Cobb's departure, Gehringer never again came close to 27 sacrifice hits.

Gehringer becomes a star: 1927–33

CharlieGehringerGoudeycard
1933 Goudey baseball card

In 1927, the Tigers had a new manager in George Moriarty and a lineup full of great hitters, including Heinie Manush, Harry Heilmann, Lu Blue, and Bob Fothergill. The 1927 season was also the beginning of Gehringer's many seasons as a reliable .300 hitter. In 1927, he hit .317 and scored 110 runs – 4th best in the American League. He also led American League second basemen with 438 assists and 84 double plays.

In 1928, he played in all 154 games for the Tigers, hit .320, collected 193 hits (5th best in the league), scored 108 runs (5th best in the league), and had 507 assists (best in the league for a second baseman). At the end of the 1928 season, Gehringer placed 19th in the voting for the American League's Most Valuable Player.

Gehringer's steady improvement as a hitter continued in 1929, as he hit .339 with an on-base percentage of .405, a slugging percentage of .532, and 106 RBIs. He also led the American League in many offensive categories, including hits (215), doubles (45), triples (19, including 3 in one game), runs (131), and stolen bases (27). He also led the league in putouts (404) and fielding percentage (.975) by a second baseman.

Gehringer's consecutive game streak continued as he played in every game of the 1928, 1929, and 1930 seasons. In 1930, he hit .330 with a .404 on-base percentage and a .534 slugging percentage (9th best in the American League). He also scored 144 runs (3rd best in the league) and collected 201 hits, 78 extra base hits, 47 doubles (3rd in the league), 15 triples (5th in the league), and 19 stolen bases (2nd in the league).

Each year from 1926 to 1930, Gehringer improved his statistics in the three triple crown categories (batting average, home runs and RBIs). The only other player to do that for five years running is Rogers Hornsby.[4]

In relative terms, 1931 was an "off" year for Gehringer. His consecutive game streak ended, as he played in 101 games. He also fell below the .300 mark (batting .298) for the only time between 1926 and 1941. Gehringer still had a fine year by most standards, and ended up No. 17 in the 1931 American League MVP voting.

In 1932, Gehringer was back at full strength, playing in 152 games and hitting .325 with 112 runs, 107 RBIs, and 44 doubles (2nd best in the league). Not generally known as a power hitter, Gehringer even hit 19 home runs in 1932, 7th best in the American League. At the end of the year, Gehringer was 9th in the league's MVP voting.

In 1933, the "Mechanical Man" continued his string of consistent seasons, playing in 155 games, batting .330 (5th best in the American League), and collecting 204 hits (2nd in the league), 42 doubles (4th in the league), 105 RBIs, and a career-high 542 assists (best in the league for 2nd basemen). Gehringer was once again among the top vote recipients in the 1933 MVP voting, this time placing 6th.

A quiet man

Gehringer had a reputation as quiet and unassuming. Player-manager Mickey Cochrane joked that "Charlie says `hello' on Opening Day, `goodbye' on closing day, and in between hits .350."[9]

Gehringer acknowledged his quiet demeanor: "I wasn't a rabble rouser. I wasn't a big noisemaker in the infield, which a lot of managers think you've got to be or you're not showing. But I don't think it contributes much." Gehringer also had a sense of humor about his reputation. At a civic banquet in his honor, Gehringer's entire speech consisted of the following: "I'm known around baseball as saying very little, and I'm not going to spoil my reputation." When asked why he signed his name "Chas. Gehringer", he responded: "Why use seven letters when four will do?" On another occasion, when asked about his closed-lip reputation, he responded: "Not true; if somebody asked me a question, I would answer them. If they said, 'Pass the salt,' I would pass the salt."

His unassuming nature is also reflected in his reaction to a "Charlie Gehringer Day" held by the Tigers in 1929. Fans from Gehringer's hometown and throughout Detroit filled the stands for a 17–13 win over the Yankees. Gehringer handled 10 chances at second base, had four hits including a home run, and stole home. In a ceremony, the people of Fowlerville presented Gehringer with a set of golf clubs. Though the clubs were right-handed, and Gehringer was left-handed, Gehringer learned to golf right-handed rather than trade for a left-handed set of clubs.[10]

Back-to-back pennants (1934 and 1935)

In 1934, Gehringer had his best year to date, playing all 154 games and leading the Tigers to their first American League pennant in 25 years. His .356 batting average and .450 on-base percentage were both 2nd best in the league. He led the league in runs scored with 134 and hits with 214. He was also among the league leaders in doubles with 42 (2nd best in the league) and RBIs with a career-high 127 (5th best in the league). Gehringer finished 2nd in the American League MVP voting, just 2 points behind Detroit's player-manager, Mickey Cochrane.

The Detroit infield in the mid-1930s was one of the best-hitting combinations in major league history. With Hank Greenberg at first, Gehringer at second, Billy Rogell at shortstop, and Marv Owen at third, the 1934 Tigers infield collected 769 hits (214 by Gehringer, 201 by Greenberg, 179 by Owen and 175 by Rogell), 462 RBIs (139 by Greenberg, 127 by Gehringer, 100 by Rogell, and 96 by Owen), and 179 doubles (63 by Greenberg, 50 by Gehringer, 34 by Owen and 32 by Rogell). Three members of the 1934 Tigers infield (Gehringer, Owen and Rogell) played in all 154 games, and the fourth (Greenberg) played in 153.

Gehringer's 127 RBIs in 1934 is all the more remarkable given the fact that he played in the same lineup with one of the greatest RBI men of all time, Hank Greenberg. Gehringer later recalled that Greenberg would tell him: "Just get the runner over to third", so Hank could drive them in. Gehringer noted that "Hank loved those RBIs", to the point that Gehringer once kidded Greenberg: "You'd trip a runner coming around third base just so you could knock him in yourself."[11]

The 1934 World Series was a match-up between St. Louis's "Gashouse Gang" and Detroit's' "G-Men" (so named because of stars Gehringer, Hank Greenberg, and Goose Goslin). Even 50 years later, Gehringer (interviewed in 1982) felt the Tigers were robbed of the 1934 championship by umpire Brick Owens. Detroit was ahead 3 games to 2, and in Gehringer's view "we should've won the sixth game." Late in the game, Brick Owens called Mickey Cochrane out on a play at third base "even though all of the photographs show that he was safe by a mile." Gehringer insisted that, if Cochrane had been called safe, "we would've had the bases loaded with nobody out and we could've had a big inning."[12] The Tigers wound up losing Game 6 by one run. They then lost Game 7 in an 11–0 shutout thrown by Dizzy Dean, despite a 2-for-4 game from Gehringer. Gehringer can't be faulted for the World Series loss, as he played all seven games, batting .379 with an on-base percentage of .438 and a .517 slugging percentage.

In 1935, Gehringer and the Tigers won a World Series, beating the Chicago Cubs 4 games to 2. It was the Tigers' first-ever World Series win, after failing in the fall classic in four previous appearances. For the year, Gehringer hit .330 with a .409 on-base percentage and a .502 slugging percentage, collecting 201 hits, 123 runs, 108 RBIs, and 19 home runs. Once again, Gehringer was among the top vote getters in the MVP race, again losing to one of his own teammates, Hank Greenberg.

Gehringer also continued his consistent hitting into the 1935 World Series, where he played all six games, and hit .375 with a .423 on-base percentage, a .500 slugging percentage and 4 RBIs.

1934 tour of Japan

After the 1934 season, Gehringer was part of the Major League All Star tour of Japan. The American team included Gehringer, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Jimmie Foxx. They played 18 games against a Japanese All Star Team. The American team won all 18 games by a combined score of 189 to 39, but on November 20, 1934, 17-year-old Eiji Sawamura pitched seven shutout innings and had consecutive strikeouts of Gehringer, Ruth, Gehrig, and Foxx.[13] Gehringer recalled that, during batting practice, the Japanese fans would fill the 60,000 seat ballpark for every game. (Anthony Connor, "Voices from Cooperstown", p. 240.)

Life in the off-season

During the off-season, Gehringer worked as a sales clerk in the downtown Detroit Hudson's. He also spent many years barnstorming with other Major League players. One year, he traveled with a touring group from the Negro Leagues, including Satchel Paige, Buck Leonard, Judy Johnson, and Mule Suttles. Gehringer recalled that trying to hit Paige's fastball and hesitation pitch was "no fun." Paige said that Gehringer was the best white hitter he ever pitched against.[14]

MVP award and batting crown

1937 all stars crop FINAL2
Seven of the American League's 1937 All-Star players, from left to right Lou Gehrig, Joe Cronin, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Charlie Gehringer, Jimmie Foxx, and Hank Greenberg. All seven were elected to the Hall of Fame.

Although the 1936 Tigers finished in second place, 19½ games behind the Yankees, the 33-year-old Gehringer may have had his best season. He led the American League in assists, double plays, and fielding percentage by a second baseman. And he had career-bests in hits (227) slugging percentage (.555), runs (144), extra base hits (87), total bases (356) and runs created (152). He also had a career-low 13 strikeouts in 641 at-bats during the 1936 season. That equates to a strikeout every 49.3 times at bat. He finished 4th in the MVP voting, as Lou Gehrig became the only non-Tiger to win the MVP award from 1934 to 1937.

Gehringer finally secured his own American League Most Valuable Player trophy, and a batting crown, in 1937. Gehringer won the batting championship with a career-high .371 batting average and placed 2nd in on-base percentage with another career-high .458. The 1937 season also saw Gehringer collect 209 hits (his 7th 200 hit season) and score 133 runs (one of twelve 100-plus run seasons).

In 1938, Gehringer had another solid year, batting .306 with a .425 on-base percentage (6th-best in the American League), 133 runs (3rd-best in the league), and career-highs in bases on balls with 113 (4th-best in the league), and home runs with 20. Gehringer finished 10th in MVP voting in 1938.

Rogell and Gehringer

Gehringer played over 1,000 games with Billy Rogell as his double play partner at shortstop, making them one of the longest-tenured double-play combinations in the history of the game. The two twice led the league in double plays. (Another Tiger duo, Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell, holds the major league record with 1,918 games played as a double-play combination.)

Rogell's fiery demeanor was a stark contrast to the calm, quiet demeanor of Gehringer. On one occasion, after both failed to cover second on a steal attempt, player-manager Mickey Cochrane charged out from behind the plate shouting at Rogell and Gehringer. As reported in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract: "Rogell, astonished, looked at Gehringer to see if he was going to say anything. Gehringer, of course, had nothing to say. 'Goddamn you,' yelled Rogell. 'Don't you come charging out here telling me how to play shortstop. You go back there and do the catching, and I'll play shortstop. If I'm not good enough, you can find someone else.' Cochrane went back to his own position."

Final years and Hall of Fame

Gehringer DET
Charlie Gehringer's number 2 was retired by the Detroit Tigers in 1983.

Although he missed a number of games in the 1939 and 1940 seasons, he continued to hit above .300, batting .325 in 1939 and .313 in 1940. The 1940 season also saw the Tigers return to the World Series after four straight years of dominance by the Yankees. Gehringer finished 14th in the MVP voting in 1939 and dropped to 23rd in 1940. Gehringer hit .214 in 28 at-bats in a losing effort in the 1940 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds.

In 1941, Gehringer's 17 seasons began to catch up with him. His batting average dropped almost 100 points to .220, but with 95 walks (5th-best in the American League) his on-base percentage remained high at .363. In 1942, Gehringer lost the starting second baseman's job to a young Billy Hitchcock. Gehringer played only three games at 2nd base in 1942, finding himself relegated to a pinch-hitting role. He hit .267 with a .365 on-base percentage in his final year.

Gehringer enlisted in the U.S. Navy after the 1942 season. He served three years, and was released in 1945.

Gehringer considered making a comeback at age 41. "I came out of the service in such good shape that I felt I could've played a few years."[15] Instead, Gehringer went into business selling fabrics to automobile manufacturers.

In 1949, Gehringer was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers. Gehringer received 159 votes on 187 ballots (85.03%).

Gehringer, his mother and family

During his major league career, Gehringer lived with his mother in Detroit. Gehringer's father died in 1924, and Gehringer moved her from the family farm outside Fowlerville, Michigan, to Detroit. Gehringer recalled that she was a diabetic and "needed someone to look after her."[10]

Gehringer speculated that he might have married earlier (he didn't marry until he was 42) "but I couldn't see bringing a wife into that kind of situation." Gehringer noted that his mother was a "great fan" who would either come out to the ballpark to watch her son play or listen to Harry Heilmann's radio broadcasts on the porch.[10]

Gehringer did not marry until after his mother died, and when he did get married in 1949, he did not let anything stand in the way—not even his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Gehringer missed his Hall of Fame induction ceremony on June 13, 1949, because he did not want it to interfere with his wedding, which was to take place five days later.

Charlie Gehringer is a cousin of retired Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz. Smoltz stated "My grandmother was a Gehringer" during the Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees game broadcast on June 11, 2016, and added "I got a chance to play golf with him, when I think he was 81 years old, and he might have shot his age!" (meaning, Charlie scored an 81 after 18 holes of golf).

Life after baseball

Charlie Gehringer
Gehringer as Detroit Tigers vice-president (1957)

In 1950, Tigers owner, Walter Briggs asked Gehringer to be the Tigers general manager, and he agreed to do so. Gehringer later said that the job was a "nightmare." As he put it: "We had a lousy ball club, and I'd been away from baseball at that time for ten years. I didn't know who was and who wasn't."[10] After serving as the Tigers general manager from 1951 to 1953, Gehringer was given the title of Tigers vice president in the mid-1950s.[16] He went back to his business selling fabric to the automobile companies, continuing with the company until 1974 when he sold his interest in the business.

Gehringer also served as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame Committee on Veterans from 1953 to 1990.

At a 1983 ceremony in Tiger Stadium, the Tigers retired uniform numbers 2 and 5 worn for many years by teammates Gehringer and Hank Greenberg.[17] Both players attended the ceremony.

At age 82, Gehringer served as the American League honorary captain at the 1986 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas.

Gehringer died in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, at age 89.

In 1999, he ranked Number 46 on The Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. Also in 1999, Sports Illustrated published a list of "The 50 Greatest Sports Figures From Michigan" (in all sports), and ranked Gehringer third on the list behind Joe Louis and Magic Johnson.[18]

See also

References

  1. ^ [1]"Famous German-Americans"
  2. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 16, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-24.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Charlie Gehringer". Baseball-statistics.com. Retrieved July 24, 2009.
  4. ^ a b "Charlie Gehringer Facts from". The Baseball Page.com. Retrieved July 24, 2009.
  5. ^ a b Charlie Gehringer: Biography at Fowlervillehistory.org
  6. ^ "The Ballplayers – Charlie Gehringer". BaseballLibrary.com. Archived from the original on June 18, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2009.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 9, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-03.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Career Leaders &amp Records for Sacrifice Hits". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 24, 2009.
  9. ^ "Charlie Gehringer: Information from". Answers.com. Retrieved July 24, 2009.
  10. ^ a b c d "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 22, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-03.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "The Book: Cobb Would Have Caught It". BaseballLibrary.com. Archived from the original on June 18, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2009.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ Rob Fitts (November 23, 1922). "SABR Asian Baseball Committee Japanese Baseball Page". Asianbb.sabr.org. Archived from the original on June 18, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2009.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 22, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-05.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "The Book: Cobb Would Have Caught It | BaseballLibrary.com". Dev.baseballlibrary.com. Archived from the original on June 18, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2009.
  16. ^ Detroit Tigers Official Profile, Photo and Data Book, Detroit Tigers (1957), p. 45.
  17. ^ Gillette, Gary; Palmer, Pete (March 18, 2007). The ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia. p. 1775. ISBN 9781402747717. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
  18. ^ "The 50 Greatest Sports Figures From Michigan". Sports Illustrated. December 27, 1999.

Further reading

External links

Preceded by
Sam Chapman
Hitting for the cycle
May 27, 1939
Succeeded by
Arky Vaughan
1933 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1933 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the first edition of the All-Star Game known as the "Midsummer Classic". This was the first official playing of the midseason exhibition baseball game between Major League Baseball's (MLB's) National League (NL) and American League (AL) All-Star teams. The game was held on July 6, 1933, at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois, the home of the AL's Chicago White Sox. The game resulted in the AL defeating the NL 4–2, in two hours and five minutes.

The first MLB All-Star game (unofficial all-star game called the Addie Joss Benefit Game) was held on July 24, 1911, in Cleveland at Cleveland League Park (League Park, 1891–1946), the American League All-Stars versus the Cleveland Naps (1903–1915). The AL All-Stars won 5-3.

1934 Detroit Tigers season

The 1934 Detroit Tigers season was the 34th season for the Detroit Tigers since entering the American League in 1901. The Tigers won the American League pennant with a record of 101–53, the best winning percentage in team history. The team made its fourth World Series appearance, but lost the 1934 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals 4 games to 3.

1935 Detroit Tigers season

The 1935 Detroit Tigers won the 1935 World Series, defeating the Chicago Cubs 4 games to 2. The season was their 35th since they entered the American League in 1901. It was the first World Series championship for the Tigers.

1936 Detroit Tigers season

The 1936 Detroit Tigers season was a season in American baseball. The team finished second in the American League with a record of 83–71, 19½ games behind the New York Yankees.

1937 Detroit Tigers season

The 1937 Detroit Tigers finished in second place in the American League with a record of 89–65. The team finished 13 games behind the New York Yankees. Their winning percentage of .578 ranks as the 15th best season in Detroit Tigers history.

1937 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1937 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the fifth playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 7, 1937, at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C., the home of the Washington Senators of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 8–3.

The game, watched by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, is remembered because of a play in which Earl Averill of the Indians hit a ball that struck pitcher Dizzy Dean on the toe, breaking it. Complications of this injury shortened the career of the future Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher.

1937 Major League Baseball season

The 1937 Major League Baseball season.

1939 Detroit Tigers season

The 1939 Detroit Tigers season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fourth in the American League with a record of 84–70, 16 games behind the New York Yankees.

1940 Detroit Tigers season

The 1940 Detroit Tigers season was their 40th since they entered the American League in 1901. The team won the American League pennant with a record of 90–64, finishing just one game ahead of the Cleveland Indians and just two games ahead of the New York Yankees. It was the sixth American League pennant for the Tigers. The team went on to lose the 1940 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds 4 games to 3.

1942 Detroit Tigers season

The 1942 Detroit Tigers season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fifth in the American League with a record of 73–81, 30 games behind the New York Yankees.

1949 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1949 followed the rules in place since 1947, which had governed two successful elections of recent players. The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from players retired less than 25 years, with provision for a runoff in case of no winner. This year the runoff was necessary to elect one person, Charlie Gehringer.

Meanwhile, the Old-Timers Committee, which met on no schedule and not since 1946, responded again to the continuing calls for election of more of the game's earlier stars. It selected Mordecai Brown and Kid Nichols.

Induction ceremonies in Cooperstown on June 13 covered the elections of 1948 and 1949.

Detroit Tigers award winners and league leaders

This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Detroit Tigers professional baseball team.

Eiji Sawamura

Eiji Sawamura (沢村 栄治; February 1, 1917 – December 2, 1944, born in Ujiyamada (present: Ise), Mie prefecture, Japan) was a Japanese professional baseball player. A right-handed pitcher, he played in Japan for the Yomiuri Giants.

On November 20, 1934, the 17-year-old Sawamura faced a team of visiting all-star players from Major League Baseball, including Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, and Charlie Gehringer. Entering the game in the fourth inning, the high school pitcher struck out nine batters and held the Americans to a single run over five innings pitched; a home run by Gehrig in the seventh saddled Sawamura with the loss. However, he did manage to strike out Gehringer, Ruth, Gehrig, and Foxx in succession. Connie Mack, who was managing the American team, was so impressed by Sawamura's performance that he tried to sign him to a Major League contract; Sawamura refused to go, citing a reluctance to leave home.

With the formation of the Japanese Baseball League, Sawamura joined the Yomiuri Giants in 1936 and became one of their aces. He pitched the first no-hitter in Japanese pro baseball, on September 25, 1936, as well as two others (May 1, 1937 and July 6, 1940). In 1937, he went 33-10 with a 1.38 earned run average. From 1937 to 1943, Sawamura accumulated 105 games pitched, a career record of 63-22, 554 strikeouts and a 1.74 ERA.

In 1943, Sawamura enlisted in the Japanese Imperial Army. He was killed in battle near Yakushima when his ship was torpedoed by USS Sea Devil near the end of World War II.

Sawamura was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 1959. The Sawamura Award (Japan's equivalent to MLB's Cy Young Award), which is given to the best pitchers in the League since 1947, is named in his honor.

Heiligkreuzsteinach

Heiligkreuzsteinach is a town in the district of Rhein-Neckar in Baden-Württemberg in Germany. It is located about 25 km North-East of Heidelberg. In 1293 the community was for the first time officially mentioned. Until 1525 the administration of the town changed several times. Starting with 1525 it became part of the Electoral Palatinate (German: Kurpfalz). With the end of the Electoral Palatinate in 1803 Heiligkreuzsteinach became part of Baden and after the union of Baden and Wurttemberg in 1952 it became part of the new established German State Baden-Württemberg. Currently there are the following urban districts which form the mother community: Heiligkreuzsteinach, Lampenhain, Bärsbach, Vorderheubach, Hinterheubach and Eiterbach. The town council has twelve members and is presided by the mayor. The mayor is elected for eight years without term limitations. However, there is a retirement limit which was recently increased to 71 years. The current mayor of Heiligkreuzsteinach is Ms. Sieglinde Pfahl, who was first elected in 2013.

There are two Nursing Homes and one Kindergarten in the village. In addition there are also various cultural and athletic organisations. The town has a normal German Infrastructure which includes an Elementary School (Higher Schools can be attended in the neighborhood), small shops, two doctors, one dentist and several restaurants. Two regional buslines connect Heiligkreuzsteinach with Heidelberg.

Among the prominent sons of the village is Herman Lehlbach (1845-1904) who represented New Jersey in the United States House of Representatives from 1885 to 1889. The grandfather of American baseball legend Charlie Gehringer (1903-1992) emigrated from Heiligkreuzsteinach in the 1850s.

Joe Cascarella

Joseph Thomas Cascarella (June 28, 1907 – May 22, 2002) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball who played with four different teams between 1934 and 1938. Listed at 5 ft 10.5 in (1.79 m), 175 lb., Cascarella batted and threw right-handed. He was born in Philadelphia.

Cascarella filled various pitching roles, as a starter, or coming out from the bullpen as a middle-reliever or a closer. He reached the majors in 1934 with the Philadelphia Athletics, spending one and a half year with them before moving to the Boston Red Sox (1935–1936), Washington Senators (1936–1937), and Cincinnati Reds (1937–1938). In his rookie year he collected a career-high 12 wins, including seven in relief to lead the American League. He also was selected to an All-Star team which toured Japan after the season, but he never won more than nine games during a regular season.

In a five-season career, Cascarella posted a 27–48 record with 192 strikeouts and a 4.84 ERA in 143 appearances, including 54 starts, 20 complete games, three shutouts, 58 games finished, eight saves, and 540 ⅓ innings pitched.

Known as "Crooning Joe" for his fine tenor voice, Cascarella later became a popular singer on radio shows and in night clubs. He also worked as operational vice president of Laurel Race Track.

Cascarella died in Baltimore, Maryland at age 94.

At the time of his death, Cascarella was the last surviving member of the 1934 U.S. All-Star touring team, which included Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig Jimmy Foxx, Earl Averill, Charlie Gehringer and Lefty Gomez. It was also the trip that allowed Moe Berg to get atop a Japanese hospital and make the film that would be used in planning the Doolittle Raid after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

List of Detroit Tigers owners and executives

Owners, executives, and managers of Major League Baseball's Detroit Tigers. Current personnel are indicated in bold.

List of Major League Baseball doubles records

Major League Baseball has various records related to doubles.

Players denoted in boldface are still actively contributing to the record noted.

(r) denotes a player's rookie season.

Second baseman

In baseball and softball, second baseman is a fielding position in the infield, between second and first base. The second baseman often possesses quick hands and feet, needs the ability to get rid of the ball quickly, and must be able to make the pivot on a double play. In addition, second basemen are usually right-handed; only four left-handed throwing players have ever played second base in Major League Baseball since 1950. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the second baseman is assigned the number 4.

Good second basemen need to have very good range, since they have to field balls closer to the first baseman who is often holding runners on, or moving towards the base to cover. On a batted ball to right field, the second baseman goes out towards the ball for the relay. Due to these requirements, second base is sometimes a primarily defensive position in the modern game, but there are hitting stars as well.

Franchise
Ballparks
Culture
Lore
Important figures
Minor league affiliates
Key personnel
World Series
championships (4)
American League pennants (11)
Division titles (7)
Wild card berths (1)
Broadcasters
BBWAA Vote
Veterans Committee
Pitchers
Catchers
First basemen
Second basemen
Third basemen
Shortstops
Outfielders
Designated hitters
Managers
Executives /
pioneers
Umpires

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.