Earl Averill

Howard Earl Averill (May 21, 1902 – August 16, 1983) was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a center fielder from 1929 to 1941, most notably for the Cleveland Indians. He was a six-time All-Star (1933–38) and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975.

Earl Averill
Center fielder
Born: May 21, 1902
Snohomish, Washington
Died: August 16, 1983 (aged 81)
Everett, Washington
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 16, 1929, for the Cleveland Indians
Last MLB appearance
April 25, 1941, for the Boston Braves
MLB statistics
Batting average.318
Home runs238
Runs batted in1,164
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
Election MethodVeteran's Committee

Major League Baseball career

Born in Snohomish, Washington, Averill broke into the Major Leagues in 1929 (at the age of 27) with the Cleveland Indians. He played for Cleveland for over ten years, and remains the all-time Indians leader in total bases, runs batted in, runs, and triples.[1] He also remains third in all-time Indians hits and doubles, and fourth in all-time Indians home runs and walks. During his time in Cleveland, the team never finished higher than third. His nickname was "The Earl of Snohomish".[2] He famously hit the line drive that broke Dizzy Dean's toe in the 1937 All-Star Game. Dizzy, who had averaged 24 wins a season up to then, and only 4 wins a season after, changed his delivery due to the broken toe, damaged his arm, which led to his retiring in 1941 at the age of 31.[3] Averill was the first Major League player to hit four home runs in a doubleheader (three home runs in first game, one in second game) on September 17, 1930; he was also one of the first players to hit a home run in his first Major League at-bat (April 16, 1929, opening day). Averill batted .378 in 1936, leading the American League in hits with 232, but finishing second to Luke Appling in the batting race (Appling batted .388 for the White Sox).

During a July 1 incident in 1935, Averill was lighting firecrackers with his four children as part of a pre-July 4 celebration. One exploded while he was holding it, and he suffered lacerations on the fingers of his right hand, as well as burns on his face and chest. After several weeks, he made a full recovery.[4]

In 1937, Averill experienced temporary paralysis in his legs and was diagnosed with a congenital spine condition. This caused him to alter his batting style and become less of a power hitter. [5]

Averill was traded to the Detroit Tigers in the middle of the 1939 season (June 14). The following season, his playing time was limited, but the Tigers reached the World Series. In the seven-game series against the Cincinnati Reds, the 38-year-old Averill went 0-for-3 in three pinch-hit attempts. The Reds won the series four games to three.

In 1941 Averill struggled with the Boston Braves and was released on April 29th. He wound down his pro career in the Pacific Coast League with the Seattle Rainiers.

In a 13-year career, Averill was in 1669 games played, compiling a .318 batting average (2019-6353) with 1224 runs scored, 401 doubles, 128 triples, 238 home runs, and 1164 RBI. His on-base percentage was .395 and slugging percentage was .534. He hit better than .300 eight times. He recorded five 5-hit games in his major league career.

After baseball

Earl Averill's number 3 was retired by the Cleveland Indians in 1975.

After his career, he was very outspoken on being elected to the Hall of Fame. While he did not campaign for induction, he did make the statement that, "Had I been elected after my death, I had made arrangements that my name never be placed in the Hall of Fame."[6] Averill was inducted in 1975, eight years before his passing.

He made news of a different sort, according to Baseball Digest, in the early 1960s when he was boarding an airplane to fly to a site for an old-timers' game. He insisted on bringing his own bat in a gun case.[7]

His son, Earl D. Averill, also played in the majors from 1956 through 1963. He was mainly a catcher but also played left field and a few games at infield.

See also


  1. ^ "Earl Averill is Outstanding Rescruit of Season". The Pittsburgh Press. June 7, 1929.
  2. ^ http://baseballhall.org/hof/averill-earl retrieved 2/19/16
  3. ^ http://www.hardballtimes.com/tht-live/the-dizzy-dean-injury-cascade/ retrieved 2/19/16
  4. ^ "Diamond Star is Pre-July 4 Victim". The Bend Bulletin. July 7, 1935. p. 1.
  5. ^ "Averill, Howard Earl (1902-1983), Baseball Player - HistoryLink.org". www.historylink.org. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  6. ^ "Baseball's Hall gets an earful".
  7. ^ "They Say in the Dugouts". Hartford Courant. Hartford, Connecticut. UPI. August 12, 1962. Retrieved November 13, 2017 – via newspapers.com.

Further reading

External links

Preceded by
Jimmie Foxx
Hitting for the cycle
August 17, 1933
Succeeded by
Babe Herman
1933 Cleveland Indians season

The 1933 Cleveland Indians season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fourth in the American League with a record of 75–76, 23½ games behind the Washington Senators.

1934 Cleveland Indians season

The 1934 Cleveland Indians season was a season in American baseball. The team finished third in the American League with a record of 85–69, 16 games behind the Detroit Tigers.

1935 Cleveland Indians season

The 1935 Cleveland Indians season was a season in American baseball. The team finished in 3rd place, 12 games behind league champion Detroit.

1936 Cleveland Indians season

The 1936 Cleveland Indians season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fifth in the American League with a record of 80–74, 22½ games behind the New York Yankees.

1937 Cleveland Indians season

The 1937 Cleveland Indians season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fourth in the American League with a record of 83–71, 19 games behind the New York Yankees.

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.

1938 Cleveland Indians season

The 1938 Cleveland Indians season was a season in American baseball. The team finished third in the American League with a record of 86–66, 13 games behind the New York Yankees.

1959 Chicago Cubs season

The 1959 Chicago Cubs season was the 88th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 84th in the National League and the 44th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs tied the Cincinnati Reds for fifth in the National League with a record of 74–80, thirteen games behind the NL and World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

1960 Chicago Cubs season

The 1960 Chicago Cubs season was the 89th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 85th in the National League and the 45th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished seventh in the eight-team National League with a record of 60–94, 35 games behind the NL and World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates. The Cubs drew 809,770 fans to Wrigley Field, also seventh in the circuit.The 1960 Cubs were managed by two men, Charlie Grimm and Lou Boudreau. Grimm, 61, began his third different tenure as the team's pilot at the outset of the season, but after only 17 games he swapped jobs on May 4 with Cubs' broadcaster Boudreau. On that day, the Cubs were 6–11 and in seventh place, six games behind Pittsburgh. Boudreau, 42, managed the Cubs for the season's final 137 contests, posting a 54–83 (.394) mark. The team avoided the cellar by only one game over the tailending Philadelphia Phillies.

1960 Chicago White Sox season

The 1960 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 60th season in the major leagues, and its 61st season overall. They finished with a record 87–67, good enough for third place in the American League, 10 games behind the first-place New York Yankees.

1960 Milwaukee Braves season

The 1960 Milwaukee Braves season was the eighth for the franchise in Milwaukee, and the 90th overall. The Braves finished in second place in the NL with a record of 88–66, seven games behind the NL and World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates.

1961 Los Angeles Angels season

The 1961 Los Angeles Angels season ended with the Angels finishing 8th in the American League with a record of 70–91, 38½ games behind the World Champion New York Yankees. It was the Angels' first season in franchise history, and their only season at Wrigley Field. Gene Autry owned the franchise, which was created as a rival to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who played that year at the Coliseum before moving to nearby Dodger Stadium in 1962.

1975 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1975 followed the system in place since 1971.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected Ralph Kiner.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players.

It selected three people: Earl Averill, Bucky Harris, and Billy Herman.

The Negro Leagues Committee also met in person and selected Judy Johnson.


Averill as a family name can refer to:

Alan Averill, Irish musician

Alfred Averill (1865–1957), 5th Anglican Bishop of Auckland

Earl Averill (1902–1983), American Major League Baseball player

John T. Averill (1825–1889), American Civil War officer and U.S. congressional representative from Minnesota

Roger Averill (1809–1883), 31st Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut

Sarah Averill Wildes (1627–1692), convicted of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials

Thomas Fox Averill (born 1949), novelist and academic from Topeka, KansasAverill as a place name can refer to:

Averill, Minnesota

Averill, Vermont

Averill Park, New York

Earl Averill Jr.

Earl Douglas Averill (September 9, 1931 – May 13, 2015) was an American professional baseball player who was a catcher in the Major Leagues from 1956 to 1963. He played for the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Philadelphia Phillies, and Cleveland Indians. He was commonly called Earl Averill Jr. to distinguish him from his father Earl Averill (full name Howard Earl Averill), who was a Hall of Fame baseball player in his own right.

Averill was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He played college baseball for the University of Oregon (UO) from 1951 to 1953, and while a sophomore had a .439 batting average. Averill was the UO's first All-American in baseball, and was named to the UO Hall of Fame in 1997.He signed with the Cleveland Indians as a free agent after his college career ended, and began his professional career in 1953 with the Reading Indians, who he played with for two seasons. In 1955, he played for the Indianapolis Indians and Nashville Volunteers. He spent 22 games with Indianapolis in 1956 and had a .241 batting average, but was promoted to the main roster that year and made his Major League debut on April 19.After playing in 42 games with the Indians in 1956, Averill spent 1957 and 1958 with the San Diego Padres, where he had his best seasons in the minors. In 1957, he had 19 home runs and 67 runs batted in in 119 games, and he followed that up in 1958 with a .347 batting average, 24 home runs, and 87 runs batted in 112 games and was named Pacific Coast League MVP. He was brought back up to the Indians for 17 games, then was traded to the Chicago Cubs with Morrie Martin for Jim Bolger and John Briggs. He spent a season and a half with the Cubs, then was traded to the Milwaukee Braves for Al Heist. After a month of not appearing in a game, he was traded to the White Sox and finished 1960 with them, only to be selected that December by the Los Angeles Angels in the 1960 Major League Baseball expansion draft.Averill had his best season in 1961 with the Angels. In 115 games, he had a .266 batting average and 21 home runs. The following year, Averill set an MLB record that he shares with Piggy Ward. He had the most consecutive plate appearances reaching a base by any means with 17, which he did from June 3 to June 10, 1962. He ended that season with a .219 batting average in 92 games, then was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Jacke Davis. After 47 games with the Phillies, Averill was sent back to the minors, and spent two more seasons in the minor leagues before retiring.In 1980, Averill was a charter inductee to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame.He died on May 13, 2015.In 2018, Averill was inducted into the Everett Community College Athletic Hall of Fame.

Earl Torgeson

Clifford Earl Torgeson (January 1, 1924 – November 8, 1990) was an American Major League Baseball player from Snohomish, Washington. A first baseman, he played on five teams for 15 years, from 1947 through 1961. He was known by his middle name, Earl, and his nickname was "The Earl of Snohomish", a nickname originally owned by baseball hall of famer, Earl Averill, also from Torgeson's hometown. In 1950, Torgeson led the National League (NL) with 120 runs scored and in 1957, he led the American League (AL) with a .999 fielding average as first baseman.

Hal Trosky

Harold Arthur Trosky Sr., born Harold Arthur Trojovsky (November 11, 1912 – June 18, 1979), was an American first baseman in Major League Baseball for the Cleveland Indians (1933–1941) and the Chicago White Sox (1944, 1946). Trosky was born in Norway, Iowa. He batted left-handed and threw right-handed. His son, Hal Trosky Jr., pitched briefly (3 innings) with the White Sox in 1958.

Trosky had a career .302 batting average, with a high of .343 in 1936. He hit 228 career home runs and had 1012 RBIs. He had 1561 career hits. His 216 HRs with the Indians ranks him fifth on the team's all-time list, behind Earl Averill, Manny Ramirez, Albert Belle, and Jim Thome. His best numbers came in his third full year in the major leagues, 1936, when he had 42 home runs, 162 RBIs, and a .644 slugging percentage. Despite being hailed as the next Babe Ruth, he is widely considered one of the best players to never make an All-Star team. The reason for this omission was the ill-fortune of being an American League first baseman at the same time as Hall of Fame first basemen Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx and Hank Greenberg.

Starting in 1938, Trosky started experiencing near constant migraine headaches, which began to affect his vision. After nearly being hit by a pitch, he announced on July 12, 1941, to Indians manager Roger Peckinpaugh and reporters, "a fellow can't go on like this forever. If I can't find some relief, I'll simply have to give up and spend the rest of my days on my farm in Iowa." Peckinpaugh replaced Trosky with Oscar Grimes. Trosky retired in 1946 at age 33.

Snohomish High School

Snohomish High School (SHS) is a secondary school located in the Snohomish School District, in Snohomish, Washington, United States. SHS, built for 1200 students, contains 1,689 9th–12th graders (as of 2016–17). The school serves primarily those students living north of the Snohomish River (nearby Glacier Peak High School, serving those students living south of the river).

Culture and lore
Key personnel
Postseason appearances (14)
Division championships (10)
American League pennants (6)
World Series championships (2)
Hall of Fame inductees
Veterans Committee
Negro League Committee
J. G. Taylor Spink Award
First basemen
Second basemen
Third basemen
Designated hitters
Executives /

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