Elmer Valo

Elmer William Valo (March 5, 1921 – July 19, 1998), born Imrich Valo, was a Slovak American professional baseball right fielder, coach, and scout in Major League Baseball (MLB). He batted left-handed and threw right-handed.

Playing in the major leagues for 20 seasons between 1940 and 1961, Valo batted .282, with 58 home runs, and 601 runs batted in (RBI), in 1,806 games, with most of his time spent as a member of the Athletics franchise, which was then located in Philadelphia and Kansas City.

Elmer Valo
Born: March 5, 1921
Rybník, Czechoslovakia
Died: July 19, 1998 (aged 77)
Palmerton, Pennsylvania
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 22, 1940, for the Philadelphia Athletics
Last MLB appearance
October 1, 1961, for the Philadelphia Phillies
MLB statistics
Batting average.282
Home runs58
Runs batted in601
Career highlights and awards

Early years

A native of Rybník, Czechoslovakia, Valo emigrated to the United States with his family at the age of six.


Valo played for Federalsburg of the Eastern Shore League in 1939, and for Wilmington in the Interstate League in 1940.

Valo's big-league playing career was affected by three franchise relocations. Valo spent his first 13 seasons in the majors with the Philadelphia A's, then accompanied the team to Kansas City when the club moved after the 1954 season. Valo moved with the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles after the 1957 season. And after playing for the Washington Senators in 1960, the franchise relocated and Valo found himself playing for the Minnesota Twins.

He was a hustling player and an aggressive line-drive hitter who hit .300 or better five times, with a career-high .364 in 1955. As a right fielder, he was noted for his fearless manner in challenging fences, and occasionally crashed through an outfield wall in pursuit of a ball.

As Valo's career moved into its final phase, he became an outstanding pinch-hitter. He used his strike zone judgment to post an on-base percentage over .400 in eight of the ten seasons (.414 from 1946 to 1955). In 1960, Valo set major-league pinch-hitting season records for games, walks and times on base. He also set a major-league career record with 91 walks as a pinch-hitter.

Notable games

Valo stated that he had a plate appearance for Philadelphia on September 30, 1939.[1] If true, Valo would join Ted Williams, Mickey Vernon, and Early Wynn as the only four-decade players of the 1930s to the 1960s. The box score for the game does not list Valo[2] — he claimed that he was left out by the official scorer, as he was not under contract with Philadelphia at the time.[1]

On May 1, 1949, Valo became the first major league player to hit two bases-loaded triples in a game.[3] The feat has been matched only by Bill Bruton (1959) and Duane Kuiper (1978). Valo added another bases-loaded triple that year, matching the major league record of three in a season, which was originally set by Shano Collins in 1918.

Valo hit for the cycle on August 2, 1950.[4]

Later years

Following his retirement as a player, Valo worked with the Indians' organization as a major league coach and minor league manager, and served as a scout for the Phillies for 13 years, until his death. He was inducted into the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame in 1990.[5] Valo died in Palmerton, Pennsylvania, at the age of 77 in 1998.

See also


  1. ^ a b Smith, Red (October 15, 1975). "The Series: What They Talk About". The New York Times. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  2. ^ "Washington Senators 9, Philadelphia Athletics 5". Retrosheet. September 30, 1939.
  3. ^ "Philadelphia Athletics 15, Washington Senators 9 (1)". Retrosheet. May 1, 1949.
  4. ^ "Philadelphia Athletics 10, Chicago White Sox 3". Retrosheet. August 2, 1950.
  5. ^ Hagen, Paul (September 22, 1990). "Phillies Update". Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved November 18, 2017 – via newspapers.com.

Further reading

External links

Preceded by
Two bases-loaded triples in a game
May 1, 1949
Succeeded by
Bill Bruton
Preceded by
Roy Smalley Jr.
Hitting for the cycle
August 2, 1950
Succeeded by
Hoot Evers
1946 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1946 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 8th in the American League with a record of 49 wins and 105 losses.

1947 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1947 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing fifth in the American League with a record of 78 wins and 76 losses.

Except for a fifth-place finish in 1944, the A's finished in last or next-to-last place every year from 1935–1946. In 1947, Connie Mack not only got the A's out of last place, but actually finished with a winning record for the first time in 14 years.

1948 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1948 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 4th in the American League with a record of 84 wins and 70 losses.

1949 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1949 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 5th in the American League with a record of 81 wins and 73 losses.

1950 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1950 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 8th in the American League with a record of 52 wins and 102 losses. It would be 88-year-old Connie Mack's 50th and last as A's manager, a North American professional sports record. During that year the team wore uniforms trimmed in blue and gold, in honor of the Golden Jubilee of "The Grand Old Man of Baseball."

1951 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1951 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing sixth in the American League with a record of 70 wins and 84 losses.

1953 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1953 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 7th in the American League with a record of 59 wins and 95 losses, 41½ games behind the New York Yankees, who would win their fifth consecutive World Series Championship. It was also the penultimate season for the franchise in Philadelphia.

1954 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1954 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 8th in the American League with a record of 51 wins and 103 losses, 60 games behind AL Champion Cleveland in their 54th and final season in Philadelphia, before moving to Kansas City, Missouri for the following season.

1957 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1957 Brooklyn Dodgers season was overshadowed by Walter O'Malley's threat to move the Dodgers out of Brooklyn if the city did not build him a new stadium in that borough. When the best the mayor could promise was a stadium in Queens, O'Malley made good on his threats and moved the team to Los Angeles after the season ended. The Dodgers final game at Ebbets Field was on September 24 as they finished their 68th and last NL season, and their 75th overall, in Brooklyn in third place with an 84–70 record, eleven games behind the NL and World Series Champion Milwaukee Braves.

1960 New York Yankees season

The 1960 New York Yankees season was the 58th season for the team in New York, and its 60th season overall. The team finished with a record of 97–57, winning its 25th pennant, finishing 8 games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles. New York was managed by Casey Stengel. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they were defeated by the Pittsburgh Pirates in seven games.

Bill Bruton

William Havon Bruton (November 9, 1925 – December 5, 1995) was a Major League Baseball (MLB) center fielder who played for the Milwaukee Braves (1953–1960) and Detroit Tigers (1961–1964). Bruton batted left-handed and threw right-handed.

Carl Linhart

Carl James Linhart (born as Karol Linhart December 14, 1929 in Zborov, Czechoslovakia) is a retired professional baseball player who appeared in three Major League games played as a pinch hitter and pinch runner for the Detroit Tigers during the 1952 season. Linhart is one of three MLB players (along with John Stedronsky and Elmer Valo) born in the former Czechoslovakia or its pre-1918 territories.Linhart grew up in Granite City, Illinois, and played eight minor league seasons (1948–1949; 1951–1956) as an outfielder, mostly in the Tigers' farm system.

In his only Major Leaguer service, with the last-place 1952 Tigers, Linhart pinch hit for Hal Newhouser on August 2 against the Boston Red Sox, and grounded into a double play against Ralph Brickner. Almost six weeks later, on September 11, 1952, he pinch ran for Matt Batts in another game against the Red Sox at Briggs Stadium. Then, in his final big league appearance eight days later at Municipal Stadium, Linhart pinch hit for pitcher Hal White and made an out to second base against Early Wynn of the Cleveland Indians.

Chico Fernández

Humberto "Chico" Fernández Pérez (March 2, 1932 – June 11, 2016) was a Cuban professional baseball shortstop, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Tigers, and New York Mets, from 1956 to 1963. In 1965, he played one season in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) for the Hanshin Tigers.Fernández began his career as a bright prospect for the Brooklyn Dodgers, but was not able to break into the lineup, with Pee Wee Reese at the shortstop position. On April 5, 1957, Fernández was traded by the Brooklyn Dodgers to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Ron Negray, Tim Harkness, Elmer Valo, Mel Geho, $75,000, and a player to be named later (Ben Flowers). Fernández made his first appearance with Philadelphia on April 16, 1957. He was the Phillies' regular shortstop for two seasons. In his first year with the Phillies, Fernández collected 131 hits (H), for a .262 batting average (BA), and a .302 on-base percentage (OBP). He also stole 18 bases, 5th best in the National League (NL). In 1958, Fernández stole 12 bases, placing him 9th-best in the NL. His batting average dropped over the next two seasons, and he saw limited playing time in 1959, hitting .211.

In December 1959, the Phillies traded Fernández to the Detroit Tigers, where he became the Tigers' regular shortstop for the next three seasons from 1960 through 1962. In 1960, he led American League (AL) shortstops, with 34 errors; his fielding percentage was .947. By 1962, he increased his fielding percentage to .960. Perhaps more surprisingly, Fernández displayed power as a hitter, in 1962. After six seasons in which he never hit more than 6 home runs, Fernández socked 20 homers and tallied 59 runs batted in (RBI), that season. Both were career highs.

With a young Dick McAuliffe ready to assume the shortstop position for the Tigers, Detroit traded Fernández to the New York Mets, in May 1963. He played 58 games for the 1963 Mets. Fernández was then traded to the Chicago White Sox, in April 1964. Fernández never did appear in a regular season game, for the ChiSox. He finished his career playing in 1965 for the NPB Hanshin Tigers.

Fernández died on June 11, 2016, in Sunrise, Florida, at the age of 84, from complications following a stroke he had suffered, the month before.

Philadelphia Phillies all-time roster (T–V)

The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The team has played officially under two names since beginning play in 1883: the current moniker, as well as the "Quakers", which was used in conjunction with "Phillies" during the team's early history. The team was also known unofficially as the "Blue Jays" during the World War II era. Since the franchise's inception, 2,006 players have made an appearance in a competitive game for the team, whether as an offensive player (batting and baserunning) or a defensive player (fielding, pitching, or both).

Of those 2,006 Phillies, 58 have had surnames beginning with the letter T, 6 have had names beginning with U, and 24 have had surnames beginning with the letter V. One player, Sam Thompson, has been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame; he played ten seasons (1889–1898) for Philadelphia and set the franchise's record for most triples in a single season in 1894. The Hall of Fame lists the Phillies as Thompson's primary team, and he is a member of the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame, as are second baseman Tony Taylor; Elmer Valo, who was inducted for his contributions as a member of the crosstown Philadelphia Athletics; and John Vukovich, who was primarily a third baseman during his playing days with the Phillies and was inducted for his years of service to the Phillies. In addition to three tenures as a player (1970–1971, 1976–1977, 1979–1981), Vukovich was a coach and team advisor from 1983 to 2004.Among the 54 batters in this list, Tuck Turner has the best batting average; he batted .380 in four seasons with Philadelphia. Other players with an average above .300 include Thompson (.334 in ten seasons), Cotton Tierney (.317 in one season), and Andy Tracy (.357 in two seasons). Chase Utley leads all players on this list with 188 home runs, and Thompson's 963 runs batted in are best. In home runs, Jim Thome and Shane Victorino lead all players with surnames starting with T and V, with 96 and 79, respectively; in runs batted in, the U and V leaders are Utley (694) and Victorino (350).Of this list's 34 pitchers, Bobby Thigpen has the best win–loss record, in terms of winning percentage; he won three games and lost one for a win ratio of .750 in his only season with Philadelphia. Jack Taylor leads this list with 96 victories and 77 defeats, and Wayne Twitchell has the most strikeouts, with 573. Erskine Thomason's 0.00 earned run average (ERA) is the lowest mark on this list; among pitchers who have allowed an earned run, Kent Tekulve, who holds the franchise's single-season record for appearances by a pitcher, has the best mark, with a 3.01 ERA. Among pitchers whose surnames begin with U, Tom Underwood has the best win–loss record, in terms of winning percentage; he won 28 games and lost 20 for a win ratio of .583 in his four seasons with Philadelphia. Underwood's 28 victories are the best among pitchers on this list whose names begin with U; Tom Vickery shares the mark among V-named pitchers. Dutch Ulrich has the most defeats among pitchers whose surnames start with U, with 27 in three seasons. Underwood has 245 strikeouts, best among the U-named pitchers; Vickery leads pitchers whose surnames begin with V in that category, with 177. Al Verdel has the best earned run average (ERA) among pitchers whose surnames start with V; he allowed no runs in his only career appearance for an ERA of 0.00. Ulrich's 3.48 ERA leads the pitchers whose surnames begin with U.


In baseball statistics, a putout (denoted by PO or fly out when appropriate) is given to a defensive player who records an out by one of the following methods:

Tagging a runner with the ball when he is not touching a base (a tagout)

Catching a batted or thrown ball and tagging a base to put out a batter or runner (a force out)

Catching a thrown ball and tagging a base to record an out on an appeal play

Catching a third strike (a strikeout)

Catching a batted ball on the fly (a flyout)

Being positioned closest to a runner called out for interference

Rybník, Levice District

Rybník (Hungarian: Garamszőlős) is a village and municipality in the Levice District in the Nitra Region of Slovakia.

Shano Collins

John Francis "Shano" Collins (December 4, 1885 – September 10, 1955) was an American right fielder and first baseman in Major League Baseball for the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox.

In 1910, Collins played first base for the White Sox, but he was quickly moved to right field, where he would enjoy a reputation for having one of the strongest throwing arms in baseball. He won a World Series with the Sox in 1917, delivering the game-winning hit in the pennant-clinching game. He batted .286 (6 for 21) in the 1917 World Series, going 3-for-4 in Game 1. In 1918, he set a record with three bases-loaded triples in one season, which would stand alone for 31 years until Elmer Valo tied the mark in 1949. Collins still holds the MLB career record of eight triples with the bases loaded.During the notorious 1919 World Series, tainted by the Black Sox Scandal, Collins went 4-for-16 at the plate for the White Sox. He was not among those implicated in the scandal.

In 1921, he was traded to the Red Sox, with whom he finished his career. In 1930, he was named manager of the Red Sox, but he only won a total of 73 games in parts of two seasons. He was fired after 55 games in 1931.

In the indictments of the key figures in the Black Sox scandal, Collins is named as the wronged party. The indictment claims that by throwing the World Series the alleged conspirators defrauded him of $1,784 dollars.Collins died in Newton, Massachusetts, at age 69.

Tim Harkness

Thomas William Harkness (born December 23, 1937) is a Canadian former professional baseball first baseman, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1961 to 1964 for the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets. The native of Lachine, Quebec, threw and batted left-handed and was listed as 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall and 182 pounds (83 kg) (13 stone).

Harkness was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies before the 1956 season. He was traded by the Phillies on April 5, 1957 along with a player to be named later, Ron Negray, Elmer Valo, a minor league player and $75,000 to the Brooklyn Dodgers in exchange for Chico Fernandez, with the Phillies completing the trade on April 8 when they sent Ben Flowers to the Dodgers.Harkness made his Major League Baseball debut on September 12, 1961 against the Phillies, working out a walk in five pitches against pitcher Chris Short as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning in a 19–10 loss at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. He finished the 1961 season with four hits (including two doubles) in eight at bats, for a .500 batting average.In the 1962 season, he appeared in 92 games for the Dodgers, with nine hits (including two doubles and two home runs) in 62 at bats, and seven runs batted in. He hit the first home run of his career on April 17 in the top of the second inning against Mike McCormick to drive in Daryl Spencer, as part of an 8–7 win over the San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park.He was traded by the Dodgers to the New York Mets on November 30, together with Larry Burright, in exchange for Bob Miller. In the 1963 season with the Mets, Harkness played in 123 games, getting 79 hits (including 12 doubles, three triples and 10 home runs) in 375 at bats, for a .211 batting average, together with 41 RBI. His seven times hit by pitch that season tied him for eighth among National League batters.On April 17, 1964, Harkness led off for the Mets in the bottom of the first inning and had a single off Bob Friend in the third inning to become the first Mets player to bat and the first to get a hit in the team's initial game played at Shea Stadium as part of a 4–3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. With the 1964 Mets, Harkness appeared in 39 games and getting 33 hits in 117 at bats (including two doubles, a triple and two home runs) for a .282 batting average, and 13 RBI.On July 28, after Harkness went one-for-four as the Mets' first baseman in a 9–0 loss to the Dodgers, he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for infielder Bobby Klaus and assigned to Triple-A San Diego. He played at the Triple-A level for the rest of his pro career, retiring after the 1966 season at age 28.

In 259 big-league games played over all or parts of four seasons, Harkness collected 132 hits, with 18 doubles and four triples accompanying his 14 home runs. He batted .235 overall.

As of 2010, Harkness is the manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the Intercounty Baseball League.


Valo is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Elmer Valo (1921–1998), American baseball player

Jesse Valo (born 1984), Finnish kickboxer

Ville Valo (born 1976), Finnish singer-songwriter

Key personnel
Important figures
World Series
Champions (9)
American League
Championships (15)
AL West Division
Championships (16)
AL Wild Card (3)
Inducted as
Inducted as

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