Kirby Higbe

Walter Kirby Higbe (April 8, 1915 – May 6, 1985) was an American right-handed starting pitcher in Major League Baseball from 1937 to 1950. He was a two-time All-Star. He was born in and died in Columbia, South Carolina.

Kirby Higbe
Born: April 8, 1915
Columbia, South Carolina
Died: May 6, 1985 (aged 70)
Columbia, South Carolina
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
October 3, 1937, for the Chicago Cubs
Last MLB appearance
July 7, 1950, for the New York Giants
MLB statistics
Win–loss record118–101
Earned run average3.69
Career highlights and awards


Higbe began his MLB career in 1937 with the Chicago Cubs before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in the middle of the 1939 season. A hard thrower, he was selected to the All-Star team in 1940. Following the season, he was traded again, this time to the Brooklyn Dodgers. He enjoyed his most successful season in 1941 when he went 22–9, tying teammate Whit Wyatt for the league lead in wins and finishing seventh in the MVP voting.

After the 1943 season, Higbe joined the United States Army. Initially assigned to the military police, he soon received training as a rifleman and saw combat in Germany. In 1945, Higbe and his fellow soldiers went to the Philippines; however, when they arrived there, they learned that Japan had surrendered. Nonetheless, he stayed in Manila until March 1946, at which point he finally returned to the United States. That year, he posted a 17–8 record and made his second All-Star appearance (where he gave up a home run to Ted Williams), but the Dodgers lost the National League pennant to the eventual world champion St. Louis Cardinals.

Higbe stayed in Brooklyn until just after the start of the 1947 campaign, when he was traded with four other players (one of whom was future Major League manager Gene Mauch) to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Al Gionfriddo.

Higbe began the 1947 season with a 2–0 record for the eventual NL champion Dodgers, but he insisted upon being traded when the Dodgers added Jackie Robinson to the team as the first black major leaguer in the 20th Century. According to Higbe, the Dodger players who were opposed to having Robinson on the team "didn't have anything personal against Jackie Robinson or any other Negro ... but we were Southerners who had never lived or played with Negroes, and we didn't see any reason to start then."[1] After his trade to the Pirates, he collapsed to 11–17. He was traded during the 1949 season, to the New York Giants, with whom he finished his MLB career. He played in the minor leagues until 1953.

Higbe died in 1985 and was buried in Columbia's Elmwood Cemetery.

In the 2013 film 42, Higbe is portrayed by Brad Beyer.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Kirby Higbe; Martin Peter Quigley. The High Hard One. p. 104. ISBN 9780670371389.
  2. ^ Sneider, Jeff (April 13, 2012). "Beyer, Huss join cast of '42'". Archived from the original on June 28, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2018.

External links

1938 Chicago Cubs season

The 1938 Chicago Cubs season was the 67th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 63rd in the National League and the 23rd at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished first in the National League with a record of 89–63. The team was swept four games to none by the New York Yankees in the 1938 World Series.

The team is known for the season of pitcher Dizzy Dean. While pitching for the NL in the 1937 All-Star Game, Dean suffered a big toe fracture. Coming back too soon from the injury, Dean changed his pitching motion to avoid landing too hard on his sore toe enough to affect his mechanics. As a result, he hurt his arm, losing his great fastball. By 1938, Dean's arm was largely gone. Cubs scout Clarence "Pants" Rowland was tasked with the unenviable job of obeying owner Philip K. Wrigley's direct order to buy a washed-up Dean's contract at any cost. Rowland signed the ragged righty for $185,000, one of the most expensive loss-leader contracts in baseball history. Dean still helped the Cubs win the 1938 pennant.

On July 20, Wrigley named 37-year-old Gabby Hartnett as the team's player-manager, replacing Charlie Grimm. When Hartnett took over, the Cubs were in third place, six games behind the first place Pittsburgh Pirates who were led by Pie Traynor. By September 27, with one week left in the season, the Cubs had battled back to within a game and a half game of the Pirates in the National League standings as the two teams met for a crucial three-game series. Dean pitched the opening game of the series and with his ailing arm, relied more on his experience and grit to defeat the Pirates by a score of 2 to 1. Dean would later call it the greatest outing of his career. The Cubs cut the Pirates' lead to a half game and set the stage for one of baseball's most memorable moments.On September 28, the two teams met for the second game of the series, where Hartnett experienced the highlight of his career. With darkness descending on the lightless Wrigley Field and the score tied at 5 runs apiece, the umpires ruled that the ninth inning would be the last to be played. The entire game would have to be replayed the following day if the score remained tied. Hartnett came to bat with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning. With a count of 0 balls and 2 strikes, Hartnett connected on a Mace Brown pitch, launching the ball into the darkness, before it eventually landed in the left-center field bleachers. The stadium erupted into pandemonium as players and fans stormed the field to escort Hartnett around the bases. Hartnett's walk-off home run became immortalized as the Homer in the Gloamin'. The Cubs were now in first place, culminating an impressive 19-3-1 record in September, and the pennant would be clinched three days later.It would be 50 years before lights were installed at Wrigley Field.

1939 Chicago Cubs season

The 1939 Chicago Cubs season was the 68th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 64th in the National League and the 24th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished fourth in the National League with a record of 84–70.

1940 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1940 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the eighth 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 9, 1940, at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis, Missouri, the home of the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Browns. The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 4–0.

1940 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 1940 throughout the world.

1941 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1941 Brooklyn Dodgers, led by manager Leo Durocher, won their first pennant in 21 years, edging the St. Louis Cardinals by 2.5 games. They went on to lose to the New York Yankees in the World Series.

In The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, this team was referenced as one of "The Greatest Teams That Never Was", due to the quality of its starting lineup. Dolph Camilli was the slugging star with 34 home runs and 120 RBI. He was voted the National League's Most Valuable Player. Pete Reiser, a 22-year-old rookie, led the league in batting average, slugging percentage, and runs scored. Other regulars included Hall of Famers Billy Herman, Joe Medwick, Pee Wee Reese, and Dixie Walker. Not surprisingly, the Dodgers scored the most runs of any NL team (800).

The pitching staff featured a pair of 22-game winners, Kirby Higbe and Whitlow Wyatt, having their best pro seasons.

1941 Major League Baseball season

The 1941 Major League Baseball season included the New York Yankees defeating the Brooklyn Dodgers in the World Series, Ted Williams batting .406, and Joe DiMaggio having a 56-game hitting streak; it has been called the "best baseball season ever".

1941 Play Ball Cards

The Play Ball baseball card sets, issued by Gum Inc. from 1939 to 1941, are sets filled with various rookies, stars, and Hall of Famers. The 1941 set has a total of 72 cards. The more valuable cards in the set include Ted Williams ($1500), Joe DiMaggio ($2500), and the rookie Pee Wee Reese ($400–$600). Any Play Ball cards are relatively rare, and if highly graded the cards demand a premium. The 1941 Play Ball set is the only Play Ball set with color.

1942 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1942 Brooklyn Dodgers team won 104 games in the season, but fell two games short of the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League pennant race.

1942 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1942 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 60th season in the history of the franchise. The team, managed by Hans Lobert, began their fifth season at Shibe Park. Prior to the season, the team shortened the team nickname to 'Phils'. Of the change, a baseball writer opined prior to the season, "the gag is they wanted to get the 'lie' out of their name."

1943 Brooklyn Dodgers season

With the roster depleted by players leaving for service in World War II, the 1943 Brooklyn Dodgers finished the season in third place.

The team featured five future Hall of Famers: second baseman Billy Herman, shortstop Arky Vaughan, outfielders Paul Waner, and Joe Medwick, and manager Leo Durocher.

Herman finished fourth in MVP voting, after hitting .330 with 100 runs batted in. Vaughan led the league in runs scored and stolen bases.

1943 Philadelphia Phillies season

Lumber baron William B. Cox purchased the team in 1943. On March 9, Cox announced that the team would officially be called the "Phillies" again after former-President Gerald Nugent had named them "Phils" prior to the 1942 season.In 1943, the team rose out of the standings cellar for the first time in five years. The fans responded with an increase in attendance. Eventually, it was revealed by Cox that he had been betting on the Phillies, and he was banned from baseball. The new owner, Bob Carpenter, Jr., tried to polish the team's image by unofficially changing the name to the "Blue Jays"; however, the new moniker did not take, and it was quietly dropped by 1949.

1946 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1946 Brooklyn Dodgers finished the season tied for first place with the St. Louis Cardinals. The two teams played in the first ever playoff series to decide the pennant, and the Cardinals took two straight to win the title.

With their star players back from the war, Brooklyn had jumped back into serious contention. They would be respectable until their move to Los Angeles 10 years later.

This season was the team's – and Major League Baseball's – last non-integrated one.

1947 Brooklyn Dodgers season

On April 15, Jackie Robinson was the opening day first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first black player in Major League Baseball. Robinson went on to bat .297, score 125 runs, steal 29 bases and be named the very first African-American Rookie of the Year. The Dodgers won the National League title and went on to lose to the New York Yankees in the 1947 World Series. This season was dramatized in the movie 42.

1950 New York Giants (MLB) season

The 1950 New York Giants season was the franchise's 68th season. The team finished in third place in the National League with an 86-68 record, 5 games behind the Philadelphia Phillies.

Brad Beyer

Brad Beyer (born September 20, 1973) is an American actor. He is most known for his role in the CBS series Jericho, playing Stanley Richmond.

Hank Behrman

Henry Bernard Behrman (June 27, 1921 – January 20, 1987) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball. He pitched from 1946 to 1949 with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Giants. He appeared in 5 games for the Dodgers during the 1947 World Series.

The right-handed pitcher had his best season as a rookie with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946 with an 11–5 record, a 2.93 earned run average and 150 innings pitched. On May 3, 1947, Behrman was traded with pitchers Kirby Higbe and Cal McLish, infielder Gene Mauch and catcher Dixie Howell to the Pittsburgh Pirates for outfielder Al Gionfriddo and $100,000. Then he was sent back to the Dodgers for cash on June 14 of that year. He was sold to the New York Giants on February 26, 1949 and closed his four-year career with them. He was 24–17 lifetime, with half of his wins coming in relief, a 4.40 earned run average and 19 saves.

Ken Richardson (baseball)

Kenneth Franklin Richardson (May 2, 1915 – December 7, 1987) was an American professional baseball player who spent 21 seasons in minor league baseball, interrupted by two, six-game Major League trials with the Philadelphia Athletics (1942) and Philadelphia Phillies (1946). He played six games for each team, collecting four hits, including one double. However, in the minors (1934–1946; 1948–1955) he played in 2,336 games, with his 2,168 hits including 222 home runs.Born in Orleans, Indiana, Richardson threw and batted right-handed. A second baseman, third baseman and outfielder, he stood 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) tall and weighed 187 pounds (85 kg). Both of his MLB stints occurred in early-season trials; he had one single (off Charlie Wagner of the Boston Red Sox) in 15 at bats for the 1942 Athletics, and three hits (including his double off Kirby Higbe of the Brooklyn Dodgers) in 20 at bats for the 1946 Phillies.

Richardson played in the top-level Pacific Coast League for all or parts of eight seasons. In his 60s, he returned to baseball as a minor league manager in 1976 and from 1978–1981, spending the latter four seasons in the Milwaukee Brewers organization.

Kirby (given name)

Kirby is a given name, and may refer to:

Kirby Ian Andersen, Canadian musician

Kirby Ann Basken (born 1985), Norwegian model

Kirby Bentley (born 1986), Australian rules footballer

Kirby Bliss Blanton (born 1990), American actress

Kirby Chambliss (born 1959), American pilot

Kirby Dick (born 1952), American filmmaker

Kirby Doyle (1932–2003), American poet

Kirby Freeman (born 1985), American football player

Kirby Grant (1911–1985), American actor

Kirby Gregory (born 1953), British musician

Kirby Griffin (born 1991), American model

Kirby J. Hensley (1911–1999), American religious leader

Kirby Heyborne (born 1976), American actor

Kirby Higbe (1915–1985), American right-handed starting pitcher

Kirby Hocutt (born 1973), American sports director

Kirby Larson, American writer

Kirby Law (born 1977), Canadian ice hockey player

Kirby Mack (born 1983), American wrestler

Kirby Morrow (born 1973), Canadian performer

Kirby Puckett (1960–2006), American baseball player

Kirby Smart (born 1975), American football coach

Kirby Smith (1824–1893), American army officer and professor

Kirby Snead (born 1994), American baseball player

Kirby Wilson (born 1961), American football coach

Kirby Wright, American writer

Muskogee Oilers

The Muskogee Oilers were a professional, minor league baseball team that played in the Western League in 1933. They began the year in Wichita, Kansas as the Wichita Oilers, but moved to Muskogee, Oklahoma after being evicted from their park in Wichita. Hall of Famer Rube Marquard managed the team at one point, while All-Star pitchers Mort Cooper and Kirby Higbe played for the club.

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