Lucius Benjamin "Luke" Appling (April 2, 1907 – January 3, 1991), nicknamed "Old Aches and Pains" was an American shortstop in Major League Baseball who played his entire career for the Chicago White Sox (1930–50). He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1964.
Born in North Carolina, Appling briefly attended Oglethorpe College. He was signed by the minor league Atlanta Crackers in 1930 and debuted with the Chicago White Sox later that year. He interrupted his career to serve in World War II in 1944 and 1945. He played for Chicago until 1950, then was a minor league manager and major league coach for many years. He served one stint as an interim major league manager in 1967. He died in Georgia in 1991.
|Born: April 2, 1907|
High Point, North Carolina
|Died: January 3, 1991 (aged 83)|
|September 10, 1930, for the Chicago White Sox|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 1, 1950, for the Chicago White Sox|
|Runs batted in||1,116|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the National|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
Appling was born in High Point, North Carolina. He attended Fulton High School. He later said that he had been lefthanded, a trait that he shared with his father, until he was in high school. At that point, he said that he became righthanded because he wanted to play shortstop.
Attending Oglethorpe College in Atlanta, Appling stayed for two years. In 1930, the Oglethorpe baseball team was undefeated in a 15-game season; in his last game at Oglethorpe, Appling hit three home runs against Mercer University. Appling was signed by the Southern League Atlanta Crackers that year. He was a good hitter in his first year, but committed 42 errors in 104 games. The Chicago Cubs showed some interest at first, but decided not to sign him, and the White Sox ended up purchasing him from the Crackers for $20,000.
Appling appeared in only six games for the White Sox in 1930. He hit for a .232 batting average in 96 games in 1931. In 1933 his average increased from .274 to .322 in his first of nine straight .300 seasons. The White Sox lost more than 90 games in four of Appling's first five seasons with the team.
His best season was 1936, when he batted .388, knocked in 124 runs (his only 100-RBI season), scored 111 times, recorded 204 hits, and had a team-record 27-game hitting streak. His batting average was good for the first AL batting title won by a shortstop. It was the highest batting average recorded by a shortstop in the 20th century. He finished second in the AL Most Valuable Player voting and earned his first All-Star Game selection. He also turned a league-leading 119 double plays.
Appling hit .317 in 1937 as the White Sox finished in third place in the AL. He played in 81 games in 1938, missing much of the season with a broken leg.
In 1940, Appling hit .348 with a career-high 13 triples. Although the team finished fourth, they came closer to a league championship than at any point in his career, eight games behind the league champions. Appling won another batting title in 1943 with a .328 average and also led the league in OBP that year (.419).
Appling missed the entire 1944 season due to military service in the United States Army, then returned in time to appear in only 18 games the next year.
He hit .309 in 149 games in 1946. Though his seventh and final All-Star Game selection came in 1947 when he hit .306, Appling hit .314 and .301 in 1948 and 1949, respectively. Appling had remained a solid contributor into his forties, but White Sox ownership was dedicated to a youth movement and he retired after the 1950 season.
Upon his retirement, Appling was the all-time leader for most games played and for double plays by a major league shortstop, and the all-time leader for putouts and assists by an American League shortstop. These records were later broken by Luis Aparicio, who also spent the majority of his career with the White Sox. He made 643 errors and has the worst fielding percentage since 1910 of players with at least 1900 games, but his speed and range made his defensive ability excellent nonetheless throughout his career.
Appling was a good leadoff hitter who topped the .400 mark in OBP eight times (1935–37, 1939–40, 1943, 1948–49) and drew over 100 walks three times (1935, 1939, 1949), although he often batted third due to otherwise poor team hitting on the White Sox. He was well known for his ability to foul off pitches, leading to the story that he once fouled off 10 pitches in a row on purpose when ownership refused to give some baseballs to autograph because they were too expensive; he was supposedly never refused a ball again.
Appling was famous among his teammates for complaining about minor ailments such as a sore back, a weak shoulder, shin splints, or a sprained finger. While much of this complaining was probably for show, it earned him the nicknames "Old Aches and Pains" and "Libby", the latter after blues singer Libby Holman. "His constant stream of complaints might have become intolerable to his teammates if Appling had not developed a novel remedy," wrote Robert McG. Thomas Jr. of The New York Times. "He simply took his misery out on opposing pitchers, rapping out 2,749 hits, all but 587 of them singles."
|Luke Appling's number 4 was retired by the Chicago White Sox in 1975.|
Appling was a successful minor league manager after his playing days were over, winning pennants with Memphis in the Southern Association and Indianapolis of the American Association and being named minor league manager of the year in 1952.
Beginning in 1954, he managed the unaffiliated Richmond Virginians, a Class AAA team in the International League which affiliated with the New York Yankees in 1958 but after 1964 moved and became the Toledo Mud Hens.
Appling's only chance to manage at the major league level was as a late-season replacement for Alvin Dark as manager of the Kansas City Athletics in 1967, which resulted in his major league managerial record of just 10-30.
Though Appling received only two Baseball Hall of Fame votes when he appeared on the ballot in 1953, he was eventually elected in 1964. No candidate had received enough votes for induction based on the initial 1964 election, however Appling was named on the most ballots and he defeated Red Ruffing in a subsequent runoff vote.
In 1970, the Chicago chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America named Appling the greatest player in the history of the White Sox. In 1981, Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig included him in their book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time.
On July 19, 1982, Appling played in the initial 1982 Cracker Jack Old Timers game (1982-1990) at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., where the then 75-year-old Hall of Fame shortstop hit a home run off Warren Spahn in the very first inning into the left field bleachers, the ball having traveled only 250 feet, and then some, as the fences were moved in for the old timers, although it is still a very good distance for a 75-year-old. RFK Stadium was still in football configuration at the time.
In 1989, The New York Times profiled the then 82-year-old Appling, who had been an annual Spring Training coach with the Atlanta Braves for 14 years and was also serving as a minor league coach during the season.
On January 3, 1991, two days after retiring from the Atlanta coaching staff, Appling was in a hospital in Cumming, Georgia, suffering from an abdominal aortic aneurysm. He died during emergency surgery.
"Old Aches and Pains" was interred in Sawnee View Memorial Gardens, Mausoleum Chapel West in Cumming, Georgia.
Pitcher Eddie Lopat remembered Appling, saying, "I played with him and against him, and he was the finest shortstop I ever saw. In the field, he covered more ground than anyone in the league. As a hitting shortstop, there was no one in his class."
In 1999, he was named as a finalist to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.
The 1934 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 34th season in the major leagues and its 35th season overall. They finished with a record 53–99, good enough for eighth and last place in the American League (47 games behind the first place Detroit Tigers).1936 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1936 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the fourth 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, 1936, at National League Park in Boston, Massachusetts, the home of the Boston Bees of the National League. The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 4–3. It was the National League's first win in All-Star Game history.1937 Chicago White Sox season
The 1937 Chicago White Sox season was the White Sox's 37th season in the major leagues, and their 38th season overall . They finished with a record 86–68, good enough for 3rd place in the American League, 16 games behind the first place New York Yankees.1939 Chicago White Sox season
The 1939 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 39th season in major league baseball, and its 40th season overall. They finished with a record 85–69, good enough for 4th place in the American League, 22.5 games behind the first place New York Yankees.1940 Chicago White Sox season
The 1940 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 40th season in the major leagues, and its 41st season overall. They finished with a record 82–72, good enough for 4th place in the American League, 8 games behind the first place Detroit Tigers.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 4–0.1941 Chicago White Sox season
The 1941 Chicago White Sox season was the White Sox's 41st season in the major leagues, and their 42nd season overall. They finished with a record 77–77, good enough for 3rd place in the American League, 24 games behind the first place New York Yankees.1942 Chicago White Sox season
The 1942 Chicago White Sox season was the White Sox's 43rd season. They finished with a record 66–82, good enough for 6th place in the American League, 34 games behind the 1st place New York Yankees.1943 Chicago White Sox season
The 1943 Chicago White Sox season was the White Sox's 43rd season in the major leagues, and their 44th season overall. They finished with a record 82–72, good enough for 4th place in the American League, 16 games behind the first place New York Yankees.1946 Chicago White Sox season
The 1946 Chicago White Sox season was the White Sox's 46th season in the major leagues, and their 47th season overall. They finished with a record 74–80, good enough for 5th place in the American League, 30 games behind the first place Boston Red Sox.1947 Chicago White Sox season
The 1947 Chicago White Sox season was the White Sox's 47th season in the major leagues, and their 48th season overall. They finished with a record 70–84, good enough for 6th place in the American League, 27 games behind the first place New York Yankees.1948 Chicago White Sox season
The 1948 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 48th season in the major leagues, and its 49th season overall. They finished eighth (last) in the American League with a 51–101 record, 44.5 games behind the first place Cleveland Indians. In 114 seasons, the White Sox have only once (in 1932) had a worse winning percentage. This was the first year of many for White Sox television broadcasts on WGN-TV channel 9.1949 Chicago White Sox season
The 1949 Chicago White Sox season was the White Sox's 49th season in the major leagues, and their 50th season overall. They finished with a record 63–91, good enough for 6th place in the American League, 34 games behind the first place New York Yankees.1964 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1964 followed the system introduced for even-number years in 1962.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players with provision for a second, "runoff" election in case of no winner. The runoff was necessary this year, with Luke Appling the winner.
Meanwhile, the Veterans Committee was meeting annually to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players.
It selected six people: Red Faber, Burleigh Grimes, Miller Huggins, Tim Keefe, Heinie Manush, and John Montgomery Ward.
Further, the eligibility of retired players was reduced from having retired thirty years prior to election to twenty.List of Chicago White Sox nicknames
In the last 100-plus years, the Chicago White Sox have had many players with colorful and memorable nicknames from "Shoeless Joe" Jackson to "Old Aches & Pains" Appling, Minnie the "Cuban Comet" Minoso, "Little Louie" Aparicio, "Black Jack" McDowell, and Frank "The Big Hurt" Thomas. These are some of the best.
Dick Allen: "Wampum"
Sandy Alomar: "Iron Pony"
Luis Aparicio: "Little Louie"
Luke Appling: "Fumblefoot" or "Kid Boots" or "Old Aches & Pains"
Cuke Barrows, Roland Barrows: "Cuke"
Bruno Block, James John Blochowicz: "Bruno"
Ken Boyer: "Cap" or "Captain"
Smoky Burgess, Forrest Harrill Burgess: "Smoky"
Iván Calderón: "Ivan The Terrible"
Norm Cash: "Stormin’ Norman"
Eddie Cicotte: "Knuckles"
Rocky Colavito, Rocco Colavito: "Rocky"
Eddie Collins: "Cocky"
José Contreras: "Commander"
Joe Crede: "Clutch Norris"
Bucky Dent, Russell Earl O’Day: "Bucky" or "Bucky 'Fucking' Dent"
Octavio Dotel: "Ol' Dirty"
Richard Dotson: "Dot"
Brian Downing: "Incredible Hulk"
Red Faber, Urban Clarence Faber: "Red"
Carlton Fisk: "Pudge"
Nellie Fox, Jacob Nelson Fox,: "Nellie", "Little Nel", or "The Mighty Mite"
Freddy García: "Chief"
Ralph Garr: "Road Runner"
Kid Gleason, William Gleason: "Kid"
Goose Gossage, Richard Michael Gossage: "Goose" or "The White Gorilla"
Craig Grebeck: "The Little Hurt"
Bo Jackson, Vincent Edward Jackson: "Bo"
Joe Jackson: "Shoeless Joe"
Bobby Jenks: "Big Bad Bobby Jenks"
Lance Johnson: "One Dog"
Ted Kluszewski: "Big Klu"
Paul Konerko: "Paulie"
Carlos Lee: "El Caballo"
Ted Lyons: "Sunday Teddy"
Jack McDowell: "Black Jack"
Catfish Metkovich, George Michael Metkovich: "Catfish"
Minnie Miñoso, Saturnino Orestes Armas (Arrieta) Miñoso: "Minnie" or "The Cuban Comet"
Blue Moon Odom, Johnny Lee Odom: "Blue Moon"
Magglio Ordóñez: "El Caribe Mayor (The Caribbean Mayor)" or "Mags"
Tom Paciorek: "Wimpy"
Don Pall: "The Pope"
Herbert Perry: "The Milkman"
Bubba Phillips, John Melvin Phillips: "Bubba"
Billy Pierce: "Billy the Kid"
Scott Podsednik: "Pods"
Carlos Quentin: "TCQ"
Tim Raines: "Rock"
Alexei Ramírez: "The Cuban Missile"
Ray Schalk: "The Cracker"
Tom Seaver: "Tom Terrific"
Bill Skowron: "Moose"
Moose Solters, Julius Joseph Soltesz: "Moose" or "Lemons"
Nick Swisher: "Dirty Thirty"
Frank Thomas: "The Big Hurt"
Jim Thome: "Big Jimmy" or "Mr. Incredible"
Javier Vázquez: "The Silent Assassin"
Robin Ventura: "Batman"
Dayán Viciedo: "The Tank"
Ed Walsh: "Big Ed"
Skeeter Webb, James Laverne Webb: "Skeeter"
Hoyt Wilhelm: "Old Sarge"
Walt Williams: "No Neck"
Taffy Wright, Taft Shedron Wright:: "Taffy"
Early Wynn: "Gus"List of Chicago White Sox team records
This is a list of team records for the Chicago White Sox professional baseball team.List of Major League Baseball annual fielding errors leaders
The following is a list of annual leaders in fielding errors in Major League Baseball (MLB), with separate lists for the American League and the National League. The list also includes several professional leagues and associations that were never part of MLB.
In baseball statistics, an error is an act, in the judgment of the official scorer, of a fielder misplaying a ball in a manner that allows a batter or baserunner to advance one or more bases or allows an at bat to continue after the batter should have been put out.
Herman Long is the all-time leader in errors, committing 1,096 in his career. Long and Billy Shindle hold the record for most fielding errors in a season, with Long committing 122 errors in 1889, and Shindle committing 122 errors the following year in 1890. Adrián Beltré is the active leader in fielding errors, leading the league once in 1999.List of Oakland Athletics managers
The Oakland Athletics are a professional baseball team based in Oakland, California. Before moving to Oakland in 1968, the team played in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 1901 through 1954 and in Kansas City, Missouri from 1955 through 1967. The Athletics are members of the American League (AL) West division in Major League Baseball (MLB). In baseball, the head coach of a team is called the manager, or more formally, the field manager. The duties of the team manager include team strategy and leadership on and off the field. The team has employed 30 different managers in its history. The current Athletics' manager is Bob Melvin.The franchise's first manager was Hall of Famer Connie Mack, who managed the team for its first fifty seasons. Mack led the Athletics to nine AL championships and five World Series championships—in 1910, 1911, 1913, 1929 and 1930. The team lost the World Series in 1905, 1914 and 1931, and no World Series was played when the Athletics won the AL championship in 1902. After Jimmy Dykes replaced Mack as the Athletics' manager in 1951, no manager served more than three consecutive seasons until Tony La Russa, who became the Athletics' manager in 1986. During this period, Dick Williams managed the Athletics to two consecutive World Series championships in 1972 and 1973, and Alvin Dark managed the team to a third consecutive World Series championship in 1974. La Russa managed the Athletics to three consecutive AL championships from 1988 through 1990, winning the World Series in 1989.Connie Mack holds the Athletics' records for most games managed, 7,466; most wins as a manager, 3,582; and most losses as a manager, 3,814. Williams has the highest winning percentage of any Athletics manager, .603. Four managers have served multiple terms as the Athletics' manager. Connie Mack's son Earle Mack served as interim manager twice, in 1937 and 1939, when his father was ill. Hank Bauer served as the Athletics' manager from 1961 to 1962, and then again in 1969. Dark served as the Athletics' manager from 1966 to 1967 and again from 1974 to 1975. Jack McKeon started the 1977 season as the Athletics' manager, was replaced by Bobby Winkles after 53 games, and then replaced Winkles part way through the 1978 season. Five Athletics' managers have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame: Connie Mack, Lou Boudreau, Joe Gordon, Luke Appling and Williams. Mack and Williams were inducted into the Hall of Fame as managers. Boudreau, Gordon and Appling were inducted as players.Richmond Virginians
The Richmond Virginians was the name of a minor league baseball Class AAA International League franchise that played in Richmond, Virginia, from 1954 through 1964.
The minor-league Virginians were the transplanted version of the International League edition of the Baltimore Orioles, who were uprooted from their Maryland home when the St. Louis Browns of Major League Baseball transferred there for the 1954 season. (The '54 transfer was the second time the Orioles had moved to the Virginia capital. The Orioles played there from 1915-17 when the Federal League, the outlaw "third major league", chased them temporarily from Baltimore.)
The Virginians were unaffiliated with a major league farm system during 1954 and 1955, and — despite being managed by a Hall of Famer, Luke Appling — they wallowed at the bottom of the IL standings. The team's fortunes improved in 1956, when it affiliated with the New York Yankees. The Virginians, the Yanks' sole AAA farm club after 1958, sent several key players (including Tom Tresh, Al Downing and Joe Pepitone) to the Bronx, but the club's attendance figures were usually in the bottom tier of the league.
After the 1964 season, the Virginians were transferred to Toledo, Ohio, to become the present-day edition of the Mud Hens. Richmond was without baseball in 1965, but gained its longtime IL franchise, the Richmond Braves, when the Atlanta Crackers transferred there the following season. After 43 seasons in Richmond, the club moved to Gwinnett County, Georgia, for the 2009 campaign. In 2010, Virginia's capital joined the Class AA Eastern League with the creation of the Richmond Flying Squirrels (formerly the Connecticut Defenders of Norwich, Connecticut), an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.
At one point, the Virginians were the only minor league affiliate of the Yankees allowed to keep their nickname instead of adopting the Yankees name. (For instance, the Columbus Confederate Yankees, based in Columbus, Georgia, were forced to keep the "Yankees" name but made use of the Confederate flag on its uniforms.) Today, the Yankees have four minor league affiliates that don't use the Yankees nickname: the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the Trenton Thunder, the Charleston RiverDogs, and the Tampa Tarpons.
|J. G. Taylor Spink Award|
Italics denotes players who have been voted in but not yet inducted.