Paul Waner

Paul Glee Waner (April 16, 1903 – August 29, 1965), nicknamed "Big Poison", was an American professional baseball right fielder. He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Brooklyn Dodgers, Boston Braves, and New York Yankees of Major League Baseball from 1926 to 1945. He won three National League (NL) batting titles and the NL Most Valuable Player Award while with the Pirates. He was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1952.

Paul Waner
PaulWanerGoudeycard
Right fielder
Born: April 16, 1903
Harrah, Oklahoma
Died: August 29, 1965 (aged 62)
Sarasota, Florida
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 13, 1926, for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last MLB appearance
April 26, 1945, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
Batting average.333
Hits3,152
Home runs113
Runs batted in1,309
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
Induction1952
Vote83.33%

Background

Waner was born in Harrah, Oklahoma, four years before the region became a state. He was born with the middle name of John. He was the third child of five of Ora and Etta Waner; Ora had once been offered a contract by the Chicago White Stockings but declined it, instead settling a 400-acre farm. His middle name was changed from John to Glee after an uncle of the same name gave him a shotgun at the age of 6. Waner played baseball at East Central State Teachers College (now known as East Central University) in Ada, Oklahoma, having a 23-4 pitching record with a 1.70 ERA in 1922. He wanted to play pro baseball, and he signed with the team in Joplin, Missouri in the Class A Western League. After he decided to finish college work, he was sent to the Southwestern League in Muskogee before being sold again to the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League in 1923. A sore arm led to a change to the outfield. The manager of the Seals was a former Pirate, John "Dots" Miller. Waner stated that he learned batting from hitting corncobs on his father's farm, learning the way to follow the ball by seeing the movement of the cobs. In his three seasons with the Seals, he hit well, with a .401 average and 280 hits in 174 games in the latter season. Waner and Hal Rhyne were sold for $100,000 to the Pirates in 1926. [1]

Career

Paul Waner 1927.jpeg
Waner, circa 1927

In his first season, he played in 144 games while hitting for .336, 180 hits, 22 triples and 79 RBIs. He finished 12th in MVP balloting. In the next season, he had career highs, playing in 155 games (and having 708 plate appearances), having 237 hits, 131 RBIs and a .380 batting average. He was named Most Valuable Player for his efforts. His team went to the 1927 World Series that season. In his only postseason appearance, he went 5-for-15 with 3 RBIs and a .333 batting average, but the Pirates were swept by the New York Yankees. His numbers dipped slightly the following year, but he had 223 hits, 50 doubles (a league high), 86 RBIs and a .370 batting average in 152 games while garnering a career high 142 runs. In his fourth season, he had 200 hits, 43 doubles, 100 RBIs and a .336 batting average. He had 1,959 of his over 3,000 hits of his career in the 1930s, having five seasons of over 200 hits. During that decade, he garnered votes for MVP five times, finishing 4th in 1932, 2nd in 1934, 24th in 1935, 5th in 1936, and 8th in 1937. He was named to the inaugural 1933 MLB All-Star Game, along with the editions in 1934, 1935, and 1937.

He hit for .368, 77 RBIs, and 217 hits in 1930. The following year, his numbers dipped slightly, hitting for .322 along with 70 RBIs and 180 hits. He played in all 154 games for the 1932 and 1933 seasons; he bat .341 for 82 RBIs, 62 doubles (a league high) and 215 hits in the former and batted .309, 70 RBIs and 191 hits in the latter season. He hit for .362 (a 53-point increase), 90 RBIs, 217 hits and 122 runs in the 1934 season, with the latter two being increases of over 20 from the previous year. He dipped to .321 with 78 RBIs and 176 hits in 139 games the following year. In 1936, he hit for .373, his second highest in his career, while hitting 94 RBIs (his third highest in his career), 53 doubles (2nd highest), and 218 hits. In 1937, he had a .354 average, while getting 74 RBIs and 219 hits. Famous for his ability to hit while hung over, when Waner gave up drinking in 1938 at management's request, he hit only .280—the first of only two times that he failed to hit .300 as a Pirate. That year, he had 69 RBIs, 31 doubles and 175 hits in 148 games. As Casey Stengel said in complimenting his base-running skills, "He had to be a very graceful player, because he could slide without breaking the bottle on his hip." He bounced back to a .328 average in 1939, having 45 RBIs and 151 hits in 125 games. The 1940 season was his last as a Pirate. He hit for .290 while having 32 RBIs and 69 hits in 89 games, having pulled the ligaments in his right knee after stepping awkwardly on a base, missing three weeks along with playing time after healing up. He was released on December 5, 1940. In his 15-year career with the Pirates, he had 2,868 hits, 1,177 RBIs, 558 doubles, 187 triples, and a .340 batting average in 2,154 games. The 1941 season was shared between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Boston Braves. He was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers on January 31, 1941. He was released by the team on May 11, 1941, but he was signed by the Boston Braves two weeks later. He hit for .267, 50 RBIs, 88 hits in 106 combined games, with the majority being with the Braves. He spent the next season with the team, having a .258 average, 39 RBIs, 86 hits in 114 games. Waner got his 3,000th hit off old Pirate teammate Rip Sewell on June 19, 1942, being the seventh hitter (after Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Honus Wagner, Eddie Collins, Nap Lajoie, and Cap Anson) to do so. [2] He was released by Boston on January 19, 1943. Two days later, the Dodgers signed him again. A spike injury to his foot meant that he missed time once again, but he still hit for .311 in 82 games while having 36 RBIs and 70 hits, a career low for a whole season played. The 1944 season was his last full season, playing 92 total games (83 with the Dodgers and nine with the Yankees after being released by the former on September 1). He batted .280, 17 RBIs, and 40 hits. He played one game for the Yankees in 1945, making one plate appearance as a pinch hitter, getting walked in his one appearance.[3]

Waner was also nearsighted, a fact that Pirate management only learned late in his career when he remarked that he had difficulty reading the ads posted on the outfield walls. Fitting him with glasses, however, only interfered with his hitting, as Waner had to contend with a small spinning projectile rather than the fuzzy grapefruit-sized object he had been hitting before.

Waner led the National League in batting on three occasions and accumulated over 3,000 hits during his 20-year baseball career. He hit 605 doubles which at the time was 5th all-time, he is now tied for 13th highest with Paul Molitor. He collected 200 or more hits on eight occasions, was voted the NL's Most Valuable Player in 1927, and had a lifetime batting average of .333, tied for 5th highest (along with Eddie Collins) for anyone in the 3,000 hit club. Waner has recorded 1 six-hit game, 5 five-hit games and 55 4-hit games in his career. He was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1952. He set the Major League record for consecutive games with an extra-base hit, with 14 (June 6 through June 20, 1927); since then this feat has also been accomplished by Chipper Jones in 2006.

He (3,152) and his younger brother, Lloyd (2,459), hold the career record for hits by brothers (5,611), outpacing the three Alou brothers (5,094): Felipe (2,101), Matty (1,777) and Jesús (1,216), and the three DiMaggio brothers (4,853): Joe (2,214), Dom (1,680) and Vince (959), among others. For most of the period from 1927 to 1940, Paul patrolled right field at Forbes Field while Lloyd covered the ground next to him in center field. On September 15, 1938, the brothers hit back-to-back home runs against Cliff Melton of the New York Giants.[4] Paul was known as "Big Poison" and Lloyd was known as "Little Poison." One story claims that their nicknames reflect a Brooklyn Dodgers fan's pronunciation of "Big Person" and "Little Person." In 1927, the season the brothers accumulated 460 hits, the fan is said to have remarked, "Them Waners! It's always the little poison on thoid (third) and the big poison on foist (first)!" But given that Lloyd was taller, this origin is debatable.

Legacy

Pirates 11
Paul Waner's number 11 was retired by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2007.

After his retirement, he kept active by fishing, hunting, golfing and being a part-time hitting coach of the Phillies, Cardinals, and Braves. Ted Williams credited Waner with advising him to move away from the plate to successfully combat the "Williams" shift.[5]

Waner was named to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on July 21, 1952. "Gee. It's what I've been looking for a long time, but I had almost given up hope of making it," he said. "In fact, I guess you can say I've achieved my life's ambition. Any baseball player's ambition. ..." With the induction of his brother Lloyd in 1967, they became the second brother combination to be inducted into the Hall of Fame (with Harry and George Wright being the other). He died on August 29, 1965 in Sarasota, Florida after a respiratory arrest from emphysema at the age of 62. In 1999, he was ranked number 62 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players,[6] and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

Separate efforts by the Waner family and two longtime Pirates fans, who repeatedly petitioned Pirates then owner Kevin McClatchy to honor Waner by retiring his uniform number, were eventually successful.[7] The Pirates retired Waner's No. 11 in a ceremony before their game vs. the Astros on July 21, 2007, 55 years to the day of his induction into the Hall of Fame. A plaque has been placed in the interior of PNC Park to commemorate the retiring of Waner's jersey.

See also

References

  1. ^ https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/9d598ab8
  2. ^ exhibits.baseballhalloffame.org/3000_hit_club/waner_paul.htm
  3. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PHA/PHA194504260.shtml
  4. ^ "Today in Baseball". Washington Post. September 15, 2008. pp. E7.
  5. ^ "Just because: The 'Ted Williams shift'". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  6. ^ 100 Greatest Baseball Players by The Sporting News : A Legendary List by Baseball Almanac
  7. ^ Ron McClure discusses petition to retire Waner's number on YouTube

External links

1927 Major League Baseball season

The 1927 Major League Baseball season began in April 1927 and ended with the 1927 World Series in October. No no-hitters were thrown during the season.

The New York Yankees, whose lineup featured Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, dominated the American League with 110 wins. The Yankees swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series.

1927 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1927 Pittsburgh Pirates season was a season in American baseball. That year, the Pirates won the National League pennant, which was their second in three years and their last until 1960. The team included five future Hall of Famers: Paul Waner, Lloyd Waner, Pie Traynor, Kiki Cuyler, and 20-year-old rookie Joe Cronin (who played just 12 games).

In the World Series, however, Pittsburgh was no match for the New York Yankees. They were swept in four games.

1927 World Series

In the 1927 World Series, the New York Yankees swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in four games. This was the first sweep of a National League team by an American League team.

That year, the Yankees led the American League in runs scored, hits, triples, home runs, base on balls, batting average, slugging average and on-base percentage. It featured legends Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig at their peaks. The team won a then-league record 110 games, finished with a 19-game lead over second place, and are considered by many to be the greatest team in the history of baseball.

The 1927 Pittsburgh Pirates, with MVP Paul Waner, led the National League in runs, hits, batting average and on-base percentage.

1933 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1933 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 52nd season of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise; the 47th in the National League. The Pirates finished second in the league standings with a record of 87–67.

1935 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1935 Pittsburgh Pirates season was a season in American baseball which involved the Pirates finishing fourth in the National League.

The roster featured five future Hall of Famers: player-manager Pie Traynor, pitcher Waite Hoyt, shortstop Arky Vaughan, center fielder Lloyd Waner, and right fielder Paul Waner.

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.

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.

1944 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1944 Brooklyn Dodgers saw constant roster turnover as players left for service in World War II. The team finished the season in seventh place in the National League.

1944 New York Yankees season

The 1944 New York Yankees season was the team's 42nd season in New York, and its 44th season overall. The team finished in third place in the American League with a record of 83–71, finishing 6 games behind the St. Louis Browns. New York was managed by Joe McCarthy. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium.

1952 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1952 followed the same rules as 1951.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted once by mail to select from major league players retired less than 25 year and elected two, Harry Heilmann and Paul Waner.

Meanwhile, the Old-Timers Committee, with jurisdiction over earlier players and other figures, did not meet.

Double (baseball)

In baseball, a double is the act of a batter striking the pitched ball and safely reaching second base without being called out by the umpire, without the benefit of a fielder's misplay (see error) or another runner being put out on a fielder's choice. A double is a type of hit (the others being the single, triple and home run) and is sometimes called a "two-bagger" or "two-base hit". For statistical and scorekeeping purposes it is denoted by 2B.

Extra-base hit

In baseball, an extra-base hit (EB, EBH or XBH), also known as a long hit, is any base hit on which the batter is able to advance past first base without the benefit of a fielder either committing an error or opting to make a throw to retire another base runner (see fielder's choice). Extra-base hits are often not listed separately in tables of baseball statistics, but are easily determined by calculating the sum total of a batter's doubles, triples, and home runs.Another related statistic of interest that can be calculated is "extra bases on long hits". A batter gets three of these for each home run, two for each triple, and one for each double. Thus, leading the league in "Most extra bases in long hits" is a significant accomplishment in power hitting.

The statistic Extra-Base Hits Allowed (for example by a pitcher or by the fielding team in general) is denoted by the abbreviation XBA.

Howdy Groskloss

Howard Hoffman "Howdy" Groskloss (April 10, 1906 – July 15, 2006) was an American professional baseball player. He played all or part of three seasons in Major League Baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1930–32), primarily as a second baseman. Groskloss batted and threw right-handed.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of an opera singer, Groskloss graduated from Amherst College in 1930 and later attended Yale University while playing for the Pirates. In 1937, he became a doctor and practiced as a gynecologist in Miami, Florida for more than 25 years. He also was a flight surgeon in the Navy during World War II.

Groskloss was 24 years old when he broke into the big leagues with Pittsburgh. Among his teammates were Pie Traynor, Arky Vaughan, Gus Suhr, and the brothers Lloyd and Paul Waner. In a three-season career, Groskloss posted a .261 batting average with 21 RBI and 14 runs in 72 games.

Groskloss died in Vero Beach, Florida, at the age of 100. At the time of his death, he was recognized as the oldest living former major league player. He was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Miami, Florida.

List of Major League Baseball career putouts as a right fielder leaders

In baseball statistics, a putout (denoted by PO or fly out when appropriate) is given to a defensive player who records an out by a 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), or being positioned closest to a runner called out for interference.

A right fielder, abbreviated RF, is the outfielder in baseball or softball who plays defense in right field. Right field is the area of the outfield to the right of a person standing at home plate and facing towards the pitcher's mound. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the right fielder is assigned the number 9.

Paul Waner is the all-time leader in putouts by a right fielder with 4,740 career. Roberto Clemente (4,454), Dwight Evans (4,247), Hank Aaron (4,163), Tony Gwynn (4,052), Sammy Sosa (4,019), and Ichiro Suzuki (4,006) are the only other right fielders to record over 4,000 career putouts.

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.

List of Major League Baseball triples records

There are various Major League Baseball records for triples.

List of Pittsburgh Pirates team records

The Pittsburgh Pirates are a professional baseball team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They compete in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's (MLB) National League (NL). Founded in 1882 as Allegheny, the club played in the American Association before moving to the National League in 1887. The list below documents players and teams that hold particular club records.

In 134 seasons from 1882 through 2015, the team has won over 10,000 games and five World Series championships. The team has appeared in 18 postseasons and has won nine league pennants. Roberto Clemente owns the most career batting records with five. Ralph Kiner, Arky Vaughan and Paul Waner each own three single-season batting records. Bob Friend owns the most career pitching records and Ed Morris the most single-season pitching records, both with six.

In their history, the Pittsburgh Pirates have set three Major League Baseball records. In 1912, Chief Wilson hit an MLB-record 36 triples and, on May 30, 1925, the team collectively hit a major league-record eight triples in a single game. In addition, six no-hitters have been thrown in the history of the franchise, with the most recent on July 12, 1997. The Pirates also hold the MLB—and North American professional sports—record for most consecutive losing seasons with 20. The stretch began with the 1993 season and concluded with the 2012 season, at which point the Pirates recorded a winning record and a playoff berth in the 2013 season.

Lloyd Waner

Lloyd James Waner (March 16, 1906 – July 22, 1982), nicknamed "Little Poison", was a Major League Baseball (MLB) center fielder. His small stature at 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) and 132 lb (68 kg) made him one of the smallest players of his era. Along with his brother, Paul Waner, he anchored the Pittsburgh Pirates outfield throughout the 1920s and 1930s. After brief stints with four other teams late in his career, Waner retired as a Pirate.

Waner finished with a batting average over .300 in ten seasons. He earned a selection to the MLB All-Star Game in 1938. Lloyd and Paul Waner set the record for career hits by brothers in MLB. He was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1967. He worked as a scout for the Pirates and the Baltimore Orioles after retiring as a player.

Shagging (baseball)

In baseball, shagging is the act of catching fly balls in the outfield outside the context of an actual baseball game. This is most commonly done by pitchers during batting practice before a game, where they assist their hitting teammates by catching or picking up their batted baseballs and throwing them back to the pitching area in the infield. Batboys also help shagging, and it is reportedly considered a great honor among batboys to be asked to do this. This pre-game activity is widely disliked by pitchers, who argue that it does not benefit them at all, since it drains their energy and actually increases the risk of stiffness in the lower back and leg as a result of prolonged standing. In response to these claims, several teams have exempted pitchers from having to shag. In the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league, teams pay groups specifically assembled to shag fly balls in place of pitchers, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim recruit local firefighters in Arizona to do the job when the team plays in the Cactus League during spring training.

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