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Arky Vaughan

Shortstop
Born: March 9, 1912(1912-03-09)
Clifty, Arkansas
Died: August 30, 1952 (aged 40)
Eagleville, California
Batted: Left Threw: Right 
MLB debut
April 17, 1932 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last MLB appearance
September 22, 1948 for the Brooklyn Dodgers
Career statistics
Batting average     .318
Hits     2,103
Runs batted in     926
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
Induction     1985
Election Method     Veteran's Committee

Joseph Floyd "Arky" Vaughan (March 9, 1912 - August 30, 1952) was a Major League Baseball shortstop.

Born in Clifty, Arkansas, Vaughan made his major league debut in 1932 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He hit .318 with 61 RBI in his rookie season. Over the following decade, Vaughan established himself as one of the finest hitting shortstops to ever play the game, batting over .300 in every season through 1941, and regularly being at or near the top of the league in runs scored, RBI, batting average, stolen bases, and walks. In 1935, he hit a career-high .385, with 19 home runs and 99 runs batted in; he was named Player of the Year by The Sporting News and was third in National League MVP voting. That season has been called the best ever by a shortstop other than Honus Wagner.[1] In the 1941 All-Star Game, Vaughan hit two home runs, but was upstaged by a ninth-inning, three-run homer by American Leaguer Ted Williams.

Vaughan was traded to the Brooklyn Dodgers in late 1941 and was unable to maintain his high standards of play in his new city, despite leading the league with 20 stolen bases in 1943. Normally a reserved player, Vaughan got into a clubhouse fight with tempermental manager Leo Durocher late in 1943. He sat out the next three years before returning in 1947. He played in his only World Series that season, losing to the New York Yankees, and left the majors after 1948. His last year in baseball was 1949, with the Pacific Coast League's San Francisco Seals. He retired with 1173 runs scored, 96 home runs, 926 RBI, 118 steals, a .318 batting average, and a .406 on base percentage. His .385 batting average in 1935 is a Pittsburgh team record and also remained a 20th century record for National League shortstops.

An avid outdoorsman, Vaughan was fishing in Lost Lake, near Eagleville, California on August 30, 1952, when a storm suddenly brewed up. Arky and a friend were caught up in the turbulence, the boat sank, and the two men drowned. He was just 40 years old.

Vaughan was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985. In 1981, Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig had included him in their book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time. In his New Historical Baseball Abstract, Bill James argued that Vaughan is the second-best shortstop in major league history, behind fellow Pirate and mentor Honus Wagner. In addition, Vaughan is the 26th greatest non-pitcher in major league history, according to win shares.

See also

External links and references

  1. ^ James, Bill. The New Historical Baseball Abstract, 2001.
Preceded by
Paul Waner
National League Batting Champion
1935
Succeeded by
Paul Waner
Preceded by
Pete Reiser
National League Stolen Base Champion
1943
Succeeded by
Johnny Barrett
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