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Babe Dahlgren
First baseman
Born: June 15, 1912(1912-06-15)
San Francisco, California
Died: September 4, 1996 (aged 84)
Arcadia, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
April 16, 1935 for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance
September 3, 1946 for the St. Louis Browns
Career statistics
Batting average     .261
Home runs     82
Runs batted in     569
Career highlights and awards
  • Member of 1939 World Series champion New York Yankees
  • 1943 National League All-Star

Ellsworth Tenney (Babe) Dahlgren (June 15, 1912 - September 4, 1996) was a Major League Baseball infielder from 1935 to 1946 for the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Boston Braves, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Browns, Brooklyn Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, and Pittsburgh Pirates. Dahlgren replaced Lou Gehrig in the line up on May 2, 1939, ending Gehrig's 14-year, 2,130 consecutive game streak.

In 1941, a rumor was circulated in Major League baseball that Dahlgren smoked marijuana. After discovering the existence of the rumor in 1943, Dahlgren became the first Major League Baseball player to take a drug test for a non-performance enhancing drug. He did so voluntarily to discredit the rumors circulating at the time. The tests were all negative, refuting the charges of marijuana use. Dahlgren continued to play at the major league level until 1946, in a playing career which spanned 18 years, including all or part of twelve seasons in the majors. Dahlgren spent decades trying to uncover the source of the rumor.[1]

A hypothesis as to who the perpetrator of the rumor was has been recently brought forth by his grandson, Matt Dahlgren, in his self published book, Rumor in Town.

Also notable during this period, the Browns returned Dahlgren to the Cubs for a contract dispute once it was learned that he had become eligible for the draft in May 1942.[2] He was sold to the Dodgers soon after. In August 1942 he sought voluntary retirement.[3] In early 1943, Dahlgren was notified by the draft board to report for his physical, which occurred in mid-May of that year.[4] After passing his physical, Dahlgren was to be inducted into the military in July 1943.[5] In July 1943, he played on the National League All-star team. In October 1943, Dahlgren was rejected for military service.[6]


  • Had a 621 consecutive game streak with the San Francisco Missions of the Pacific Coast League from 1931-1934
  • Member of the 1934 Pacific Coast League All-Star Team
  • Member of the 1936 International League All-Star Team as a member of the Syracuse Chiefs
  • Member of the 1937 International League All-Star Team as a member of the Newark Bears
  • Member of 1938-39 World Series Champions
  • Hit the first home run of the 1939 World Series in game 2 off of Bucky Walters
  • Named to 1943 National League All-Star Team
  • Presided over the first American League pension plan meeting in 1946


  1. ^ Rumor in Town by Matt Dahlgren
  2. ^ The New York Times, May 19, 1942
  3. ^ The New York Times, August 23, 1942
  4. ^ The New York Times, May 20, 1943
  5. ^ The New York Times, May 27, 1943
  6. ^ The New York Times, October 21, 1943

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