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Bob Elliot
Third baseman / Outfielder
Born: November 26, 1916(1916-11-26)
San Diego, California
Died: May 4, 1966 (aged 49)
San Diego, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
September 2, 1939 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last MLB appearance
July 16, 1953 for the Chicago White Sox
Career statistics
Batting average     .289
Home runs     170
Runs batted in     1,195

As Player

As Manager

Career highlights and awards
  • 8x All-Star selection (1941, 1942, 1944, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1951)
  • 1947 NL MVP

Robert Irving Elliott (November 26, 1916 - May 4, 1966) was an American third baseman and right fielder in Major League Baseball who played most of his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Braves. He contributed some of the happiest memories to the Braves' final Boston years, winning the 1947 National League Most Valuable Player Award and earning the nickname "Mr. Team." The following season, his power hitting helped lift Boston to its second NL pennant since 1901, the team's last before relocating to Milwaukee. He was the second major league third baseman to have five seasons of 100 runs batted in, joining Pie Traynor, and retired with the highest career slugging average (.440) of any NL third baseman. He also led the league in assists three times and in putouts and double plays twice each, and ended his career among the NL leaders in games (8th, 1262), assists (7th, 2547), total chances (10th, 4113) and double plays (4th, 231) at third base.

Born in San Francisco, California, Elliott came to the major leagues with the Pirates as an outfielder in 1939. As a right-handed batter (and thrower), his power hitting was hampered by the spacious left field at Forbes Field, but in eight years with the team he compiled more than 100 RBI three times, and he batted .315 in 1943. Manager Frankie Frisch shifted him to third base after the 1941 season, seeking to take advantage of his strong arm while compensating for his lack of speed. Exempted from World War II military service due to head injuries from being hit by a pitch in 1943, Elliott was named to the NL All-Star team in 1941, 1942, 1944 and 1945, and finished among the top ten players in the MVP voting from 1942 through 1944, placing second in the league in RBI the last two years. On July 15, 1945, he hit for the cycle. After the 1946 season, he was traded to the Braves in a lopsided deal for 37-year-old second baseman Billy Herman, who played only 15 more major league games but became the team's manager, and three other players who made a total of 127 appearances with the Pirates.

With a friendlier hitting environment at Braves Field, Elliott exceeded the 20 home run mark three times in his five years in Boston, equalling Whitey Kurowski for the most 20-HR seasons by an NL third baseman. In his 1947 MVP campaign, Elliott did not lead the NL in any offensive category; however, he batted .317 (second in the NL), with 22 home runs and 117 runs batted in, all team highs. In 1948, when the Braves won the pennant, Elliott batted .283 with 23 homers and 100 RBI and made his sixth All-Star team. He also led the major leagues with 131 walks, breaking the club record of 110 set by Billy Hamilton in 1896; it remains the franchise record. Batting cleanup, he hit .333 in the 1948 World Series, which Boston lost in six games to the Cleveland Indians; he had a pair of home runs in his first two at bats in Game 5, an 11-5 victory, and was 3 for 3 with a walk in the final 4-3 loss in Game 6.

Although his numbers declined somewhat thereafter, Elliott enjoyed productive years from 1949 through 1951, including a season batting .305 with 24 HRs and 107 RBI in 1950, his sixth 100-RBI campaign. He was named to his last All-Star squad in 1951, his final year with Boston. By the early 1950s he had broken Kurowski's NL record for career home runs at third base, though Eddie Mathews surpassed him within a few seasons. His playing career began to wind down in 1952, as he struggled with the New York Giants following an April trade, and ended after a 1953 campaign split between the St. Louis Browns and Chicago White Sox. Over 15 years (1939-53) and 1,978 games, Elliott batted .289 and collected 2,061 hits, 170 home runs, 382 doubles, 1,064 runs and 1,195 RBI. Elliott's last highlight was 2 home runs on opening day for the N. Y. Giants in 1952. His final major league game occurred on September 16, 1953 for the Chicago White Sox.

Elliott then returned to California and became a manager in the Pacific Coast League, with the San Diego Padres (1955-57) and the Sacramento Solons (1959). After a third-place finish in Sacramento, Elliott received his only major league managing opportunity when he took over the Kansas City Athletics for the 1960 season. It was bad timing; the A's were one of the weakest teams in the American League, and the team's owner, Arnold Johnson, died suddenly just before the season began. The A's won only 58 games while losing 96 (.377) in Elliott's only season at the helm. He was fired by new owner Charles O. Finley at season's end, and replaced by Joe Gordon. In 1961, Elliott was a coach for the expansion Los Angeles Angels during their maiden AL campaign.

Less than five years later, Elliott died at age 49 in San Diego after suffering a ruptured vein in his windpipe.

See also

External links

Preceded by
Harry Craft
Kansas City Athletics Manager
Succeeded by
Joe Gordon


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