Hank Bauer: Wikis

  
  

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Hank Bauer
Right fielder
Born: July 31, 1922(1922-07-31)
East St. Louis, Illinois
Died: February 9, 2007 (aged 84)
Lenexa, Kansas
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
September 6, 1948 for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
July 21, 1961 for the Kansas City Athletics
Career statistics
Batting average     .277
Home runs     164
Runs batted in     703
Teams

As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards

Henry Albert "Hank" Bauer (July 31, 1922 - February 9, 2007) was an American right fielder and manager in Major League Baseball. He played with the New York Yankees (19481959) and Kansas City Athletics (19601961); he batted and threw right-handed. He served as manager of the Athletics in both Kansas City (1961-62) and Oakland (1969), as well as of the Baltimore Orioles (1964-68), winning the 1966 World Series championship.

Contents

Early years

Born in East St. Louis, Illinois as the youngest of nine children, Bauer was the son of an Austrian immigrant, a bartender who had earlier lost his leg in an aluminum mill. With little money coming into the home, Bauer was forced to wear clothes made out of old feed sacks, helping shape his hard-nosed approach to life. (It was said that his care-worn face "looked like a clenched fist".)

Playing baseball and basketball at East St. Louis Central Catholic High School, Bauer suffered permanent damage to his nose, caused by an errant elbow from an opponent. Upon graduation in 1941, he was repairing furnaces in a beer-bottling plant when his brother Herman, a minor league player in the Chicago White Sox system, was able to get him a tryout that resulted in a contract with Oshkosh of the Class D Wisconsin State League.

World War II - Marine Corps

Henry Albert Bauer
July 31, 1922(1922-07-31) – February 9, 2007 (aged 84)
Place of birth East St. Louis, Illinois
Place of death Lenexa, Kansas
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1942-1945
Battles/wars World War II
* Battle of Guadalcanal
* Battle of Guam
*Battle of Okinawa
Awards Bronze star (2)
Purple Heart (2)
Other work Professional baseball player

One month after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Bauer enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. While in the South Pacific, Bauer contracted malaria, but recovered enough to earn 11 campaign ribbons, two Bronze Stars and a pair of Purple Hearts in 32 months of combat. He was wounded a second time during the Battle of Okinawa, when he commanded a platoon of 64 men. Only six survived the brutal siege, with shrapnel hitting Bauer in the thigh and sending him home.

After the war - Minor league

Returning to East St. Louis, he joined the local pipefitter's union and stopped by a local bar where his brother Joe worked. Danny Menendez, a New York Yankees scout, signed him for a tryout with the team's farm club in Quincy, Illinois. The terms: $175 a month (a $25 increase if he made the team) and a $250 bonus.

Batting .300 at Quincy and with the team's top minor league unit, the Kansas City Blues, Bauer eventually made his debut with the Bronx Bombers in September 1948.

Career as player, coach and manager

In a 14-season career, Bauer had a .277 batting average with 164 home runs and 703 RBI in 1544 games. He won the World Series with the Yankees seven times and holds the World Series record for the longest hitting streak, at 17 games. Perhaps his most notable performance came in the sixth and final game of the 1951 World Series, where he hit a three-run triple, and saved the game with a diving catch of a Sal Yvars liner for the last out. At the close of the 1959 season, Bauer was dealt to the Kansas City Athletics in the trade that brought future home run king Roger Maris to the Bronx. This deal is often cited among the worst examples of the Yankees-A's numerous trades during the late 1950s, which usually proved to be one-sided in New York's favor.

In 1961, the year Maris broke Babe Ruth's single-season home run record, Bauer, at 38 years of age, was coming to the end of the line. On June 19, he was named playing-manager of the Athletics, and he retired from the field a month later. In Bauer's first stint at A's pilot, through the end of the 1962 season, Kansas City won 107 games and lost 157 (.405) and twice finished ninth in the ten-team American League of the day.

After his firing at the close of the 1962 campaign, Bauer spent the 1963 season as first-base coach of the Baltimore Orioles. He was elevated to manager at the end of the season, as the Orioles sought a firmer hand in command of the team. The move was successful: Baltimore contended aggressively for the 1964 American League pennant, finishing third, and then — bolstered by the acquisition of future Hall of Fame outfielder Frank Robinson — its first AL pennant and World Series championship in 1966. But when the Orioles, hampered by an injury to Robinson, finished in the second division in 1967 and then fell far behind the eventual champion Detroit Tigers in 1968, Bauer was released as manager on July 12, in favor of Earl Weaver, then Baltimore's first-base coach. Weaver would forge a Hall of Fame career over the next 14½ years as the Orioles' pilot.

Bauer then returned to Finley and the A's, now in Oakland, for the 1969 campaign. He was fired for the second and final time by Finley after bringing Oakland home second in the new American League West Division. Overall, his regular-season managerial record was 594-544 (.522).

Bauer managed the Tidewater Tides, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets, in 1971-72. The Tides made the finals of IL Governors' Cup playoffs each season, winning the playoff title in the latter campaign.

Bauer then hung up his uniform, returning home to the Kansas City area, where he scouted for the Yankees and the Kansas City Royals.

Family life

Bauer moved to the Kansas City area (Prairie Village, Kansas) in 1949 after playing with the Blues of 1947 and 1948. While there, he met and later married Charlene Friede, the club's office secretary. She died in July 1999.

The family's children, including Hank, Jr. also a great athlete and a chip off the old block in appearance, attended St. Ann's Grade School in Prairie Village, and then Bishop Miege High School in Shawnee Mission, Kansas.

Hank owned and managed a liquor store in Prairie Village, Kansas for a number of years after retirement from baseball.

Bauer died in his Kansas City area home on February 9, 2007 at the age of 84 from lung cancer.[1].

Highlights

  • October, 10, 1951: Bases loaded triple leads Yankees to 4–3 win over the New York Giants to clinch the 1951 World Series.
  • 3-time All-Star (1952–54).
  • From 1956–58 set a World Series hitting streak record of 17 games, which was later matched as a postseason record by Derek Jeter.
  • Led American League in Triples (9) in 1957.

Quotes

  • Hank crawled on top of the Yankee dugout and searched the stands, looking for a fan who was shouting racial slurs at Elston Howard. When asked about the incident, Bauer explained simply, "Ellie's my friend". -- Excerpt of the book "Clubhouse Lawyer," by Art Ditmar, former major league pitcher [2]
  • Hank lost four prime years from his playing career due to his Marine service. This is heavy duty when you figure such a career is usually over when a player reaches his mid-thirties. This is something that does not bother Hank. "I guess I knew too many great young guys who lost everything out there to worry about my losing part of a baseball career," he says. -- From the book Semper FI, MAC, by Henry Berry
  • Tommy Lasorda on Bauer: "This guy's tough. He had a face that looked like it'd hold two days of rain." [3]

See also

References

External links








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