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Muddy Ruel

Catcher
Born: February 20, 1896(1896-02-20)
Bloomingdale, Michigan
Died: November 13, 1963 (aged 67)
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
May 29, 1915 for the St. Louis Browns
Last MLB appearance
August 25, 1934 for the Chicago White Sox
Career statistics
Batting average     .275
Hits     1242
Runs batted in     534
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Herold Dominic "Muddy" Ruel (February 20, 1896 - November 13, 1963) was a major league catcher for 18 seasons with the St. Louis Browns, New York Yankees, Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, and the Chicago White Sox.[1]

As a player, Ruel is best remembered for scoring the Senators' winning run in Game 7 of the 1924 World Series.[2] He possessed strong defensive skills, leading American League catchers in fielding percentage three consecutive years (1926-1928).[3] Ruel made 23 double plays in 1924, the seventh highest season total for catchers.[4] His reputation as a defensive stand out is enhanced because of the era in which he played. In the Deadball Era, catchers played a huge defensive role, given the large number of bunts and stolen base attempts, as well as the difficulty of handling the spitball pitchers who dominated pitching staffs.[5] Richard Kendall of the Society for American Baseball Research devised an unscientific study that ranked Ruel as the fifth most dominating fielding catcher in major league history.[6]

After retiring, Ruel spent a decade (1935-45) as a coach with the White Sox, before an unprecedented promotion after the '45 campaign, when he became an assistant to Commissioner of Baseball Happy Chandler.[7] He worked with Chandler for only one year, 1946, before accepting his only managerial job with the Browns, where he led the 1947 team to a dismal 59-95 record, good for the American League cellar.[8] Ruel also coached for the Cleveland Indians and was the general manager of the Tigers from 1954-56.

In 1920, he was the Yankees catcher when Carl Mays' pitch hit Ray Chapman on the head, resulting in Chapman's death the next day.[9] He later defended Mays and said that he was innocent of any wrongdoing. Ruel was one of the few major leaguers to hold a law degree.[7] He earned his degree from Washington University and was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.[10]

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References

Preceded by
Zack Taylor
St. Louis Browns Manager
1947
Succeeded by
Zack Taylor
Preceded by
Charlie Gehringer
Detroit Tigers General Manager
19541956
Succeeded by
Walter Briggs, Jr.
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