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Sherm Lollar
Catcher
Born: August 23, 1924(1924-08-23)
Durham, Arkansas
Died: September 24, 1977 (aged 53)
Springfield, Missouri
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
April 20, 1946 for the Cleveland Indians
Last MLB appearance
September 7, 1963 for the Chicago White Sox
Career statistics
Batting average     .264
Home runs     155
Runs batted in     808
Teams
Career highlights and awards

John Sherman Lollar (August 23, 1924 - September 24, 1977) was a professional baseball catcher who played in the major leagues for the Cleveland Indians (1946), New York Yankees (1947-1948), St. Louis Browns (1949-1951), and the Chicago White Sox (1952-1963).[1 ]

Lollar was born in Durham, Arkansas.[1 ] He was a batboy for the Fayetteville Angels in the Class D Arkansas-Missouri League in the 1930s. He was signed by the Cleveland Indians as an amateur free agent in 1943 at the age of 18.[2] [3] In 1945, while playing for the Indians' minor league team, the Baltimore Orioles, he led the International League with a .364 batting average and won the league's Most Valuable Player award.[4] After making his major league debut in 1946, he asked to be sent back to the minor leagues after playing behind Jim Hegan.

Lollar was traded to the Yankees where he competed with Yogi Berra for the catching position in 1947. [3] Lollar and Berra were considered excellent hitting prospects but defensive liabilities, although both eventually would become outstanding receivers. He started two games in the 1947 World Series for the Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers and went 3 for 4 with two doubles.[5] Yankee coach and former catching great, Bill Dickey, advised the Yankees that Berra's left-hand bat was more suited to Yankee Stadium than Lollar's right-hand bat. After seeing limited action in 1948 due to a hand injury following a foul tip, he was traded to the lowly St. Louis Browns and was the regular catcher there from 1949 through 1951. [3]

Lollar was traded to the White Sox following the 1951 season, [3] and was a mainstay on the first division Go-Go White Sox teams of the 1950s and early 1960s that included Nellie Fox, Luis Aparicio, Early Wynn, Billy Pierce, Minnie Miñoso, Jim Landis, Dick Donovan, Turk Lown, Gerry Staley and Jungle Jim Rivera. He improved defensively under the tutelage of manager Paul Richards, a former major league catcher. In 1954, after allowing a stolen base to Al Smith on May 25, he threw out all 18 would-be base stealers during the remainder of the year. Lollar was a quiet workhorse who led by example and was an excellent handler of pitchers.[6] Lollar tied a major League record on April 23, 1955 when he hit safely twice in two different innings of the same game.[7][8] He won the Gold Glove Award for catchers in 1957, the first year of the award, which initially had one recipient per position for both leagues. [9] That year he caught Bob Keegan's no-hitter on August 20.[10] After the Gold Glove Award was changed to one recipient per position for each league, he received the American League award in 1958 and 1959. [9]

Lollar led American League catchers in fielding percentage four times over his career.[11] At the time of his retirement in 1963, Lollar's .992 career fielding percentage was the highest for a catcher in major league history.[12] A dangerous hitter with power playing in cavernous Comiskey Park, his best season offensively was 1959, when he drove in 84 runs and hit 22 home runs for the American League champion White Sox.[1 ][13] At the time of his retirement, he ranked 11th all-time in home runs by catchers.[14] Lollar was an American League All-Star in 1950, 1954-1956, 1958-1960.[1 ]

When his playing career ended, he was a coach for the Baltimore Orioles (1964-68).[15 ] He subsequently was a coach for the Oakland Athletics in 1969 and managed the A's AAA affiliates Iowa Oaks and Tucson Toros in the 70's.[15 ][16] He died of cancer at age 53 in Springfield, Missouri.[15 ]

See also

External links

References

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