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 Ernie Lombardi

Ernie Lombardi

Birth
Oakland, Alameda County, California, USA
Death 26 Sep 1977 (aged 69)
Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County, California, USA
Burial Oakland, Alameda County, California, USA
Memorial ID 1465 · View Source
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Hall of Fame Baseball Player. He was a legendary hitter, known for his huge size (6 feet 3, 230 pounds), his extreme slowness afoot and being the only catcher to win two batting titles. He also was the National League's Most Valuable Player in 1938. He had played for his native Oakland of the Pacific Coast League from 1928 to 1930, hitting .377, .366 and .370. The Brooklyn Dodgers paid $50,000 to acquire him, but they had Al Lopez as their catcher and dealt Lombardi, outfielder Babe Herman and third baseman Wally Gilbert to the Cincinnati Reds on March 14, 1932 for second baseman Tony Cuccinello, third baseman Joe Stripp and catcher Clyde Sukeforth. He quickly became a Crosley Field favorite. Even though opposing infielders played him very deep, he hit .303 in 1932, .283 in 1933, .305 in 1934, .343 in 1935, .333 in 1936 and .334 in 1937. He tied a major-league record by pounding four doubles against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 8, 1935. Known as "Schnozz" for his big nose, Lombardi won his first batting title by hitting .342 in 489 at-bats in 1938. That season he caught Johnny Vander Meer's consecutive no-hitters against Boston on June 11 and at Brooklyn on June 15. He slipped to .287 in 1939, a year in which the Reds won their first pennant since 1919. He had a rough World Series, hitting .214 (3 for 14) and was dazed by Charlie Keller in a collision in the 10th inning of Game 4 and was sprawled beside the plate as an additional run scored. The New York Yankees swept the Series. Lombardi hit .319 in 1940, when the Reds repeated as NL champs and won the World Series over the Detroit Tigers in seven. Injuries, however, limited him to three at-bats as 40-year-old coach Jimmie Wilson stepped into the breach and became a hero by hitting .353 (6 for 17) in six games. After he slipped to .264 in 1941, he was sold to the Boston Braves on February 7, 1942. Even though he captured his second batting crown by hitting .330 in just 309 at-bats in 1942, he was swapped to the New York Giants on April 27, 1943 for infielder Connie Ryan and catcher Hugh Poland. His big-league career ended in 1947. He had a .306 lifetime average with 1,792 hits, 277 doubles, 27 triples, 190 homers and 990 RBIs. He joined Bucky Walters, Paul Derringer, Frank McCormick and Vander Meer as the inaugural inductees into the Reds' Hall of Fame in 1958. But he was embittered during his late years about not have been chosen to the Cooperstown Hall of Fame. He finally was inducted in 1986, nearly nine years after his passing.

Bio by: Ron Coons


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1465
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Ernie Lombardi (6 Apr 1908–26 Sep 1977), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1465, citing Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, Alameda County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .