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 Hank Gowdy

Hank Gowdy

Original Name Henry Morgan
Birth
Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio, USA
Death 1 Aug 1966 (aged 76)
Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio, USA
Burial Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio, USA
Plot Section 4-UCA, Lot 208
Memorial ID 23002 · View Source
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Major League Baseball Player. Nicknamed “Hank.” Major league catcher and coach. Army, World War I, World War II. Considered by many observers to be the best catcher not elected to Hall of Fame. Son of Horace C. Gowdy and Carrie Burhart. Played football, basketball and baseball at Hubbard Elementary School and North High School in Columbus. After school played professional baseball as first baseman with Lancaster in Ohio State League and Dallas in Texas League. Converted to catcher, began major league career with New York Giants, 1910, returned to Buffalo minor league team in 1912, then joined Boston Braves for 1913 season. Star of 1914 World Series when he set single series record for batting average by a catcher by hitting .545. Gained fame as first major leaguer to enlist Army at onset of World War I. Color Sergeant for the 42nd Infantry Division’s 166th Infantry, World War I. After war, returned to baseball, playing for Braves until 1923, then again with New York Giants. In 1924 World Series was involved in play that was the start of coaches teaching catchers to throw their masks away when chasing a foul pop up. With score tied at 3-3 and one out in bottom of 12th inning, Muddy Ruel hit catchable foul pop-up that Gowdy couldn’t field because stumbled over his mask. Given a second chance, Ruel doubled and eventually scored winning run. Played in high minor leagues, 1927-28, then returned to Braves in 1929. Retired as a player, 1930. He then enjoyed a long career as a coach for Braves, Giants, and Reds. Commissioned a Major at start of World War II, served as Fort Benning, Georgia’s Chief Athletic Officer. Fort Benning’s Gowdy Field, which was rededicated in 2005, is named for him, as is reclaimed landfill in Columbus that was developed for commercial use.

Bio by: Bill McKern


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 13 Jul 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 23002
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Hank Gowdy (24 Aug 1889–1 Aug 1966), Find A Grave Memorial no. 23002, citing Union Cemetery, Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .