Rudy York

Rudy York

Original Name Preston Rudolph York
Ragland, St. Clair County, Alabama, USA
Death 5 Feb 1970 (aged 56)
Rome, Floyd County, Georgia, USA
Burial Cartersville, Bartow County, Georgia, USA
Plot Section 221, Lot D, Space 2
Memorial ID 3629 · View Source
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Major League Baseball Player. He played Major League baseball for 13 seasons (1934, 1937 to 1948) as a catcher and first baseman with the Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Athletics. Throughout his career he was a major offensive force and dangerous hitter who contrasted that talent with a lack of fielding and defensive ability. His prowess at the plate kept him in his teams lineups, but his poor "glove" caused his managers fits. Having one-eighth Cherokee ancestry in him, he was said to be "one part Indian and one part First Baseman". Had an extremely stellar minor league offensive career, being named MVP of the Texas League and American Association in successive years while playing both catcher and 1st base. Except for a three game call up at the end of the 1934 with the Detroit Tigers, he toiled in the minors, having the misfortune of playing the same position as Tigers great 1st baseman Hank Greenburg. When Tiger's catcher Mickey Cochrane sustained a fractured skull, Rudy York was called up to replace him in June 1937, and went to have a spectacular Rookie season. In only 305 at-bats, he crushed 35 home runs (tying the then-rookie record), batted .307 and drove in 103 RBIs. August 1937 saw him smack 18 home runs and drive in 43 RBI, both of which set records for a single month (the 18 home runs in a month stood until the Cubs' Sammy Sosa broke it with 20 in June 1998). In 1938 he continued his pace, hitting 4 grand slams in the year (3 in the month of May), being named to the AL All-Star team, and driving in 127 RBIs. By 1940, it was apparent that the place he could do the least damage on the field as 1st base, so slugger Greenburg was induced to move to the outfield by a hefty bonus, and Rudy York moved to where he would play for the next 11 years. Despite leading AL 1st basemen in errors three time, he worked hard at his fielding, and eventually developed into an adequate 1st baseman. The moved paid off for the Tigers in 1940, though. Behind the hitting of York and Greenburg, and the pitching of Bobo Newsom and Schoolboy Rowe, the Tigers clinched the AL Pennant, and played a hard fought World Series against the Cincinnati Reds, who outlasted them 4 games to 3. Rudy York batted .231, and hit a home run in the Tigers 7 to 4 Game Three victory. During the War years, 1941 to 1945, he took the mantle of the Tigers' top offensive player when Greenburg went to serve in the military. During those years he was named to the AL All-Star team 5 consecutive times. In the 1942 game, his 1st-inning home run off of the Cardinals' Mort Cooper helped propel the AL to a 3 to 1 win. In 1943 he led the American League in Home Runs and RBIs with 34 and 118, respectively, and nearly tied his own record with 17 Home runs in August. Despite his offensive numbers tailing off in 1944 and 1945, he remained a threat at the plate, and contributed to the 1945 Tigers winning first the AL Pennant, then the World Championship. In that years' World Series, pitted against the Chicago Cubs, he hit only .179, but still drove in 3 runs. In Game Three, he got the only hit off of the Cubs' Claude Passeau, who pitched a one-hit, 3 to 0 gem. Traded to the Boston Red Sox in the off season for shortstop Eddie Lake, that move paid immediate dividends for Rudy York and the Sox. On June 27, he hit two grand slams against the St. Louis Browns and drove in a total of 10 runs. He was named to the AL All-Star team, finished the year with 119 RBIS, and helped the Red Sox win the AL Pennant. In his third World Series (this time against the St. Louis Cardinals), he finally shone. In Game One he hit a 10th-inning, tie-breaking, game-winning home run, and in Game Three he hit a 3-run first-inning home run that was all the Red Sox needed to win the game. Despite his heroics, the Cardinals took the Series, 4 Games to 3, winning on Enos Slaughter's famous "mad dash" from 1st base in Game 7. York batted .261 with 5 RBIS in the Series. After 48 games into the 1947 season he was traded to the White Sox, and was named to his 7th and final All-Star game. In 1948 he played 31 games for the Philadelphia A's before finally retiring. He spent 4 years as a Coach with the Red Sox, and coached in their minor league system until 1963. His career totals were 1,603 Games Played, 1,621 Hits, 876 Runs, 277 Home Runs, 1,152 RBIs and a career .275 Batting Average.

Bio by: RPD2

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 29 Sep 1998
  • Find a Grave Memorial 3629
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Rudy York (17 Aug 1913–5 Feb 1970), Find a Grave Memorial no. 3629, citing Sunset Memory Gardens, Cartersville, Bartow County, Georgia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .