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Luke Appling

Luke Appling

Position(s):
SS, 2B, 3B, 1B
Nicknames:
Old Aches and Pains, Luscious Luke
Born:
April 2, 1907
Bats:
Right
Throws:
Right
Height:
5' 10"
Weight:
183 lbs
Major League Debut:
9-10-1930 with CHA
Hall of Fame:
1964

Intro

Luke Appling's ability to put the ball in play made him famous, but it was his knack for convering those balls into hits that landed him in Cooperstown. Although he hit a home run off Warren Spahn in a 1982 old-timers game at age 75, he hit only 45 homers in his career. He was a superb contact hitter, once hitting 14 consecutive foul balls into the stands to get even with an owner who would not give him two extra game passes. Appling led the American League in batting twice, and his .388 average in 1936 remains the highest batting mark by a shortstop in history.

Unform Number

#5 (1931), #8 (1932), #4 (1933-1950)

Replaced By

Chico Carrasquel, the flashy fielding Venezuelan, who was later replaced by Luis Aparicio.

Best Season

Appling batted better than .300 on 16 occasions, winning the batting title twice: in 1943 and in 1936. His .388 average in '36 was the highest AL mark since the offensive explosion of the 1920s. It remains the highest batting average for a shortstop in baseball history. He set career-highs in hits (204), runs (111), RBI (128), slugging (.508), and OBP (.474). he also enjoyed a career-best 27-game hitting streak.

Factoid 1

In 1936, Luke Appling became the first shortstop to win an American League batting title, and was also the first member of the Chicago White Sox to do so.

Transition

August 19, 1930: Purchased by the Chicago White Sox from the Atlanta (Southern Association)... November 9, 1950: Released by the Chicago White Sox.

Strengths

Ability to hit for a high average. There's some evidence that Appling was a fine clutch hitter, as well. He consistently drove in more runs than would be expected from a player on his team and with his mediocre power.

Weaknesses

His many ailments, both real and imagined.

Milestones

Collected his 2,500th hit in 1948.

Uphill to Cooperstown

Appling garnered more and more support through the years for the Hall of Fame. He finally earned selection in 1964 as a result of a rare run-off election, which ensured that the top vote-getter would be elected. 1953 - 2 votes 1955 - 3 votes 1956 - 14 votes 1958 - 7 votes 1960 - 72 votes 1962 - 48 votes 1964 - 142 votes 1964 (run off) - 189 votes

Notes

Appling's 27-game hitting streak in 1936 was halted by Red Sox hurler Wes Ferrell on September 3rd. The streak remained a ChiSox record until broken by Albert Belle in 1997.

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Tagged:
Atlanta Crackers, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Coach, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Athletics, Luke Appling, Manager, Shortstop

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