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Charlie Gehringer

Charlie Gehringer

Position(s):
2B, 3B, 1B
Nicknames:
The Mechanical Man
Born:
May 11, 1903
Bats:
Left
Throws:
Right
Height:
5' 11"
Weight:
180 lbs
Major League Debut:
9-22-1924 with DET
Allstar Selections:
1937 MVP
Hall of Fame:
1949

Intro

The best second baseman in baseball during the 1930s, Charlie Gehringer led his league in assists seven times, and nine times in fielding average. At the plate he topped .300 13 times and won the 1937 Most Valuable Player Award when he paced the American League with a .371 average. He was no punch and judy hitter either - seven times he drove in 100 runs. He was so automatic that he was dubbed the "Mechanical Man." With Hank Greenberg and Goose Goslin, Gehringer formed the vaunted Detroit "G-Men" attack of the 1930s. With Gehringer, the Tigers won three pennants in seven years and their first World Series title in 1935. In that World Series, Gehringer scored the winning run.

Unform Number

#3 (1931), #2 (1932-1942), #22 (1942)

Quotes About

"You can wind him up in the spring and he'll hit .320 with 40 doubles." — Yankee pitcher Lefty Gomez on Charlie Gehringer "Let Gehringer come to bat each time two strikes down to the pitcher and he wouldn't bat more than 15 points under his season's average." — Tigers manager Del Baker on Charlie

Replaced By

Jimmy Bloodworth, a 24-year old second baseman, who was acquired by the Tigers prior to the 1942 campaign with Doc Cramer from the Senators. The trade proved to be a good one for Detroit, as Bloodworth filled the second base spot for three seasons, and Cramer finished his career in Detroit with six solid seasons.

Best Season

He won the batting title in 1937 and had several other fantastic seasons, but in '36 he had an overall excellent campaign. In 1936, Gehringer played in every game, leading the league with 60 doubles. He finished fourth in the batting race (.354), and belted 15 homers and 12 triples. He played his usual flawless second base and collected 227 hits, scoring 144 and driving in 116. He finished fourth in AL MVP voting, behind Lou Gehrig, Luke Appling, and Earl Averill.

Factoid 1

On August 14, 1929, the Tigers held "Charlie Gehringer Day" to honor their young second baseman. Charlie responded with four hits, including a home run. He also stoled home.

Factoid 2

Each year from 1926-1930, Charlie Gehringer improved his stats in the three triple crown categories (batting average, homers and RBI). He is one of only two players to ever do that for five years running. The other is Rogers Hornsby.

Strengths

Consistency.

Weaknesses

Gehringer had no glaring weaknesses.

Milestones

Collected his 2,500th career hit on June 6, 1939.

Feats

Gehringer posted two streaks of more than 500 consecutive games played. One started in 1927 and stretched into 1931, and the other began later in 1931 and ended in 1935. He had nine seasons in which he played in at least 98% of his team's games.

Description

Born in Fowlerville, Michigan, a rural farm town, Gehringer was a shy man who remained a bachelor throughout his playing career. His mother was a diabetic and he felt he should take care of her. Only after her death did he marry. He was famous for what he didn't say rather than for what he did say. He was a very quiet man who avoided the publicity of being a baseball player and he was very uncomfortable in crowds.

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Tagged:
1935 World Series, 1949 Hall of Fame, AL MVP 1937, Baseball History, Batting title, Charlie Gehringer, Detroit Tigers, secondbase

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