- SS, 2B, 3B
- October 9, 1898
- 5' 6"
- 155 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 9-10-1920 with CLE
- Hall of Fame:
Part of a talented baseball family, Joe Sewell made his major league debut under tragic circumstances - taking over the shortstop position for Cleveland after Ray Chapman was killed by a pitched ball in 1920. A line-drive hitter, Sewell topped the .300 mark nine of his first ten big-league seasons, and was the most difficult batter to strike out in baseball history. He led the American League in fielding both with the Indians and Yankees, and ended his Hall of Fame career with more than 2,200 hits, 1,000 RBI and a .312 average.
Joe was third in AL MVP voting, hitting .336 with 204 hits. With 98, he led the Indians in RBI, something he did three times from his #2 spot in the batting order while with Cleveland.
Despite using a heavy 40-ounce bat that he called "Black Betsy," Joe Sewell strukc out as few as four times in three different seasons.
After seven straight .300 seasons with the Tribe from 1923-1929, Sewell slumped to .289 in 109 games in 1930. For that indiscretion, he was released at the age of 32. He was quickly snatched up by the Yankees who plugged him in at third base for three seasons. In Yankee Stadium his power numbers went up, and he played on the 1932 World Series champions, hitting .333 in the Fall Classic win over the Cubs.
From September 13, 1922 to April 30, 1930, Sewell played 1,103 consecutive games, a major league record at the time, which was later eclipsed by Lou Gehrig.
Sewell was the most difficult batter to strike out in baseball history. He never fanned more than 20 times in a season. In 1925 he struck out four times in 155 games; in 1926 it was six K's. In total he fanned 114 times in 7,132 official at-bats. His ratio of one K every 62 times up is the best ever.
Most Career Hits, Brothers
1. Paul and Lloyd Waner... 5,611 2. Felipe, Matty and Jesus Alou... 5,094 3. Joe, Dom and Vince DiMaggio... 4,853 4. Ed, Jim, Frank, Joe and Tom Delahanty... 4,211 5. Hank and Tommy Aaron... 3,987 6. Cal Jr. and Billy Ripken... 3,858 7. Roberto and Sandy Jr. Alomar... 3,627 8. Joe and Luke Sewell... 3,619 9. Ken, Clete and Cloyd Boyer... 3,559 10. Honus and Butts Wagner... 3,489
Sewell finished in the top ten in AL MVP voting four times, and was third in 1925 (.336 with 204 hits and 98 RBI).
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