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Jigger Statz

Jigger Statz

Position(s):
2B, OF
Born:
October 20, 1897
Bats:
Right
Throws:
Right
Height:
5' 7"
Weight:
150 lbs
Major League Debut:
7-30-1919 with NY1

Intro

Only Pete Rose and Hank Aaron played more games in professional baseball than Arnold "Jigger" Statz, who logged 3,473 contests in a 24-year career. Statz spent 18 seasons in the Pacific Coast League, all of them with the Los Angeles Angels. In 1922 he was purchased by the Chicago Cubs, where he had moderate success against big league pitching, batting as high as .319 as a center fielder in the Windy City. But within a few years he was back in the PCL, where, except for a few seasons with the Dodgers, he stayed until he was 44 years old. In the minors, Statz recorded eight straight seasons with 200 or more hits, and won the 1932 PCL Most Valuable Player Award. He retired with 4,093 hits in professional baseball and later became a scout for the Cubs.

Minor Leages

Statz chose to play in the Pacific Coast League for 18 seasons, a record for a player in one minor league (and one team - the Los Angeles Angels). Asked why he elected to play in the PCL rather than stay in the big leagues, Statz explained: "It was the warm climate, the intimate ballparks, and the competitive salary that I liked about the league."

Factoid 1

Even though the Los Angeles Angels were the Cubs top farm team in the 1930s, Chicago owner Phil Wrigley allowed Statz to stay on thye club and did not exercise his rights to the outfielder. Wrigley was well aware that Statz enjoyed playing in California and did not desire a major league contract.

Transition

July, 1920: Purchased by the Boston Red Sox from the New York Giants.

Strengths

Statz was an excellent basestealer, and he led the PCL in swipes three times, including 1936, when he was 39 years old. In total, he pilfered 466 bases in the PCL and 77 in the major leagues, including 29 for the Cubs in 1922.

Weaknesses

At just over five-foot-seven, and weighing a puny 150 pounds most of his career, Statz had very little power. Of his 10 homers in 1922 for the Cubs, nine were hit down the short left field line at Wrigley Field, and the other was an inside-the-parker. In the PCL, Statz used his speed to hit triples, but his extra-base power was below-average.

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