- OF, 1B
- Big Poison
- April 16, 1903
- 5' 8"
- 153 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 4-13-1926 with PIT
- Allstar Selections:
- 1927 MVP
- Hall of Fame:
Nicknamed "Big Poison," Paul Waner was a hard-hitting outfielder who spent most of his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, winning three batting titles and finishing in the top five in MVP voting four times, despite a serious drinking problem. He compiled a lifetime .333 batting average over twenty seasons, and he and brother/teammate Lloyd Waner hold the career record for hits by siblings.
Ernie Lombardi; Dolph Camilli; Billy Herman; Pie Traynor; Arky Vaughan; Kiki Cuyler; Lloyd Waner; Max Carey; Lee Meadows; Red Ruffing; Burleigh Grimes; Curt Davis; Mace Brown; Bill McKechnie
Best Season: 1927
In just his second season in the major leagues, Waner emerged as the top left-handed batter in the loop. He led the circuit with a .380 batting average, 237 hits, 342 total bases, 18 triples, and 131 RBI. Many of his hits drove in brother Lloyd, who batted .355 and scored 133 runs. Waner won the MVP Award and led Pittsburgh to the World Series, where they were crushed by the Yankees in four straight. Paul hit .333 in the loss - his only post-season appearance.
Most Career Hits, Brothers
The 5,611 hits by Paul and Lloyd Waner exceed those of the five Delahanty brothers and the three DiMaggio brothers.
1. Paul and Lloyd Waner... 5611
2. Felipe, Matty and Jesus Alou... 5094
3. Joe, Dom and Vince DiMaggio... 4853
4. Ed, Jim, Frank, Joe and Tom Delahanty... 4211
5. Hank and Tommy Aaron... 3987
6. Cal Jr. and Billy Ripken... 3858
7. Roberto and Sandy Jr. Alomar... 3627
8. Joe and Luke Sewell... 3619
9. Ken, Clete and Cloyd Boyer... 3559
10. Honus and Butts Wagner... 3489
11. Bob and Roy Johnson... 3343
12. Eddie and Rich Murray... 3299
The Bums of '44
Based on age, the 1944 Brooklyn Dodgers were one of the most peculiar teams in baseball history. On their roster, the Dodgers had 17-year old Eddie Miksis, and 18-year olds Ralph Branca, Gene Mauch, and Cal McLish. But the club also had 43-year old veteran Johnny Cooney, and 41-year old Paul Waner.
Most Consecutive Games with an Extra-Base Hit
14 - Paul Waner, PIT NL, 6/3/1927-6/19/1927
14 - Chipper Jones, ATL NL, 6/26/2006-7/16/2006
12 - Tip O'Neill, STL AA, 8/24/1887-9/5/1887
12 - Rogers Hornsby, BOS NL, 5/27/1928(G1)-6/9/1928(G1)
11 - Rogers Hornsby, STL NL, 8/20/1924(G1)-8/27/1924
11 - Hank Greenberg, DET AL, 9/4/1940-9/14/1940
11 - Bob Bailey, MON NL, 6/22/1970(G2)-7/12/1970
11 - Jesse Barfield, TOR AL, 8/17/1985-8/27/1985
11 - Bobby Abreu, PHI NL, 5/7/2005-5/18/2005
11 - Alex Rodriguez, NY AL, 9/29/2006-4/11/2007
Waner was a legendary drinker. According to his brother Lloyd, "Paul thought you played best when you relaxed, and drinking was a good way to relax." When Pirates management asked Waner to give up drinking in 1938 because Pittsburgh considered themselves contenders for the pennant, he agreed and hit only .280. This marked the only year in his Pirates career that he failed to hit .300. One of the methods Waner would use to sober up before a game was to perform several back-flips on the infield. Starting in 1940, at the suggestion of manager Frankie Frisch, Paul began wearing spectacles on the ballfield.
Nine Other Players Who Debuted in 1926
"Big Poison" may be the best nickname in baseball history, and ironically it was given to Waner by opposing fans. Brooklyn rooters lamented each time brothers Paul and Lloyd drilled their Dodgers with hit-after-hit. The fans were fond of calling them "Big Person" and Little Person," which came out "poison" due to the Brooklyn accent.
#11 (1932-1939), #9 (1940), #18 (1940), #24 (1941 Dodgers, 1944 Yankees)
Hall of Fame Voting
|Hall of Fame Voting|
1927 World Series
Awards and Honors
1927 NL MVP
From June 3-19, 1927, a span of 14 games, Waner collected at least one extra-base hit in every game. He collected 12 doubles, five triples, and three homers during that stretch, which may be an all-time record. According to Trent McCotter, a baseball historian who researches streaks, Waner's 14-games is the longest known streak in history.
Waner collected his 3,000th hit by singling off his old teammate, Pirate hurler Rip Sewell, on June 19, 1942. Waner became the first National Leaguer since Honus Wagner, 28 years before, to reach the milestone.
June 19, 1942: 3000th Hit... His milestone hit (a single) came against Rip Sewell.
August 26, 1926: 6 Hits...
23 games (1927)
22 games (1927)
21 games (1930)
21 games (1930)
20 games (1939)
Kiki Cuyler in right field in 1926. The Pirates moved Cuyler to left and later to center.
Would you believe that in 1940, the Pirates used Bob Elliott in right, and shoved Waner to the fourth outfielder slot? Elliott was a 23-year old with a fine career ahead of him — as a third baseman.
Best Strength as a Player
Hitting for average.
Largest Weakness as a Player
His brother seemed to have gotten the footspeed.