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  • Lefty O'Doul

    Could any of you enlighten me a bit on Lefty? He didn't become a regular till 31 and then bang two batting titles. Why the late start? Was he trying to make it as a pitcher and then got hurt? Or were there other factors?Just curious why the late start as it appears he could certainly hit(even though it was the 30's) Thanks.

    Lefty O'Doul, Phillies' LF, 1929-30------------------1929-30------------------------------------------1933-34---BB-Reference



    Lefty O'Doul, Phillies' LF, 1929-30

    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-31-2011, 02:36 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by janduscframe
    Could any of you enlighten me a bit on Lefty? He didn't become a regular till 31 and then bang two batting titles. Why the late start? Was he trying to make it as a pitcher and then got hurt? Or were there other factors?Just curious why the late start as it appears he could certainly hit(even though it was the 30's) Thanks.
    My best guess is by looking at his statistics and taking into account the moniker "Lefty," O'Doul originally tried to make it as a pitcher. He has pitching statistics for ages 22-26, and then no statistics whatsoever until age 31 when from thereafter he only has batting statistics.

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    • #3
      O'Doul spent many years in the old Pacific Coast League. He was/is a legend to San Francisco Seals' fans.

      While he was a very good pitcher in the PCL, he was a bust in MLB. After being sent down, he began a comeback as a hitter, and was brought back to the Majors by the Giants. In 1928 he played in 114 games, BAVG .319, 354 AB, 113 H, 19 2B, 4 3B, 8 HR, 46 RBI. He was traded to the Phillies in 1929, where he exploded as a hitter; 154 games, 638 AB, .398 BAVG (led league), 254 H, 35 2B, 6 3B, 32 HR, 122 RBI. His 254 hits (tied by Bill Terry in 1930) are still a season record in the NL.

      Bob

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      • #4
        He retired with a .349 lifetime BA, but didn't have enough AB to make it on the all-time list. He had 3264 AB. How many AB are qualified to make the all-time list - 3,500? Not sure. Anyway, it looks as if he was very close to being 4th on the all-time BA list and a certain HOFer.
        Red, it took me 16 years to get here. Play me, and you'll get the best I got.

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        • #5
          http://oaklandoaks.tripod.com/53odoul.html

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          • #6
            O'Doul certainly had an interesting career. Really only 5 or 6 seasons including 3 great ones and two good ones.

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            • #7
              Thanks guys.
              It just struck me as strange that a pitcher with such little success and obviously such a potentialy lethal bat wouldn't have made the change before age 31. I thought maybe there was a story behind the story or something.

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              • #8
                That's pretty much the whole story with Lefty not making it, his starting out as a pitcher and not moving to the outfield full time until age 28. Interesting note: He continued as a manager, pitching and pinch hitting, in the PCL until the age of 60.
                "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

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                • #9
                  Started out as a pitcher, promising enough to get called up to the bigs & kept there until he hurt his arm. Went back to the minors, worked on his hitting, & back he goes to the bigs again. The arm never came around though, & without being able to throw - plus the age factor - he only lasted a few seasons more.

                  Always thought of him as a Giant, altho he did play for other teams. NY is where he picked up his monicker, "the man in the green suit." He was a major influence on the spread of baseball in Japan. His bar in SF was one of those legendary hangouts, like McSorley's. [IMG]
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by westsidegrounds; 02-17-2005, 07:38 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Lefty O'Doul

                    Lefty was a bay area legend during the heyday of the old PCL. A failed pitcher with the Yankees and Red Sox I believe, went back to the coast and found his batting eye where he tormented pitchers in the 20's and 30's in the NL. Too bad his ab's are not enough for consideration for the HOF. In looking over his stats, he does have better stats than alledge HOFamers already in. For years he wore as a trademark, a green suit, hence his nickname, "The Man in the Green Suit", mostly because of his irish heritage.

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                    • #11
                      Lefty O'Doul was the exact opposite of an unknown but just as talented Reb Russell

                      Russell was the reason a young man named Dickie Kerr pitched in the 1919 Black Sox Series, he got hurt and was probably the #2 P on that staff, and is one reason many thought the Reds would have won that Series on the up and up w/o him

                      Russell came back on the pirates in 1922 and hit .368 with 12 Hrs in 1922, slipped a bit in 1923 and lost his job to Pooch Clyde Barnhart

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                      • #12
                        o'doul is also one of the fathers of japanese professional baseball and resides in their hall of fame

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Imapotato
                          Lefty O'Doul was the exact opposite of an unknown but just as talented Reb Russell

                          Russell was the reason a young man named Dickie Kerr pitched in the 1919 Black Sox Series, he got hurt and was probably the #2 P on that staff, and is one reason many thought the Reds would have won that Series on the up and up w/o him
                          I don't know if I'd ever say that Russell was a no. 2 starter. For most of his career he was behind at least Cicotte and Faber, and then Lefty Williams. Plus, the only year he started more than 30 games was his rookie season of 1913. For a pitcher to not start 30 games back then suggests that he was not a fixture in the rotation. The last time he started as many as 24 games was 1917, so by 1919, he was really two years removed from really contributing as a pitcher. In most seasons, there were already 4-starters on the Sox making more starts than Russell each year, which suggests that he was a reliever/spot-starter.

                          I think Kerr's promotion had more to do with Red Faber being injured in 1919.

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                          • #14
                            Lefty is a San Francisco legend for another reason. He ran a drinking establishment, Lefty's Place, which I believe is still in business. Famous SF landmark.

                            Bill

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DoubleX
                              I don't know if I'd ever say that Russell was a no. 2 starter. For most of his career he was behind at least Cicotte and Faber, and then Lefty Williams. Plus, the only year he started more than 30 games was his rookie season of 1913. For a pitcher to not start 30 games back then suggests that he was not a fixture in the rotation. The last time he started as many as 24 games was 1917, so by 1919, he was really two years removed from really contributing as a pitcher. In most seasons, there were already 4-starters on the Sox making more starts than Russell each year, which suggests that he was a reliever/spot-starter.

                              I think Kerr's promotion had more to do with Red Faber being injured in 1919.

                              You are probably right, I most likely got Faber and Russell confused

                              But Russell was not a spot starter, he was oft injured

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