September 12 – Happy Birthday Charley “King Kong” Keller

Many Yankee historians believe New York’s 1939-1943 outfield of Keller in left, Joe DiMaggio in center and Tommy Henrich in right was the greatest in pinstripe history. Keller was built like a fire hydrant and with his thick bushy eyebrows atop a set of piercing eyes, he was sort of intimidating to look at. He was even more intimidating with a bat in his hand. Lifetime he had a .286 batting average with 189 home runs and an impressive .518 slugging percentage.

He appeared in five AL All Star games and four World Series as a Yankee and he retired with three championship rings. More than anything else, Keller was an old country boy who loved horses and shied away from life in the big city. He didn’t like to fly in airplanes, he never boasted about himself or his team and he treated the game and his opponents with respect. He just put on his uniform and gave his best effort every inning of every game and when he took that uniform off for the last time, he returned to his Maryland countryside to raise horses.

Also born on today’s date in 1907, nine years earlier than Keller, was this former Yankee pitcher and AL MVP.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1939 NYY 111 490 398 87 133 21 6 11 83 6 81 49 .334 .447 .500 .947
1940 NYY 138 609 500 102 143 18 15 21 93 8 106 65 .286 .411 .508 .919
1941 NYY 140 610 507 102 151 24 10 33 122 6 102 65 .298 .416 .580 .996
1942 NYY 152 661 544 106 159 24 9 26 108 14 114 61 .292 .417 .513 .930
1943 NYY 141 620 512 97 139 15 11 31 86 7 106 60 .271 .396 .525 .922
1945 NYY 44 194 163 26 49 7 4 10 34 0 31 21 .301 .412 .577 .989
1946 NYY 150 655 538 98 148 29 10 30 101 1 113 101 .275 .405 .533 .938
1947 NYY 45 193 151 36 36 6 1 13 36 0 41 18 .238 .404 .550 .954
1948 NYY 83 289 247 41 66 15 2 6 44 1 41 25 .267 .372 .417 .789
1949 NYY 60 144 116 17 29 4 1 3 16 2 25 15 .250 .392 .379 .771
1952 NYY 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
13 Yrs 1170 4604 3790 725 1085 166 72 189 760 45 784 499 .286 .410 .518 .928
NYY (11 yrs) 1066 4466 3677 712 1053 163 69 184 723 45 760 481 .286 .410 .518 .928
DET (2 yrs) 104 138 113 13 32 3 3 5 37 0 24 18 .283 .409 .496 .904
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/18/2013.

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