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.