November 10th, 2013

November 10 – Happy Birthday Chick Fewster

fewsterIt would not take too long for just about any Yankee fan to corresctly guess who hit the first World Series home run in franchise history. That would be the one and only Babe Ruth. The Bambino hit the historic blast in Game 4 of the 1921 World Series versus the Yankees’ Polo Grounds landlord at the time, the mighty New York Giants. But even the most astute fan of Bronx Bomber baseball could keep guessing for the next ten years and not come up with the name of the second Yankee to perform that same feat.

The correct answer of course, is today’s Pinstripe Birthday Celebrant, Wilson Lloyd “Chick” Fewster. His two-run blast in the top of the second inning of that same Fall Classic’s very next game, gave the Yankees a temporary 5-3 lead they would eventually lose. Its no wonder the name “Chick Fewster” means nothing to Yankee fans. After all, his entire Yankee career consisted of just 228 games spread over six lackluster seasons beginning in 1917. Back then, Yankee manager Miller Huggins was predicting great things for his young outfielder, telling the New York sports press that he had never seen a better prospect than this new kid from Baltimore. But Fewster would never fulfill that promise and he almost didn’t live long enough to hit that World Series home run either.

In a 1920 spring training game against the Brooklyn Robins, Fewster was hit in the head by a pitch and nearly died. They put a plate in his head and doctors told him he’d never play baseball again. Miraculously, he was back in action by early July of that same season.

He shares his birthday with this former Yankee pitcher and this one-time Yankee DH.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1917 NYY 11 41 36 2 8 0 0 0 1 1 5 5 .222 .317 .222 .539
1918 NYY 5 2 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .500 .500 .500 1.000
1919 NYY 81 295 244 38 69 9 3 1 15 8 34 36 .283 .386 .357 .743
1920 NYY 21 36 21 8 6 1 0 0 1 0 7 2 .286 .464 .333 .798
1921 NYY 66 247 207 44 58 19 0 1 19 4 28 43 .280 .382 .386 .768
1922 NYY 44 162 132 20 32 4 1 1 9 2 16 23 .242 .324 .311 .635
11 Yrs 644 2308 1963 282 506 91 12 6 167 57 240 264 .258 .346 .326 .672
NYY (6 yrs) 228 783 642 113 174 33 4 3 45 15 90 109 .271 .372 .349 .721
BOS (2 yrs) 113 424 367 40 91 14 2 0 24 15 45 45 .248 .337 .297 .634
BRO (2 yrs) 109 397 338 54 82 16 3 2 24 9 45 49 .243 .340 .325 .666
CLE (2 yrs) 194 704 616 75 159 28 3 1 74 18 60 61 .258 .327 .318 .645
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/9/2013.