January 1st, 2014

January 1 – Happy New Year & Happy Birthday Earl Torgeson

torgesonThis bespectacled first baseman was born in Snohomish, Washington in 1924. He was not the first Earl born there to end up playing Major League Baseball and become known as the “The Earl of Snohomish.” That honor belonged to the hall of fame outfielder Earl Averill.

The young Earl will never get to Cooperstown but he was a solid big league player during his 15-season career. The best of those seasons was 1950, when he led the National League with 120 runs scored, hitting .290 and driving in 87 runs for the Braves, while the franchise was still in Boston. Earl played the final 22 games of his 1,600-game Major League career with the 1961 Yankees. He was a utility infielder for that great Ralph Houk managed team but was released at the end of August of that season after hitting just .091 in 33 pinstriped at bats.  Instead of sending him to the unemployment line, the Yankees made Torgeson a coach.

Torgeson later got into politics back home in Snohomish. He died in Everett Washington in 1980, a victim of leukemia. Averill, the original Earl outlived Torgeson by almost three years but also passed away in the City of Everett.

Also born on New Years Day was this one-time Yankee fireballing phee-nom who graduated from Harvard, won a Bronze Star in WWII and walked away from the pinstripes for a career in banking.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1961 NYY 22 26 18 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 8 3 .111 .385 .111 .496
15 Yrs 1668 6046 4969 848 1318 215 46 149 740 133 980 653 .265 .385 .417 .802
BSN (6 yrs) 720 3001 2476 428 657 116 19 82 377 80 478 294 .265 .385 .427 .812
CHW (5 yrs) 397 984 788 143 201 26 5 28 131 22 183 141 .255 .392 .407 .800
PHI (3 yrs) 293 1204 1019 150 277 52 17 17 135 16 160 129 .272 .370 .406 .776
DET (3 yrs) 236 831 668 124 181 21 5 22 97 15 151 86 .271 .400 .416 .817
NYY (1 yr) 22 26 18 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 8 3 .111 .385 .111 .496
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/1/2014.