Sports Outside the Beltway

Ex-Yankee Hank Bauer dead at 84

He was the right fielder and one a key player on the championship Yankee teams of the 1950′s. From AP-

Hank Bauer, the tough ex-Marine who set a World Series record with a 17-game hitting streak for the Yankees and later managed the Baltimore Orioles to the 1966 title, died Friday. He was 84.

Bauer died in the Kansas City area, where he made his home, Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo said.

During 14 seasons in the major leagues, a career that spanned from 1948-61, Bauer became a three-time All-Star outfielder, helping the Yankees win seven World Series titles and nine AL pennants. He spent his first 12 seasons with the Yankees and his final two with the Kansas City Athletics.

In his final Series appearance, he hit .323 with four homers and eight RBIs as the Yankees beat the Milwaukee Braves in seven games in 1958.

Bauer managed the Kansas City A’s to ninth-place finishes in 1961 and 1962, then took over as manager of the Orioles in 1964.

In 1966, he managed the Orioles to a 97-63 record and a World Series sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Bauer left the Orioles during the 1968 season, and his final managing job was with the Oakland A’s the following year.

Bauer’s time in the Marine Corps was at least as distinguished as his time in baseball.

Bauer enlisted in the Marines shortly after Pearl Harbor and saw action in a number of battles in the Pacific, including Okinawa and Guadalcanal, according to Hall of Fame archives. He earned two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts.

Bauer was wounded at Okinawa, hit in the left thigh by shrapnel in his 53rd day on the island.

“We went in with 64 and six of us came out,” Bauer said.

Bauer’s service record came under fire from an ill-informed politician

In the 1950′s, a Congressman published a list of athletes that received ‘soft duty’ during World War II. Hank Bauer, the Yankee Rightfielder, was on the list (Bauer was a very talented ballplayer).

Only one problem: Bauer, a Marine, took part in the invasion of four islands – New Georgia, Emirau, Okinawa and Guam. He took shrapnel in the back of his leg which could never be removed.

When his error was pointed out, the Congressman (I wish I had his name) said, “I didn’t mean Hank Bauer, I meant Hank Sauer.” Sauer was a Chicago Cubs outfielder.

Unfortunately, Sauer had also seen combat.

Talk about dumb Congressman. Note- This story was published in Bill James’ Historical Abstract.

Another former Baltimore Oriole, Steve Barber, died this week. Barber was on the mound and Bauer managing in a famous 1967 game.

Facing Detroit in the first game of a doubleheader at old Memorial Stadium, Barber took a no-hit bid and a 1-0 lead into the ninth inning despite severe bouts of wildness.

Barber walked the first two batters in the ninth, then retired the next two hitters. But he threw a wild pitch that let the tying run score and, after yet another walk, was pulled from the game.

Stu Miller relieved, and the Tigers scored the go-ahead run on an error. The Tigers wound up winning 2-1 despite getting no hits. Barber’s line that afternoon: 8 2-3 innings, 10 walks, two hit batters, a wild pitch and a throwing error.

Barber and Bauer both gave baseball fans many memories. RIP.

Cross posted at Poliblog’s Deportes

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