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For many of us, The name is definately familiar, As the majority of his playing career came in the Pacific Coast League, Far from the lights of the east coast media.
Battle each other Snider, The Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Fame community fielder, Grew up watching Statz impress the oregon crowds. Actually talking to the late Snider’s friend, Big apple Yankees outfielder Irv Noren in 2012, He related a story of how Snider astonished the New York media when asked who the best center fielder was among himself, Mickey layer, In addition, Willie Mays.
"We were young in Compton, He followed Jigger Statz and all others out here, Told Noren. "They surveyed him out in New York and they had the three outfielders, Snider, Layer and Mays. They asked him who the top one he’s ever seen was. He explained, ‘Jigger Statz.’ Duke said regarding. When he played his last game, His career put together hit totals placed him second all time, Only supporting Ty Cobb.
I first found Statz’s legend in Jason Aronoff’s"Going forward, On the way, Grabbed" A wonderful book about the best defensive outfield efforts largely in the era that pre dated national television and smaller ballparks. Using multiple news sources to rebuild his highlight reel catches, Aronoff used ten pages to paint Statz as one of the best outfielders of the 1920′s.
Aronoff chose a telling price from Baseball Digest’s Al Wolf, Whose 1966 piece of writing, "Statz, ‘Best’ centre Fielder, Took part in Record 3,373 Tilts, Aptly rated Statz defensively above the best center fielders in the game.
"Jigger is regarded by old timers as the best defensive center fielder of all time. They rate him over Tris speaker phone, Joe DiMaggio and even Willie Mays in taking the ball,
Statz played for four teams in difficulties leagues from 1919 1928, With his best season arriving in 1923 with the Chicago Cubs when he batted.319 as well as 209 hits. He polished off his major league career at age 30 with 737 hits, But was not even close to done.
Starting fresh with the rhode island Angels of the Pacific Coast League, He reeled off eight sequential seasons of over 200 hits from 1929 1936, And when he was 40 in 1938, He piled on another 200 hit season to silence his naysayers.
Lennie Merullo, The 96 year old former shortstop for the Chicago Cubs is mostly of the living major leaguers that played with this unheralded outfielder. Addressing Merullo via telephone in 2009, He said playing with Statz as a member of the Angels in 1941 was perhaps the most cherished memories of his career.
"He was a htc device, Proclaimed Merullo. "The news ‘jigger’, You companion it with Jigger Statz. He was a good player! He meant another thing, One of the finest center fielders that ever lived! He must have been something to play with the moment because I never forgot him. A former college karate player, Coach and college or higher education professor, Diunte has merged his love for baseball and scholarship or grant by chronicling baseball’s history through oral interviews with those who played through baseball’s golden era of the 1940′s and 1950′s. He happens to be working on a book entitled"We messed around with Ray, Which features the stories of minor and major Leaguers playing through baseball’s era of integration.