Saturday, August 18, 2012

HOF Sketch Card Project: Charlie Gehringer

Widely regarded as one of the greatest second basemen of all time, Charlie Gehringer played exclusively for the Detroit Tigers between 1924 and 1942. During his career, Gehringer compiled a .320 batting average and had seven seasons with more than 200 hits. Nicknamed "The Mechanical Man" by Yankee pitcher Lefty Gomez for his consistency as an all-around player, he was the American League batting champion in 1937 with a .371 average, a feat helped him win the MVP that season. He was among the Top 10 vote recipients in the Most Valuable Player voting for seven straight years from 1932 to 1938. A perennial all-star, Gehringer played every inning of MLB's first six All Star Games. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1949.

I completed this sketch card in August 2012.

10 random facts about Charlie Gehringer:

  • In 1934, Gehringer had his best year to that point, playing all 154 games and leading the Tigers to their first American League pennant in 25 years.
  • During a ceremony on "Charlie Gehringer Day" in 1929, the people from his hometown presented Gehringer with a set of golf clubs. Though the clubs were right-handed, and Gehringer was left-handed, he learned to golf right-handed rather than trade for a left-handed set of clubs.
  • After the 1934 season, Gehringer was part of the Major League All Star tour of Japan. The American team included Gehringer, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Jimmie Foxx.
  • His 7,068 assists is the second-highest total in MLB history for a second baseman. 
  • Gehringer's career totals of 2,839 hits and 574 doubles both rank 19th in Major League history. 
  • Famed Negro League pitcher Satchel Paige claimed that Gehringer was the best white hitter he ever pitched against.
  • In the off-season, Gehringer worked as a sales clerk in the downtown Detroit.
  • Gehringer served as the Tigers' General Manager and Vice President during the 1950s.
  • Gehringer's number 2 was retired by the Tigers in 1983.
  • Gehringer enlisted in the U.S. Navy after the 1942 season; he served 3 years, and was released from duty in 1945.

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