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.