Saturday, September 27, 2008

Vernon, 2-time AL batting champ, dies at 90

Micky Vernon, who played briefly with my beloved, if hapless, Pirates has died. He was actually with the team in 1960 when we beat the Yankees in the World Series. For you soccer fans out there, the batting title goes to the player with the highest batting average which is the ratio of "hits" to "at bats".

Vernon made his big league debut with the Senators in 1939, and the 21-year-old left-handed first-baseman hit .267 in 79 at-bats. He spent most of the next season in Jersey City and returned to Washington in 1941, when he began establishing himself as one of the league's solid first basemen.

He missed the 1944 and 1945 seasons due to military service in the Navy during World War II. When Vernon returned to baseball in 1946, he had arguably his finest season, winning his first batting title with a .353 average. He had a career-high 207 hits in 587 at-bats and finished with 51 doubles, eight triples, eight home runs and 85 RBIs.

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