Fun with Who’s Who:  1942

Who’s Who in Baseball is perhaps my favorite little baseball book. Published annually since 1916, it’s a pocket-sized version of the more voluminous Baseball Register issued by The Sporting News. Both annuals list the year-by-year stats of major leaguers. Because it’s smaller, Who’s Who has the disadvantage of not including as many players, but being smaller it’s easier to use. And also, being smaller, Who’s Who is much easier to secret into your Social Studies textbook and read in your seventh grade classroom instead of paying attention to the teacher—which, um, I’ve been told has happened occasionally in the past.

The most significant way in which both Who’s Who and the Baseball Register are superior to nearly all other baseball reference books, including The Baseball Encyclopedia and Total Baseball, as well as the otherwise spectacular online source, Baseball-Referece.com, is their inclusion of not only the major league stats for each player, but also their year-by-year minor league stats. Major league stats are fine and all, but no summary of a player’s career is really complete without including what he did in the minors. And, more importantly, let’s face it: when it comes to fun, minor league stats have it all over major league stats. Indeed, few things in the world that aren’t dangerous to one’s health, safety, or domestic tranquility are as much fun as minor league stats.

I’ve collected Who’s Whos for years. I fondly remember late winter afternoons on the way home from school, parking my bike in front of the King Bee Super up the street from my house: assiduously checking the newsstand, eagerly awaiting the glorious day when that season’s Who’s Who would finally appear in its cheery bright red cover, nestled among the Archie comics and Mechanix Illustrated magazines. Thanks to the warm generosity of one of my uncles (who bought them annually beginning when he was a kid in the early 1930s—no disclosure on how he conducted himself in seventh grade), my library now includes Who’s Whos going back a very, very long way. They’re an invaluable research tool, of course, but I really enjoy just picking one up from any year and randomly thumbing through it, invariably discovering some amazing feat that an otherwise unremarkable player accomplished in his minor league career. You’ll never find that stuff out in The Baseball Encyclopedia.

Not convinced, are you? Not sure that all that much minor league stat treasure can be found in such a slim little pint-sized paperback? Well, then, prepare your eyes for a treat.

All that follows was plucked out of one little featherweight tabloid, chosen at random from my collection: the 1942 edition of Who’s Who in Baseball, with a photo on the cover of The Yankee Clipper following through on his big sweet swing, above the notation: Price 25c.

I’ll Have a Double
Player              Year Club         League     G   AB    R    H   2B   3B   HR  RBI   SB   BA
George McQuinn      1933 Binghamton  N.Y.-P.L. 129  507   88  181   48   12    7  102   14 .357
Jimmy Wasdell       1935 Zanesville   M.A.L.   125  510   93  182   54    9   10   92   15 .357
Bill Knickerbocker  1932 Toledo        A.A.    160  697  116  234   69    8    5   70    7 .336

Make That a Triple
Player              Year Club         League     G   AB    R    H   2B   3B   HR  RBI   SB   BA
Billy Herman        1928 Vicksburg    C.S.L.   106  364   63  121   12   15    4   …    18 .332
Luke Appling        1930 Atlanta      So. A.   104  374   63  122   19   17    5   75   13 .326
Johnny Lucadello    1937 Fairbury     N.S.L.   116  471   84  149   34   20    8   86    8 .316
Joe Kuhel           1929 Kansas City   A.A.    161  649  135  211   27   26    6   83   19 .325

Partial-Season Wonders: Fewer than 300 At-bats
Player              Year Club         League     G   AB    R    H   2B   3B   HR  RBI   SB   BA
Moose Solters       1932 Binghamton  N.Y.-P.L.  39  145   34   57   16    4   10   40    8 .393
Hank Leiber         1934 Nashville     S.A.     45  191   31   81   19    1    2   49    3 .424
Pete Reiser         1940 Elmira        E.L.     67  249   55   94   15   12    7   46   28 .378
Hal Trosky          1932 Quincy       I.I.I.    68  260   55   86   14    6   15   …     1 .331
Dick Siebert        1934 Dayton       M.A.L.    66  270   57   99   16   13    3   48    9 .366
Danny Litwhiler     1938 Alexandria  Evang. L.  76  295   62  109   17    4   10   71    2 .369

Partial-Season Wonders: 300-something At-bats, Line Drive Division
Player              Year Club         League     G   AB    R    H   2B   3B   HR  RBI   SB   BA
Walker Cooper       1935 Rogers      Ark. St.   91  334   64  120   26    4   14   79   11 .359
Al Simmons          1922 Aberdeen      D.L.     99  395   91  144   26   16   10   …    …  .364
Gee Walker          1929 Wheeling     M.A.L.    81  332   65  124   31    8   10   50   33 .373
Gee Walker          1930 Evansville   I.I.I.    84  347   77  131   21   16   10   78   50 .378
Bruce Campbell      1931 Little Rock   S.A.     79  300   59  115   26   13   10   93    4 .383
Buddy Rosar         1938 Newark        I.L.     91  323   80  125   26    2   15   79    5 .387
Dixie Walker        1930 Greenville   S.A.L.    73  307   80  123   17   10   11   63   22 .401
Doc Cramer          1929 Martinburg   B.R.L.   104  366   75  148   31   13    5   …     6 .404

Partial-Season Wonders: 300-something At-bats, Big Fly Division
Player              Year Club         League     G   AB    R    H   2B   3B   HR  RBI   SB   BA
Pete Reiser         1938 Superior     No.L.     95  387   78  117   27   10   18   59   21 .302
Bill Nicholson      1939 Chattanooga   S.A.    105  383   82  128   29    8   23   85    6 .334
Vince DiMaggio      1932 Tucson       A.T.L.    94  398   90  138   22    9   25   …    14 .347
Rudy York           1934 Bmnt-Ft.Wor   T.L.    100  316   69  105   21    6   26   75    0 .331
Chuck Klein         1928 Fort Wayne    C.L.     88  359   85  119   29    4   26   …     8 .331
Jimmy Wasdell       1939 Minneapolis   A.A.    102  387   79  125   23    3   29   90   18 .323

Partial-Season Wonders: 300-something At-bats, Line Drive and Big Fly Division
Player              Year Club         League     G   AB    R    H   2B   3B   HR  RBI   SB   BA
Johnny Mize         1933 Greensboro    P.L.     98  378  108  136   29   10   22  104    3 .360
Ray Mack            1938 Frgo-Mrhead  No.L.     94  378   77  143   32    6   24   96   20 .378
Stan Musial         1941 Springfield   W.A.     87  348  100  132   27   10   26   94   16 .379
Sammy West          1925 Muskogee      W.A.     80  320   82  122   33    5   25   91    8 .381
Chet Laabs          1935 Fort Wayne  I.I.I.L.   87  362   90  139   22   10   24   96    4 .384
Joe Medwick         1930 Scottdale    M.A.L.    75  332   75  139   18   13   22  100    3 .419

Near-Full-Season Wonders: 400-something At-bats, Line Drive Division
Player              Year Club         League     G   AB    R    H   2B   3B   HR  RBI   SB   BA
Mike Kreevich       1930 McCook      Neb. S.L. 116  469  114  164   30   15   15   …    23 .354
Pete Fox            1932 Beaumont      T.L.    115  446  103  159   23   11   19   78   30 .357
Babe Phelps         1930 Hagerstown   B.R.L.   114  466   84  175   38   15   19   …     5 .376
Johnny Rizzo        1934 Elmira      N.Y.-P.L. 106  438   82  166   27   13    8   87   10 .379
Roy Weatherly       1934 Opelousas    Eva. L.  103  402   56  139   16    9    8   62   …  .396
Barney McCosky      1936 Charleston   M.A.L.   108  407   66  163   28   19    7   77   17 .400
Babe Phelps         1931 Youngstown   M.A.L.   115  436   71  178   29    9   15   88    9 .408

Near-Full-Season Wonders: 400-something At-bats, Big Fly Division
Player              Year Club         League     G   AB    R    H   2B   3B   HR  RBI   SB   BA
Arky Vaughan        1931 Wichita       W.L.    132  494  145  167   21   16   21   81   43 .338
Buddy Rosar         1935 Norfolk       P.L.    128  453   80  157   29    6   26   97   11 .347
Phil Masi           1937 Wausau        No.L.   113  433   88  141   25    8   31  102    8 .326
Hal Trosky          1933 Toledo        A.A.    132  461   86  149   25    5   33   92    2 .323

Near-Full-Season Wonders: 400-something At-bats, Line Drive and Big Fly Division
Player              Year Club         League     G   AB    R    H   2B   3B   HR  RBI   SB   BA
Ken Keltner         1936 Fieldale     B.S.L.   118  486  120  175   37   12   33  116    3 .360
Johnny Hopp         1936 Norfolk     Neb. St.  107  446  134  161   24   16   26   79   36 .361
Maurice Van Robays  1937 Ogdensburg   C.A.L.   105  432  135  159   28    9   43  150   14 .368
Ernie Lombardi      1930 Oakland      P.C.L.   146  473   76  175   32    4   22  105    1 .370
Oscar Grimes        1936 Zanesville   M.A.L.   126  473  150  178   39    9   24  122   28 .376

Full-Season Stars: Line Drive Division
Player              Year Club         League     G   AB    R    H   2B   3B   HR  RBI   SB   BA
Tony Cuccinello     1929 Columbus      A.A.    162  635  136  227   56   10   20  111    2 .358
Johnny Rizzo        1937 Columbus      A.A.    150  584  117  209   38   18   21  123   15 .358
Joe Marty           1936 San Fran     P.C.L.   164  599  110  215   49   14   17   92   33 .359
Babe Young          1939 Knoxville     S.A.    156  613  120  223   50   13   21  137    8 .364
Charlie Keller      1938 Newark        I.L.    150  578  149  211   36    8   22  129    9 .365
Ray Radcliff        1930 Selma        S.E.L.   132  539   94  199   29    7   15  116   11 .369
Frank McCormick     1936 Durham        P.L.    140  554   98  211   49    8   15  138   13 .381

Full-Season Stars: Big Fly Division
Player              Year Club         League     G   AB    R    H   2B   3B   HR  RBI   SB   BA
Ernie Koy           1934 Binghamton  N.Y.-P.L. 134  520  109  175   24   17   19  100   33 .337
Ival Goodman        1932 Bartlesville  W.A.    131  503  105  161   37   23   22  120   15 .320
Bob Johnson         1932 Portland     P.C.L.   149  545  105  180   43    1   29  111    9 .330
Rudy York           1936 Milwaukee     A.A.    157  619  119  207   25   21   37  148    7 .334
Hank Greenberg      1932 Beaumont      T.L.    154  600  123  174   31   11   39  131   11 .290
Chet Laabs          1936 Milwaukee     A.A.    157  627  119  203   27   16   42  151    6 .324

Full-Season Superstars
Player              Year Club         League     G   AB    R    H   2B   3B   HR  RBI   SB   BA
Joe Medwick         1932 Houston       T.L.    139  560  113  198   46   10   26  111    8 .354
Moose Solters       1933 Baltimore     I.L.    147  523  123  190   46    7   36  157   17 .363
Ted Williams        1938 Minneapolis   A.A.    148  528  130  193   30    9   43  142    6 .366
Babe Phelps         1932 Youngstown    C.L.    135  533  117  199   47    8   26   …    12 .372
Enos Slaughter      1937 Columbus      A.A.    154  642  147  245   42   13   26  122   18 .382
Jeff Heath          1936 Zanesville   M.A.L.   124  543  149  208   47   14   28  187   17 .383

Super-Sized Season Stars: Line Drive Division
Player              Year Club         League     G   AB    R    H   2B   3B   HR  RBI   SB   BA
Dolf Camilli        1932 Sacramento   P.C.L.   187  727  141  224   56    9   17  107   18 .308
Myril Hoag          1930 Sacramento   P.C.L.   188  725  148  244   57    9   17  121   19 .337
Lou Finney          1932 Portland     P.C.L.   185  764  125  268   50    7    5   98   15 .351
Augie Galan         1933 San Fran     P.C.L.   189  745  164  265   51   22    9  102   41 .356
Dom DiMaggio        1939 San Fran     P.C.L.   170  664  165  239   48   18   14   82   39 .360
Paul Waner          1925 San Fran     P.C.L.   174  699  167  280   75    7   11  130    8 .401

Super-Sized Season Stars: Big Fly Division
Player              Year Club         League     G   AB    R    H   2B   3B   HR  RBI   SB   BA
Babe Dahlgren       1934 Mission      P.C.L.   186  735  106  222   34   10   20  136   11 .302
Frank Crosetti      1930 San Fran     P.C.L.   189  782  171  261   66    8   27  113   21 .334
Ben Chapman         1929 St. Paul      A.A.    168  660  162  222   43   17   31  137   27 .336
Pinky Higgins       1932 Portland     P.C.L.   189  721  145  235   51    5   33  132   21 .326

Super-Sized Season Superstars
Player              Year Club         League     G   AB    R    H   2B   3B   HR  RBI   SB   BA
Frank Demaree       1934 Los Angeles  P.C.L.   186  702  190  269   51    4   45  173   41 .383
Joe DiMaggio        1935 San Fran     P.C.L.   172  679  173  270   48   18   34  154   24 .398

These Guys Couldn’t Lose
Pitcher              Year Club          League     G   IP    W    L Pct.   SO   BB   H  ERA
Whit Wyatt           1929 Evansville    I.I.I.    35  255   22    6 .786  177   89  217 3.03
Al Milnar            1935 New Orleans    S.A.     35  271   24    5 .828  140   95  293 3.85
Joe Beggs            1937 Newark         I.L.     34  179   21    4 .840   57   48  160 2.61
Les McCrabb          1937 Lexington    N.C.S.L.   32  216   17    2 .895  118   55  228 3.29
Atley Donald         1937 Newark         I.L.     28  207   19    2 .905  124   75  189 3.22

Garden-Variety 20-Game Winners
Pitcher              Year Club          League     G   IP    W    L Pct.   SO   BB   H  ERA
Luke Hamlin          1929 Fort Smith     W.A.     35  248   20    9 .690  146   88  253 2.50
Bob Muncrief         1940 San Antoniio   T.L.     40  275   22    9 .710  160   63  234 2.46
Manny Salvo          1938 San Diego     P.C.L.    40  239   22    9 .710  191   82  205 2.60
Bill McGee           1934 Springfield    W.A.     41  254   23   13 .639  218   72  263 3.30
Pete Appleton        1935 Montreal       I.L.     41  244   23    9 .719  122   80  211 3.17
Jim Turner           1929 Greensboro     P.L.     36  291   25    9 .735  106   84  296 3.47

Remarkably Effective
Pitcher              Year Club          League     G   IP    W    L Pct.   SO   BB   H  ERA
Whit Wyatt           1938 Milwaukee      A.A.     33  254   23    7 .767  208   62  194 2.37
Joe Dobson           1937 Troy          A.F.L.    39  270   19   12 .613  200   71  217 2.27
Dizzy Trout          1938 Beaumont       T.L.     37  233   22    6 .786  115   94  180 2.16
Sid Hudson           1939 Sanford      Fla. Sta   29  250   24    4 .857  192   63  207 1.79
Nels Potter          1934 Lincoln       N.S.L.    35  216   17    9 .654  200   74  142 1.71
Howie Krist          1940 Houston        T.L.     38  253   22    9 .710  109   50  221 1.71
Howie Pollet         1941 Houston        T.L.     25  194   20    3 .870  151   62  142 1.16

Then Again, the Minors Are a Learning Experience
Pitcher              Year Club          League     G   IP    W    L Pct.   SO   BB   H  ERA
Cliff Melton         1934 Baltimore      I.L.     45  209    6   20 .231   90  131  240 6.80
Rip Sewell           1935 Louisville     A.A.     44  194    6   20 .231   84  102  278 8.12

What on Earth Was His BABIP Allowed?
Pitcher              Year Club          League     G   IP    W    L Pct.   SO   BB   H  ERA
Al Benton            1931 Lincoln       N.S.L.    22  142    8    7 .533  146   85  160 6.14

Heavy-Duty Workhorses
Pitcher              Year Club          League     G   IP    W    L Pct.   SO   BB   H  ERA
Vern Olsen           1937 Ponca City     W.A.     44  295   23   10 .697  212  131  295 3.45
Bobo Newsom          1929 Macon         S.A.L.    45  298   19   18 .514  149  173  283 3.87
Bill Posedel         1937 Portland      P.C.L.    44  300   21   12 .636  172   87  294 3.09
Dick Newsome         1940 San Diego     P.C.L.    39  315   23   11 .676  128   74  319 2.62
Max Butcher          1935 Galveston      T.L.     39  317   24   11 .686  142  106  239 2.43
Bobo Newsom          1933 Los Angeles   P.C.L.    56  320   30   11 .732  212  124  328 3.17
Charley Root         1924 Los Angeles   P.C.L.    55  322   21   16 .568  199  102  316 3.69
Charley Root         1925 Los Angeles   P.C.L.    52  324   25   13 .658  211   91  268 2.87
Hugh Mulcahy         1936 Hazleton     N.Y.P.L.   46  325   25   14 .641  134  120  313 4.29
Curt Davis           1932 San Francisco P.C.L.    44  326   22   16 .579  122   57  290 2.24
George Caster        1936 Portland      P.C.L.    44  339   25   13 .658  234  102  316 2.79

A Soft Tosser
Pitcher              Year Club          League     G   IP    W    L Pct.   SO   BB   H  ERA
Clint Brown          1928 Harrisburg   N.Y.P.L.   36  272   23    8 .742   76   66  260 2.15

And the K Squad
Pitcher              Year Club          League     G   IP    W    L Pct.   SO   BB   H  ERA
Tommy Bridges        1930 Evansville    I.I.I.    20  140    7    8 .467  189   85  102 2.96
Ken Heintzelman      1936 Jeannette    Penn.St.   36  243   20    8 .714  229   90  194 3.07
Lefty Grove          1924 Baltimore      I.L.     47  236   26    6 .813  231  108  196 3.01
Whitey Moore         1936 El Dorado     C.S.L.    34  235   20    5 .800  244   93  172 2.34
Lefty Grove          1921 Baltimore      I.L.     47  313   25   10 .714  254  179  237 2.56
Bill Lee             1931 Scottdale     M.A.L.    29  228   22    7 .759  256  131  169 2.65
Kirby Higbe          1937 Moline        I.I.I.    30  215   21    5 .808  257  141  143   …
Johnny Vander Meer   1936 Durham         P.L.     30  214   19    6 .760  295  116  151 2.65
Lefty Grove          1923 Baltimore      I.L.     52  303   27   10 .730  330  186  223 3.11
Virgil Trucks        1938 Andalusia    Ala.-Fla   38  273   25    6 .806  418  125  143 1.25

References & Resources
Who’s Who in Baseball: 1942, Twenty-Seventh Edition, edited by Clifford Bloodgood (Baseball Magazine Company, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York, 1942).

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