31 March 2013

the dodgers' babe

looking for alyssa milano?  sorry, this post is about one of the players known as 'babe' to play for the dodgers (they've had at least two, plus a coach).  babe herman holds a few dodger franchise records.  his .393 batting average in 1930 is the highest ever by a dodger. and, his .381 average the year before is the second highest.  his 143 runs scored and his on base percentage of .466 in 1930 were the highest by a dodger in the 20th century, and his slugging percentage (.678) and ops (1.132) are the highest by any member of the franchise ever. ditto his 241 hits, 94 extra base hits, and 416 total bases in 1930. and, until last year, he was the last player to hit for the cycle twice in one season, which he did as a dodger in 1931.

one thing herman also did was double dip as a dodger.  to be more accurate, he began his career as a brooklyn robin, and finished it as a brooklyn dodger, while playing for three other franchises (including a cincinnati double dipping) in between.  yes, this is a double dipper post.

[this is the fiftyfirst installment in the double dippers posts.  here are the previous posts - brett butler, omar daaleric young, nick willhitechris gwynn, mickey hatcherdave anderson, don zimmerrafael landestoy, dave hansen, jose vizcaino, hideo nomo, greg maddux, mike madduxjon garland, chan ho parkvicente romogene mauch, denny lewallyn, von joshua, joe moellerdioner navarro, rudy seanez, bart shirleyrandy wolf, ismael valdes, bobby castillo, mike devereaux, pete richert, jay johnstone, jesse orosco, lee lacy, giovanni carrara, jeff weaverted sizemore,  orel hershisertom goodwinjoe fergusoneddie murraymatt lukeken mcmullen, tim wallach, jerry grotedon suttonralph branca, todd hundley, elmer dessensguillermo motajoe beckwith, and jamie hoffmann.]

aside from the 1990 target dodgers card, this 2005 upper deck classics might be the only card featuring herman as a dodger - in my collection, anyway.
herman broke into the big leagues with the robins in 1926, and remained with them through his fantastic 1931 season. during that time, herman hit .340 with an ops of .955 over 851 games.  prior to the 1932 season, the dodgers traded him (with ernie lombardi and wally gilbert) for clyde sukeforth (who went on to become jackie robinson's first major league manager in 1947), joe stripp (himself a near dodger double dipper - he was reacquired by the franchise after the 1938 season but released during the spring of 1939), and tony cuccinello.

herman had a good year with the reds in 1932, hitting .326 while leading the league with 19 triples.  still, he was traded to the cubs where he played through the 1934 season.  after a 26-game stint in pittsburgh to start the 1935 season, herman was dealt back to the reds where he played until he joined the tigers for the 1937 campagin.  after he was released by detroit, herman played minor league ball in the pacific coast league with the hollywooed all-stars.  then, in 1945, he was brought back to brookolyn to t=lay asa a dodger for the first time.  at 42 years of age, he hit .265 in 37 games with a home run an d 9 rbi.  interestingly enough, clyde sukeforth also returned to the dodgers' active roster in 1945, after a 11 year hiateus.  he hit .294 in 18 games.  not sure what was going on in brooklyn in 1945 that they brought back these two guys after such long absences from the majors, but it meant that babe herman double dipped, so i guess i am ok with it.  for the record, sukeforth did not double dip - he did not play for any other big league team between 1934 and 1945.

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