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Charlie Gehringer
#2 | Second baseman | Detroit Tigers


 

Charles Leonard Gehringer: "The Mechanical Man"

     His cool and quiet disposition was legendary - one of baseball's most surehanded second basemen and a dependable hitter, the taciturn and undemonstrative Gehringer was called "The Mechanical Man."  Gehringer starred for the 1934, 1935 and 1940 pennant-winning Tiger teams and was a key player in their lineup; in fact, he was picked up an MVP award in 1937.  But he was so quiet and efficient that Lefty Gómez (probably) gave him his nickname.

 

     Gehringer led all AL second basemen in fielding percentage 9 times, led or tied for the lead in assists 7 times, and had the most putouts 3 times.  He covered second base in a smooth, seemingly effortless style, and was a terrific double play maker.  A reliable hitter with good power, he led the AL in batting in 1937 with a .371 mark.  He had more than 200 hits in 7 different seasons and led the league in hits and runs scored in 1929 and 1934.  He led once in triples and twice in doubles, ranking tenth all-time in two-base hits.  7 times he had more than 100 RBI.  In 1929 he topped the AL in stolen bases.  His controlled, lefthanded batting swing made him difficult to strike out.  In 16 full seasons, his strikeouts ranged from 16 to 42.

 

     He was especially tough in World Series play - in Game 5 homer in 1934 beat Dizzy Dean and the St. Louis Cardinals, and the following year he bat .375 with a team-leading 4 RBI against the Cubs.  He singled in the ninth inning of Game 6 and came around to score the run that gave Detroit the championship.

 

 

"Charlie says `hello' on Opening Day, `goodbye' on closing day, and in between hits .350."

 — Mickey Cochrane

 

"You wind him up Opening Day and forget him." 

Teammate Doc Cramer

 

"He lacks showmanship, but he has polish that no other second baseman, with the exception of the 

great Napoleon Lajoie, ever had. He has so well-schooled himself in the technique of his position 

that he makes the most difficult plays look easy."

H.G. Salsinger

 

 


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