A Biography in 1,000 Players No. 55 Luke Appling (Number 6 Shortstop)

Luke Appling was famous for hitting a homerun in the initial Cracker Jack Game an old timers game in the 1980s. He was 75 at the time.

Appling played 20 years for the White Sox and never made the post season. Of course, in those days they had only one team from each league make the post season. In Appling’s two best season’s he finished second in the MVP ballot. In 1936, Gehrig beat him and deserved to beat him. Appling won the batting title by hitting .388 that year. He was runner-up again in 1943. He won the batting title for the second and final time in his career with a .328 batting average. He and first place finisher Spud Chandler had the same WAR. I would have voted for Appling. Most of the stars of the American League were doing military service for World War 2. That is what Appling would do during the 1944 season and most of the 1945 season.

He came back strong from the war even though he was 39. He hit over .300 his first four full seasons back and still was a solid fielder. His stats for his career show him as a solid, not great fielder. However, that makes quite a player.

Appling was a good average hitter who walked a lot. So, he is better liked as a player now then when he played. However, he was still recognized as a great player when he played. Appling was excellent for getting on base, but below average for hitting for power. He had only 45 career homeruns. His record for a season was 8. The funny thing is that he did that when he was 40.

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Author: Douglas Byzewski

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