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Danny Kravitz

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Daniel Kravitz
(Dusty or Beak)

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[edit] Biographical Information

Danny Kravitz played five seasons in the major leagues, mostly for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He came to the majors after a big season with the New Orleans Pelicans in 1955.

Shortly after he came up as a rookie, Kravitz hit a notable game-winning grand slam against the Philadelphia Phillies. Kravitz missed the 1951-1953 seasons due to military service.

Kravitz spent portions of the 1956 and 1957 seasons with the Pirates backing up Jack Shepard (in 1956) and Hank Foiles (1957). He was on the Pirates' roster for the entire 1958 and 1959 seasons. He again backed up Foiles in 1958 and both he and Foiles backed up Smoky Burgess in 1959.

With the Pirates in spring training on March 16, 1960, Kravitz caught a no-hitter pitched by Bennie Daniels and Jim Umbricht in an exhibition game against the Detroit Tigers. He began that season as one of four Pirates catchers along with Burgess, Hal Smith, and Bob Oldis. The Pirates had traded Foiles in December 1959. Kravitz played sparingly for the Pirates, going 0 for 6 with a walk in 7 pinch-hitting appearances and appearing in only one game as a catcher. On June 1st, the Pirates traded him to the Kansas City Athletics in return for Foiles. Foiles was then immediately traded to the Cleveland Indians to reacquire outfielder John Powers. Powers was sent to the Pirates' AAA Columbus affiliate and the Pirates recalled outfielder Joe Christopher to replace Kravitz on the roster.

Kravitz batted .234 as half of a catching platoon for the Athletics the rest of the 1960 season, appearing in 47 games with 2 home runs and 14 RBIs in 186 at-bats. It was the most playing time of his career. That was his last season in the majors. He spent the next three seasons in the minors before retiring.

His father was an immigrant from Russia who worked as a miner in northern Pennsylvania, and Danny grew up speaking Russian at home.

[edit] Further Reading

  • James Forr: "Danny Kravitz", in Clifton Blue Parker and Bill Nowlin, ed.: Sweet '60: The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2013, pp. 119-123. ISBN 978-1-93359-948-9

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