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Gene Crumling

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Eugene Leon Crumling
born Eugene Leon Crumbling
(Lefty)

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[edit] Biographical Information

Catcher Gene Crumling played a dozen years in the minors and had a cup of coffee in the big leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Born and raised in Wrightsville, Pennsylvania, Crumling earned his nickname, "Lefty", while a boy, before he began throwing right-handed. Born with the last name "Crumbling", he dropped the "b" from his name following high school.

Crumling began his pro career with the Hagerstown Owls in 1941 and reached the majors with the Cardinals in September 1945 as a backup to catcher Del Rice after regular starter Ken O'Dea was hurt. He made his big league debut on September 11th against the New York Giants, got his first major league at-bats against the Brooklyn Dodgers three days later, and earned his first start on September 16th against the Philadelphia Phillies. He got his only hit in the majors on the 17th against the Phillies, singling off Hall of Fame slugger Jimmie Foxx, who pitched in a handful of games in his last season in the majors. Overall, Crumling got into six games for St. Louis, putting the ball in play during 11 of his 12 at-bats.

Crumling returned to the minors in 1946 and was a player-manager in parts of several later seasons. Following his baseball days, he was a bartender for many years.

Main source: One Hit Wonders.

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