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Hank Arft

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140 pix

Henry Irven Arft
(Bow Wow)

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 5' 10½", Weight 190 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

First baseman Hank Arft was playing semi-pro baseball in his home of Manchester, Missouri, when he was signed by the St. Louis Browns scout, Eddie Gilliland.

He was with the Paragould Browns in the Class D Northeast Arkansas League in 1940, the St. Joseph Autos in the Class C Michigan State League in 1941, and the Springfield Browns in the Class B Three-I League in 1942.

He enlisted in the Navy in St. Louis, Missouri, on November 16, 1944. He was sent to Great Lakes, NTS for his boot camp and then served on the USS Goss, a Destroyer Escort in the Pacific, where he participated in attacks on the Japanese mainland. He was present in Tokyo Bay on VJ day, September 2, 1945. He returned to the United States and remained on the West Coast until being sent to St. Louis for discharge on June 7, 1946, as a seaman second class.

He then returned to Springfield for the 1946 and 1947 seasons, hitting .366 the latter year. He moved up to the Toledo Mud Hens of the Class AAA American Association for the 1948 season. On July 27, 1948 of that year, he was brought up to the Browns and made his major league debut.

He began the 1949 season with the Baltimore Orioles of the Class AAA International League, rejoined the Browns, and then played in 300 games in the majors into the 1952 season. After his big league career ended, Arft played in the Pacific Coast League from 1952 to 1954.

After retiring from baseball, he became an embalmer in Ballwin, Missouri, near St. Louis.

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