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Huck Betts

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Walter McKinley Betts

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 170 lb.

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After signing with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1920 Huck Betts would spend fifteen years (1920-1935) in professional baseball. "Huck" would spend ten of those years in the major leagues, six with the Phillies (1920-1925) and four with the Boston Braves (1932-1935). Betts put together a decent major league record, going 61-68 with a 3.93 ERA and appearing in 307 games. His best year would come late in his career when he went 17-10 with the '34 Braves.

Out of those 15 seasons he would spend parts of eight seasons in the minors with the St. Paul Saints, Fort Worth Panthers, Hartford Senators and the Salt Lake City Bees, putting up 118 wins against 87 losses in 276 appearances. He had five double diget winning seasons down under with his best appearing to be a 22-13 effort with a 3.60 ERA in 1931, his last year to appear in the minors.

The nickname "Huck" was given to him by shortstop Dave Bancroft in his rookie year (1920) with the Phillies. The Phils were on a train to spring training when Bancroft spotted his shy-looking youngster sitting by himself and remarked, "Why, look who's with us -- a Huckleberry Finn!"

Betts retired from baseball after a 2-9 season for the Braves in 1935, rather than take a demotion to the minors. He returned to his hometown and purchased a movie house which he called the "Ball Theatre" - It had a baseball replica on top!

Walter McKinley "Huck" Betts died on June 13, 1987 in Millsboro, DE, at the age of 90.


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