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Irish Meusel

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Emil Frederick Meusel

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[edit] Biographical Information

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The brother of Bob Meusel, Irish Meusel played several years with the Philadelphia Phillies, but achieved his greatest fame with John McGraw's New York Giants of the 1920s.

Born in California, Meusel broke into professional baseball with the Fresno Packers; he may have looked Irish, but his family background was German, and he most koften went by his first name, Emil, in those early days. He had one game with the Washington Senators in 1914, but didn't come back to the majors till 1918 with the Phillies. They featured Hall of Famer Dave Bancroft along with Gavvy Cravath, but were not a contending team at the time.

Midway through the 1921 season, Meusel was hitting .353 when he was traded to the Giants for several players and cash. He finished the season hitting .329 for the Giants, and the Giants won the World Series. He ended the year with 201 hits to become the first player with a 200 hit season in which he played for two clubs.

The Giants continued to win the pennant for the next three years, and Meusel was a regular each year, although not the biggest star on a team that at various times featured future Hall of Famers George Kelly, Frankie Frisch, Travis Jackson, Hack Wilson, Bancroft, Freddie Lindstrom and Ross Youngs, along with Casey Stengel and Heinie Groh.

Throughout much of the 1920s, Irish played for the New York Giants while his brother Bob Meusel played across town for the New York Yankees. When the two teams met in the first game of the 1921 World Series, Bob batted fourth in the Yankee lineup, behind Babe Ruth, while Irish batted sixth in the Giants lineup, behind Bancroft, Frisch, Youngs and Kelly. The two teams and brothers met in three straight Series. Irish hit a home run in each of the three Series. The Giants won the 1921 and 1922 Series, while the Yankees won the 1923 Series.

In 1925, Meusel had a personal high of 21 home runs, and was 12th in the MVP voting.

He closed out his career in 1927, playing 42 games for the Brooklyn Robins.

Although not usually a league leader in offensive categories, he was frequently in the top ten. He was in the top ten for batting average 3 times, for slugging percentage 5 times, for total bases 7 times, for doubles 4 times, and for homers and RBI 7 times.

The one Hall of Famer on the list of most similar players (according to similarity scores) is his teammate Freddie Lindstrom. Although the Meusel brothers each played 11 seasons in the majors and hit around .310, they are not on each others' similarity scores lists.

Irish also hit .311 during a nine-year minor league career (1913-1917, 1927-1929 and 1931).

Meusel was not actually of Irish background, but was given the nickname because someone thought he looked Irish.

After his playing days, Meusel was a coach for the Giants in 1930

Meusel appeared in several films, mostly connected with baseball themes. At the time of his death, he was working as a guard at the Santa Anita race track.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • NL RBI Leader (1923)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1925)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 4 (1922-1925)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 2 (1922 & 1923)
  • 200 Hits Seasons: 2 (1921 & 1922)
  • Won two World Series with the New York Giants (1921 & 1922)

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