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Jack Saltzgaver

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Otto Hamlin Saltzgaver

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[edit] Biographical Information

Otto Hamlin "Jack" Saltzgaver played six seasons in the big leagues, mostly for the New York Yankees during one of their most dominant periods.

Jack was born in Croton, IA, in far southeastern Iowa near Missouri. He played minor league ball for many years before coming to the majors. Appearing first in the outfield and then as a second baseman, he played for Ottumwa, Oklahoma City, St. Paul and Newark during 1925-34.

Jack made his major league debut in 1932, appearing in 20 games and playing second base in the field. He came back in 1934 to be the 1934 Yankees' regular third baseman, appearing in 94 games. He was the same age as teammate Lou Gehrig and eight years younger than teammate Babe Ruth.

He continued to play some third base in 1935-36, but he was in his 30's while Red Rolfe was much younger. Jack also played some second base and first base. In 1937 he was in 17 games, and his only time in the field was in four games at first base.

Jack then spent 1938-45 with Kansas City, hitting as high as .348 at age 41 in 1944. He managed as well that year, and would also manage several years at Wilmington and Little Rock.

He came back to the majors for 52 games with the 1945 Pirates and hit quite well, batting .325. At age 42 he was the oldest player on the team, although the 1945 Pirates also had 39-year-old Lloyd Waner, 40-year-old Boom-Boom Beck, 40-year-old Spud Davis and 39-year-old Ray Starr. The team went 82-72.

In 1938 Jack arranged for a pro tryout for his nephew Vic Saltzgaver who was released after a week with the Lincoln Links. Vic played service ball in World War II and was killed in Africa in 1943.

During his time in the minors, Jack played for two of the great minor league teams. He was on the 1932 Newark Bears (109-59) and the 1939 Kansas City Blues (107-47).

Early in his baseball career, Jack had played for a team in Keokuk, IA named the Cherry Blossoms (named after a soft drink). When his pro days were over, Jack returned to Keokuk to manage the skating rink there. He died in Keokuk in 1978.

[edit] Notable Achievements


[edit] Year-by-Year Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs
1944 Kansas City Blues American Association 41-110 8th New York Yankees
1946 Wilmington Blue Rocks Interstate League 87-53 1st Philadelphia Phillies Lost League Finals
1947 Wilmington Blue Rocks Interstate League 79-60 2nd Philadelphia Phillies League Champs
1948 Little Rock Travelers Southern Association 67-83 7th Detroit Tigers
1949 Little Rock Travelers Southern Association 69-85 6th Detroit Tigers
1950 Little Rock Travelers Southern Association 52-96 8th Detroit Tigers


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