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Jake Powell

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Alvin Jacob Powell

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Jake Powell played 11 seasons in the majors, almost all in the American League. He hit .455 in the 1936 World Series and also appeared in the 1937 and 1938 World Series.

Powell also played in the minors for nine years with a batting average of .314. Although he made his major league debut in August 1930, he didn't stick until he had hit .360 for Dayton in 1933 (in 78 games) and .361 for Albany in 1934 (in 137 games). n his first full major league season with the Washington Senators in 1935 he hit .312. The New York Yankees traded for him in June 1936.

In 1938, Bob Elson interviewed Powell for a pregame show on WGN radio in Chicago. Elson asked Powell what he did as a policeman in Dayton, OH during the off-season. Powell said, "I crack niggers on the head." For this, he received a 10-game suspension.

Never a strong hitter, Powell was crowded out of the Yankee outfield by the emergence of many fine hitters such as Joe DiMaggio, Charlie Keller, George Selkirk and Tommy Henrich. Jake had 400 plate appearances in 1937 but far fewer with the Yanks from 1938 to 1940. During World War II, he again was given the chance for more plate appearances by the wartime Washington Senators and Philadelphia Phillies.

Powell commited suicide after being arrested in Washington, DC for passing bad checks.

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