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Jigger Statz

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Jigger Statz

Arnold John Statz

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[edit] Biographical Information

Statz and his wife in Chicago in 1922

Arnold "Jigger" Statz's family moved early on from their native Waukegan, Illinois home to Worcester, Massachusetts where "Jigger" graduated from high school and spent two years at the College of the Holy Cross before signing with John McGraw's New York Giants in July of 1919.

This was the beginning of his 24-season professional baseball career. He played all or part of eight seasons in the majors, starting with the Giants in 1919. He also played for the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs and ended his major league tour with the Brooklyn Robins in 1928. In 1923, Jigger's best in the majors, he hit .319 for the Cubs with 209 hits and 10 homers in 655 at-bats. He also stole 29 bases.

Jigger's real talent, however, showed with the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League, where he spent his entire minor league career. Jigger, a 5-foot-7-inch, 150-pound speedster holds PCL records for games 2790, hits 3356, doubles 597, triples 136 and runs 1996. He also sported a .315 batting average over 18 seasons in the league. His fielding exploits also showed 6,893 outfield putouts and 295 assists. In 1926, while with the Angels, Jigger hit .354 in 199 games with 291 hits, 68 doubles and 18 triples, while scoring 150 runs. With a fielding percentage of .997, he committed just two errors in 604 chances.

As an outfielder, Jigger had an uncanny ability to position himself against the opposing hitters and his speed was remarkable, proven by his 466 base thefts with the Angels. In 1934, at age 36, Statz stole 61 bases, including six in one game.

As a switch-hitting leadoff man for the PCL Los Angeles Angels, Jigger had 3,356 hits during 18 minor-league seasons. He added 737 base-knocks as a major leaguer, for a total of 4,093. This total placed the "Jigger" fifth on the all-time list.

His 3,473 games played from 1919 through 1942 places Statz third on the all-time list.

Spending his last three seasons as the Angels' player-manager, Jigger retired in 1942, putting together a 278 win and 247 loss record for a .530 percentage. In 1943 Statz was elected to the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame. He was also voted to the Pacific Coast League All-Century (1903-1955) team.

He also scouted for the Chicago Cubs organization and filled in as an acting manager for the their Visalia, California farm club, in 1948 and 1949.

[edit] Notable Achievements

[edit] Source

Pacific Coast League of Professional Baseball Clubs, Inc., Media Office
Pat Doyles Professional Baseball Player Database
Photo courtesy of PCL Media Office (Credit Dick Dobbins Collection)

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