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John Powers

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  • Note: This page is for John Calvin Powers, major league outfielder from 1955-1960. For other players with the same name, click here.
Johnny Powers.jpg

John Calvin Powers

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 190 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Nineteen-year-old outfielder John Powers was signed by the Boston Red Sox as an amateur free agent before the 1949 season. John was with the class D Valley Rebels of the Georgia-Alabama League for 62 games and also spent 75 outings with the Gadsden Chiefs of the class B Southeastern League, hitting for a combined .303 average with 17 homers before being sent to the Pittsburgh Pirates in an unknown transaction before the 1950 season.

Powers hit a league-leading 39 homers along with a .311 batting average for the Waco Pirates of the Big State League in 1950 and came back with 17 homers and a .255 batting average for the Charleston Rebels of the class A South Atlantic League in 1951 before spending the next two seasons (1952 and 1953) in the United States Military Services during the Korean War.

Powers came back from Military Service ready to play and busted 23 homers with a .262 average in 1954 for the New Orleans Pelicans of the AA Southern Association and bettered himself with 29 four-baggers the next year, getting a brief look by the major league Pirates at the tail end of 1955, getting into two games and going 1 for 4. John would be in the major leagues for short periods during 1956, getting into 11 games after he had hit 39 homers and .312 for New Orleans, and in 1957, appearing in 20 games and hitting .286 after he had hit 29 home runs and tallied a .294 batting average for the AAA Columbus Jets.

John got his first season-long big league trial in 1958 with the Pirates, appearing in 57 games but hitting just .183 with two homers. He was traded to the Cincinnati Redlegs on January 30, 1959. He failed to perform up to expectations and the Redlegs in 1959, and they sold him to the Baltimore Orioles on December 15. He made the Orioles 1960 opening day line-up as the starting right fielder, but hit only .111 and was palced on waivers. On May 12, 1960 the Cleveland Indians claimed John. This signaled the end to his major league hopes, however, and he wound up with a career .195 batting average. John hit only six homers in the majors but one of them, on September 29, 1957, was the last ever hit against the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds.

Powers was not quite ready to call it quits just yet and would go back to the high minors from 1960 through 1965, where he wound up a 13-year minor league run with 298 homers and a .270 batting average.

After baseball John worked for the Butler Manufacturing Company in his native Birmingham, AL, where he died on September 25, 2001, at the age of 71.

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Baseball Players of the 1950s

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