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Matt Batts

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1954 Topps #88 Matt Batts

Matthew Daniel Batts

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While in High School in San Antonio, Texas Matt Batts was a football and baseball star and after graduation attended Baylor University. Before the 1942 season he signed as a free agent with the Boston Red Sox and was shipped off to the Middle Atlantic League Canton Terriers class C team. Matt had a good first season, playing in 126 games, getting 142 base hits that included 10 home runs in 483 at bats and batted .294.

Matt was inducted into the United States Air Force in December of 1942 and was stationed at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas. He was discharged in December 1945.

The 1946 season saw him with the New England League Lynn Red Sox where he probably had his best minor league season, hitting 12 home runs, batting .337 with a slugging percentage of .524. This performance got him a shot with the Eastern League Scranton Red Sox and from there he moved up to the AAA International League Toronto Maple Leafs, all in 1947. Matt spent the last part of 1947 with the Boston Red Sox, getting in 7 games, 16 at bats with 8 hits for a .500 batting average.

Batts was in the major leagues until 1956; he was with the St. Louis Browns, Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox and the National League Cincinnati Redlegs, where he finished up his major league career. Tiger radio announcer Van Patrick always fondly referred to him by his full name - "Matthew Daniel Batts". He compiled a total of 10 seasons of major league ball, including 546 games, 1,605 at bats, 432 base hits for a .269 batting average.

He played with the Southern Association Nashville Volunteers in 1956, the Birmingham Barons of the same league in 1957 and called it the end with the Texas League San Antonio Missions also in 1957.

After his baseball days were over Batts opened a printing business in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he died in 2013 at age 91. He was the uncle of big leaguer Danny Heep.

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