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Ossie Bluege

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Oswald Louis Bluege

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 162 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

140 pix
Photograph of President Truman shaking hands with Washington manager Ossie Bluege and New York Yankees manager Bucky Harris at Washington's Griffith Stadium, on opening day of the baseball season, 04/18/1947

Ossie Bluege was an excellent defensive third baseman for 18 seasons in the majors, all with the Washington Senators. He is credited with the theory of "cutting down the cone", i.e. playing closer to home plate in order to reduce the angle at which the batter can aim to hit a ground ball past the third baseman. He's also the first third baseman to guard the lines in the late innings, in order to prevent extra-base hits.

During the off-seasons, since he never earned a whole lot as a ballplayer, he worked as an accountant (and thus earned the nickname "The Accountant" from his teammates). Although Clark Griffith ordered him in vain to stop out of concern that he would strain his eyes, the accounting experience paid off in later life, as Bluege eventually became Comptroller for the Senators.

After his playing career ended, he spent two season as a Washington Senators coach in 1941 and 1942, and five as their manager, from 1943 to 1947. He also spent time as the Senators' farm director, discovering future star Harmon Killebrew.

Bluege came up with the Senators at the age of 21 in 1922, and for many years was their third baseman. It was only in his mid-30's that he gradually began to play more at second, shortstop, or first base than at third.

He played on the Washington Senators' World Series-winning team in 1924, batting sixth in the order behind Sam Rice, Goose Goslin, and Joe Judge. He also played on the Senators teams in 1925 and 1933 which also went to the Series, but lost.

Late in his career, he made the All-Star team in 1935; the first All-Star Game was only played in 1933, by which point he was already on the downside of his career.

His hitting was modest; at a time when many people hit .300, Ossie never did. His highest batting average was .297 in 1928, when he also had his best slugging year with a percentage of .400.

His brother Otto Bluege played briefly for the Cincinnati Reds.

[edit] Notable Achievements

Preceded by
Bucky Harris
Washington Senators Manager
Succeeded by
Joe Kuhel

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