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Paul Calvert

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Paul Leo Emile Calvert

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[edit] Biographical Information

A bespectacled right-hander from Montreal, QC, Paul Calvert was first in organised baseball late in 1938 with his hometown team in the International League, the Montreal Royals, although he had played for the Sherbrooke team in the independent Provincial League earlier that year. At the time, he was a student at the École des hautes études commerciales, the Université de Montréal's school of business administration. His father was an English-speaking carpenter and his mother was French Canadian; he did his schooling in French, but spoke both languages fluently. He was known as an intellectual, and was said to look more like a college professor than a professional athlete. He was heavily scouted by major league teams at the time, but was not ready to sign until graduation. He was back with Sherbrooke in 1939, but arm woes ended his season before he could pitch again for Montreal.

He signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1940 and pitched in their organization until 1946, making his major league debut with the team in 1942 after pitching well in winning 17 games for the Wilkes-Barre Barons of the Eastern League. He worked out of the Indians bullpen from 1942 until 1945, making 35 appearances in 1944, his only full season with the team. He also pitched winter ball in Cuba and was briefly placed on the ineligible list for playing against some of the players banned from baseball because they had jumped to the Mexican League. He went to Mexico himself in 1947, but managed to gain reintegration in organized baseball in 1948 when he joined the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League in May, only to return to his old Sherbrooke club of the independent Provincial League after four appearances. Playing for fellow former Mexican exile Roland Gladu, he pitched a no-hitter against Saint-Hyacinthe on May 30th and had 11 wins to lead Sherbrooke to the league title.

He then bought back his contract from Toronto and signed with the Washington Senators before the start of the 1949 season. That year, he went 6-17. He won 6 of his first 9 decisions, then lost 14 in a row, the fourth-longest losing streak in American League history (through 2008). He led the American League in losses.

Calvert was 2-2 with a 6.31 ERA with the Detroit Tigers in 1950 and in one final game in 1951. He was 9-22 overall in the major leagues. After being sent down to the minor league Seattle Rainiers in the Pacific Coast League, he threw another no-hitter, against the Sacramento Solons, in his first start for his new team. He went 6-5. 3.51 for Seattle that season, then 3-6. 4.08 in 1952 before deciding to retire from baseball in spite of having various offers to continue pitching. He decided instead to return to Quebec where he managed a hotel and pitched semi-pro ball in his free time. He made a brief comeback with the Modesto Reds of the California League in 1956, then retired for good, but stayed in California for a while, working for an accounting firm, and then as an auditor for the state government.

He returned to Quebec in 1963 and settled in Sherbrooke, QC, where he was employed as a field adjuster for the excise tax division of Revenue Canada. He died on February 1, 1999 at age 81, from a cancer that developed rapidly; he was still playing golf regularly until the age of 80, in spite of having had both of his hips replaced.

[edit] Sources

Baseball-Reference.com
Baseball Players of the 1950s

[edit] Further Reading

  • Yves Chartrand: "Paul Calvert", in Gilles Janson, ed.: Dictionnaire des grands oubliés du sport au Québec, 1850-1950, Les éditions du Septentrion, Quebec, QC, 2013, pp. 63-65. ISBN 978-2-89448-725-9

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