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Ray Coleman

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Raymond Leroy Coleman

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 170 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Outfielder Ray Coleman was signed by the St. Louis Browns as an amateur free agent before the 1940 season. The 18-year-old youngster spent his first season in pro baseball with the Paragould Browns of the Northeast Arkansas League and the Springfield Browns of the Three-I League. Ray appeared in 71 games and hit six homers with a combined .238 batting average. He was with the Mayfield Browns in 1941, hitting .346 including six dingers and was the league leader with 122 RBI. Ray then spent 1942 with the Springfield club again, hitting .293 with eight round-trippers. Coleman spent the next three seasons (1943-1945) in military service, serving with the United States Navy in the Pacific theater of war.

On his return to baseball in 1946 he was with the San Antonio Missions of the Texas League, hitting .287 in 139 games. He got invited to spring training with the Browns in 1947. Ray hit .259 in 110 games. He had a .234 average in June of 1948 when the St. Louis American League club traded Ray to the Philadelphia Athletics for George Binks and $20,000. Coleman was in the major leagues through 1952, also playing for the Chicago White Sox, ending his five-year major league time with a career .258 batting average and 20 homers.

Believe it or not, five times during his major league career he was part of a Browns transaction. Coleman Said, "Chuck DeWitt, the son of Browns owner Bill DeWitt, was maybe six years old when he said to me: 'Daddy always said when they needed money, they sold you. When they didn't, they got you back.'" Ray had his best season in 1951 when he hit .280. After being placed on waivers by the Browns, he was scooped up by the Chicago White Sox, piloted by Paul Richards, that year. The Chicago skipper had promised Ray that he would put him on his ball club if he ever got to the big leagues as a manager. Coleman then went back to the Browns for a final time late in the 1952 season.

Ray dropped back to the high minor leagues for the remainder of his career (1953-1956) and finished up at age 34 with a minor league stat sheet that showed he appeared in nine seasons, hitting 65 homers; he carried a .284 batting average. After baseball Ray was employed with the American Snuff Company, was a construction foreman and a Kentucky tobacco and soybean farmer before going to Hornbrook, California, where he worked as a medic.

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Baseball Players of the 1950s
BR Minors Page

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