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Willard Marshall

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Willard Warren Marshall

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[edit] Biographical Information

Outfielder Willard Marshall played 11 seasons in the major leagues and would have played more had the war not taken some of his early years.

He attended Wake Forest University in 1939. He was signed by the Atlanta Crackers of the Southern League in 1940. He played with the team for two seasons until his contract was sold to the New York Giants prior to the 1942 season.

The Giants had used Mel Ott, Jo-Jo Moore, and Johnny Rucker in the outfield in 1941. Moore was done with the majors after 1941, and Rucker was gone in 1942 (coming back in 1943), so the Giants were in need of a couple of outfielders. Mel Ott, who remained, became the manager of the team in 1942, and he was impressed enough with Marshall to make him a regular outfielder as a rookie. Marshall hit .257 with 11 homers and 59 RBIs as a big league rookie that year but missed the next three seasons while serving in the Marines during World War II.

He returned to baseball in 1946, when Mel Ott was still the manager, and became a regular outfielder again, playing alongside Sid Gordon and Goody Rosen, both of whom were older than him. He had his best season the next year, 1947, hitting .291 with 36 home runs and 107 RBIs for the Giants. That season, he also accomplished the rare feat of hitting three consecutive homers in a game.

He was traded to the Boston Braves prior to the 1950 season, and in 1951 posted a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 136 games with the club. Marshall went on to play for the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox before his career ended in 1955.

Although his peak home run total was 36, he never hit more than 17 in any other season. He was never in post-season play, but was an All Star three times while with the Giants. Although he was considered a rather slow outfielder, he was fast enough to get 39 triples in his career, placing in the top ten in the league in two seasons. Similar recent players include Steve Kemp and Sixto Lezcano.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 3-time NL All-Star (1942, 1947 & 1949)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1947)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1947)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 1 (1947)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1947)

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