George Selkirk

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George Alexander Selkirk

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Biographical Information[edit]

Best known as the man who succeeded Babe Ruth in rightfield for the New York Yankees, George Selkirk put up respectable numbers in nine years in the majors, twice making the All-Star team and twice driving in over 100 runs. He was also a major league General Manager for most of the 1960's.

Given the nickname "Twinkletoes" by teammates in Newark because of his style of running on the balls of his feet, Selkirk had spent nearly eight seasons in the minors prior to joining the Yankees in 1934. The next spring, Ruth was let go, and Selkirk took over in right field. He hit over .300 in his first four summers with the Yankees. In 1936, he hit .308 with 18 home runs and 107 RBI, and he added eight hits (including two homers and a triple) in the 1936 World Series as the Yankees defeated the crosstown New York Giants. He only played in 78 games the following year due to a broken collarbone, but he had one of his best seasons, hitting .328 with 18 home runs and a slugging average of .629, nearly as high as Lou Gehrig's. In that season's Fall Classic, he led his club with six runs scored and five driven in, as the Yankees again beat the Giants.

Selkirk's average dropped to .254 in 1938, and he hit just 10 homers, but he drove in the first run of that year's World Series, a four-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs. He rebounded in 1939, hitting .306 with 21 home runs and 101 RBI. He only recorded two hits in the World Series that fall, but the Yankees went on to sweep the Cincinnati Reds for their fourth consecutive title. By 1940, a trio of younger Yankee outfielders - Joe DiMaggio, Tommy Henrich and Charlie Keller - saw most of the playing time, and Selkirk only appeared in 118 games. His playing time continued to decline the next two summers, but he did make a total of three pinch-hit appearances in the World Series between 1941 and 1942. On November 24, 1942 season, he joined the Navy, and after serving during World War II, he never returned to the majors. Overall, in nine seasons in the big leagues, all with the Yankees, he posted a career OPS+ of 127.

After his playing days ended, Selkirk was a minor league manager for 11 seasons and later worked in the Kansas City Athletics front office. Selkirk was General Manager of the expansion Washington Senators from 1963 to 1968.

In 1958, Selkirk was elected to the International League Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 2-time AL All-Star (1936 & 1939)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1939)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 2 (1936 & 1939)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1939)
  • Won five World Series with the New York Yankees (1936, 1937, 1938, 1939 & 1941)

Preceded by
Kansas City A's General Manager
Succeeded by
Parke Carroll
Preceded by
Ed Doherty
Washington Senators General Manager
Succeeded by
Bob Short

Related Sites[edit]