Greek George

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Charles Peter George

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Biographical Information[edit]

Greek George, also called "Charley George", was a catcher for many years in the major and minor leagues.

Born on Christmas Day 1912, George attended Oglethorpe University in 1932 and 1933.

Much of George's career was intertwined with minor league executive Larry Gilbert, and he was known as Gilbert's "meal ticket" because Gilbert kept selling him to the majors. He was playing for the New Orleans Pelicans when sold by Gilbert to the Cleveland Indians in 1935. He appeared in two games for the Indians that year with no plate appearances. The next season, he played in 22 games for the Tribe, hitting .195. Since the Indians regular catcher Billy Sullivan Jr. hit .351 and the backup catcher Frankie Pytlak hit .321, he didn't stick and was released back to New Orleans.

George was sold by Gilbert to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1938. In 7 games in the majors that year, he hit .200. The starting catcher Babe Phelps hit .308, and while the backup Merv Shea hit only .183, George didn't stay.

Gilbert was now with the Nashville Vols, and that's where George ended up. He was a star with the 1940 Nashville Vols, one of the great minor league teams, hitting .335 and setting a record with a .998 fielding percentage.

After the 1940 season, Gilbert sold George's contract one more time, this time to the Chicago Cubs. For the 1941 Cubs, he batted .156 in 35 games. The starting and backup catchers were Clyde McCullough, who hit .227, and Bob Scheffing, who hit .242. He returned to the majors with the 1945 Philadelphia Athletics and hit .174 as a backup to Buddy Rosar, who hit .210. He was involved in an altercation late in the season with umpire Joe Rue. George didn't like a call and complained. He then claimed he heard Rue make a nasty remark about him, so he punched the umpire. He was suspended for ninety days, which extended into the next season. George never played again in big leagues.

His five-year major league career stretched from 1935-1945, from when he was 22 to when he was 32. His career average was .177, and he hit 0 home runs in 299 at-bats. He struck out 59 times. Defensively, he made 8 errors in 94 appearances as a catcher.

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