Ken Strong

From BR Bullpen

Kenneth Elmer Strong Jr.

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Ken Strong was a NFL star and a member of the Professional Football Hall of Fame. He played three years in the minor leagues, putting up impressive numbers, and still holds a share of the Eastern League home run record.

An All-American football player in college in 1928, Ken debuted in baseball in 1929 with the New Haven Profs, hitting .283/~.353/.519 with 21 homers and 80 RBI in 104 games. His 14 errors tied for third among EL outfielders while he tied for sixth in the league in homers.

In 1930, Strong hit .272/?/.489 for New Haven and .373/?/.787 for the Hazleton Mountaineers. He scored 114 runs in 117 games for Hazleton, hit 31 doubles, 16 triples, 41 home runs and drove in 130. In one game, he hit four home runs. He led the New York-Pennsylvania League (the modern-day Eastern League) in both home runs and RBI. Walter Holke was second in homers with less than half of Strong's total (20). Ken also was in the top 10 in batting average. 49 years later, Rick Lancellotti tied his EL home run record and as of 2006, no one has broken it.

Strong made it to the top level of the minors (then known as AA) in 1931, with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He hit a solid .340/~.388/.534 with 14 triples and 80 RBI. He tied Ivey Shiver for second in the International League in three-baggers, six behind Ray Pepper. He was also fifth in the IL in batting average, only 16 points behind the legendary Ike Boone.

It would be Strong's last season in the minors as he devoted the rest of his career to football. He had hit .331/?/.610 in his impressive baseball career, driving in 316 runs in 366 games and picking up 194 extra-base hits.

A kicker and halfback, Ken set a NFL record for points in a title game (17) in 1934 and led the league in points one year and field goals another. He was a four-time all-NFL player and made the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1967.

Ken returned to baseball in 1947 as president of the Colonial League.

Sources: The Minor League Register ed. by W. Lloyd Johnson, Pro Football Hall of Fame page, Pat Doyle's Professional Baseball Player Database, 1930 Spalding Guide, 2006 Harrisburg Senators program listing EL record holders, The International League: Year-by-Year Statistics by Marshall Wright

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