H. Louis Fitzgerald
- Bats Left (listed as switch-hitter in the Sooner State League in 1952 according to the 1953 Baseball Guide), Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 150 lb.
Lou Fitzgerald played 13 years in the minors and managed 20 years on the farm, with some overlap. He hit for high averages in some high-offense leagues, drew lots of walks and scored plenty of runs. He hit very few homers (9 in his career) and only got a brief glance at the higher minors, struggling. He managed two AA pennant winners.
Lou broke in with the 1942 Americus Pioneers, hitting .240 with 7 RBI. In 1946, he played for the Pensacola Fliers briefly but spent most of the year with the Natchez Giants, batting .357/~.466/.469. He was second in the Evangeline League in average behind Michael Conroy, scored 115 runs (second to Conroy), had 13 triples (tied for second behind Len Pecou and drew league-best 97 walks while playing a solid third base (.955 fielding).
In 1947, Fitzgerald split the year between Pensacola (.264, 12 RBI) and the Marshall Comets (.330, 54 RBI). The next season, Lou looked lost in his only glance at AA, batting .171 for the Dallas Eagles. He also appeared on the Texarkana Bears, hitting .336 with 3 HR and 64 RBI.
Lou slipped to .277 in 1949 with Texarkana, then in 1950 hit .274/~.421/.329 in his last season in which he did not manage. He walked 135 times, easily leading the Big State League and scored 138 times, leading the loop. He split time that year between second and third base.
In 1951, Fitzgerald won the Sooner State League batting title as player-manager for the Shawnee Hawks. He hit .379 with 2 HR and 105 RBI. As it was a high-offense league, he did not finish in the top 10 in RBI. Lou split 1952 between Shawnee (.350/~.496/.415, 51 runs, 52 walks in 53 games) and the Longview Cherokees (.255/~.322/.303), managing both clbus as well while with them. Fitzgerald was a candidate to repeat as Sooner State League batting champ when he switched clubs.
Lou was with three teams in 1953. He began as second baseman and manager of the Augusta Rams the year Hank Aaron and four other players integrated the South Atlantic League. Fitzgerald hit .281/~.355/.305 in 42 games. In 23 contests for the Kingsport Cherokees, he hit .271/~.346/.302. He also appeared 11 times for the Bryan Majors with a .213/~.315/.243 batting line.
In 1954, Fitzgerald hit .318 with 74 RBI as player-manager of the Port Arthur Sea Hawks. The next year, in the same role, he contributed a .247 average. He barely played in 1956 with the Victoria Eagles, mostly managing at age 35.
In 1957, Lou finished his playing career with the Pensacola Dons. He played 26 games and hit .282/~.406/.318.
Year-by-Year Managerial Record
Also Manager: 1962 Arizona Inst'l (Houston); 1963 Florida Inst'l (Houston); 1968-69 Arizona Inst'l (Atlanta).