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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

The oldest player who ever hit in a game

There’s not much written about it, unfortunately, but later in his life, while coaching for the St. Louis Browns, O’Leary came in to take an at-bat in the final game of the 1934 season ... at nearly 59 years of age. Here’s more from St. Louis Browns Historical Society & Fan Club President Ed Wheatley:

“The last time Charley had stepped to the plate in a MLB game was with the St. Louis Cardinals back in 1913,” Wheatley, creator of the film “A Baseball Legacy: Fans Remember the Browns,” told me. “But in the sixth inning of that September 30th game, he came up as a pinch-hitter for pitcher George Blaeholder and slapped a single. It was his only hit in his only at-bat in the last 20 years and 360 days.”

Nobody was or has been (or likely ever will be) older while standing in a big league batter’s box. It’s also the longest gap between at-bats in Major League history. Only Satchel Paige was older in a big league appearance when he pitched for the A’s at the age of 59.

And not only did O’Leary get a hit, but he also hustled around the bases to score a run. What would’ve been a ridiculous sight in today’s game—tweeted and written about countless times—was nothing more than a line on a box score.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2022 at 09:44 PM | 8 comment(s)
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