Thursday, June 10, 2010

#283 Fred Whitfield


A friendly word of advice: don't try to move and blog. The good news is that I'm all settled. The bad news is that it'll be another couple of weeks before I have Internet access at home, so updates may be sporadic. But what's new?

Fun Facts about Fred Whitfield:

-Born in Vandiver, AL, Fred signed with the Cardinals in 1956 after high school.

-Was nicknamed "Wingy" due to his unusual throwing motion.

-Blocked at first base by St. Louis' All-Star starter Bill White, Whitfield did not reach the majors until 1962. He got the call in late May after having hit 99 homers in his last four-plus seasons.

-He performed well in limited duty, batting .266 with eight homers and 34 RBI in 158 at-bats to be named to the Topps All-Star Rookie team.

-An offseason trade to the Indians gave him a chance to play regularly, and he responded by swatting 21 longballs in 1963, just one off of Max Alvis' team lead.

-Hit the only walkoff home run of his career on June 16, 1963. With the Indians trailing Washington 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth, the first two Tribe runners reached base against pitcher Jim Bronstad. Whitfield pinch hit for second baseman Jerry Kindall and went deep to drive the home crowd wild.

-Fred's power numbers took a dip the next year, but he rebounded in 1965 to reach career highs in batting average (.293), doubles (23), homers (26), and RBI (90). He finished fifth in the American League in home runs and RBI.

-Had one last impressive year in 1966 with 27 home runs and a team-best 78 RBI.

-Was relegated to part-time duty once again in 1967, and then was traded to the Reds, where he backed up Lee May for a couple years.

-Played only four games for the Expos in 1970 to conclude his big league career. In parts of nine seasons he hit .253 with 108 home runs and 356 RBI. Despite his low batting average and a dearth of walks (a single-season best of 27), his OPS+ was still 107 thanks to his extra-base prowess and the offensively-challenged era in which he played.



  1. Thanks for posting this for everyone to read! Fred Whitfield is my father's cousin and I always have a blast whenever I get to chat with Fred. I had no idea he had so many homers. Once again, Thank you!

  2. Years ago, I was told that Fred hit two grand slams in one inning or in one game. Since then, I have not been able to substantiate this feat. can you?