Hank Bauer, American right fielder and manager, Died at 84


Henry Albert “Hank” Bauer died on February 9, 2007 at the age of 84, he was an American right fielder and manager in Major League Baseball.

Born in East St. Louis, Illinois on July 31, 1922 as the youngest of nine children, Bauer was the son of an Austrian immigrant, a bartender who had earlier lost his leg in an aluminium mill.

With little money coming into the home, Bauer was forced to wear clothes made out of old feed sacks, helping shape his hard-nosed approach to life.

While deployed to the Pacific Theater, Bauer contracted malaria on Guadalcanal, but he recovered from that well enough to earn 11 campaign ribbons, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts (for being wounded in action) in 32 months of combat.

Bauer was wounded his second time during the Battle of Okinawa, when he was a lieutenant in command of a platoon of 64 Marines.

Only six of the 64 Marines survived the Japanese counterattack, and Bauer was wounded by shrapnel in his thigh.

Bauer played on seven World Series-winning New York Yankees teams, and he holds the World Series record for the longest hitting streak (17 games).

Perhaps Bauer’s most notable performance came in the sixth and final game of the 1951 World Series, where he hit a three-run triple.

He also saved the game with a diving catch of a line drive by Sal Yvars for the final out.

At the close of the 1959 season, Bauer was traded to the Kansas City Athletics in the trade that brought them the future home run King Roger Maris (1961).

This deal is often cited among the worst examples of the numerous trades between the Yankees and the Athletics during the late 1950s – trades that were nearly always one-sided in favour of the Yankees.

Currently a radio colour analyst for National NFL games on SportsUSA Network.

From 1998 to 2015 was the color commentator for the Chargers radio broadcasts on FM105.3 and AM1360 in San Diego.

Bauer appeared in the NFL Films production, Americas Game: Missing Rings with Dan Fouts and Kellen Winslow with several observations about their 1981–1982 season.

Bauer was the sports anchor at KFMB-TV8 in San Diego from 1987 through March, 2003.

With his talents in decline, the Yankees traded Bauer to the Kansas City Athletics in 1959 as part of the Maris deal.

In June 1961, he replaced Joe Gordon as manager of the A’s, but after two years of ninth-place finishes in the 10-team league, he quit and moved to the Orioles in 1963 as a coach.

He became the manager in 1964.

When the Orioles finished third behind the Yankees, he was named A.L. manager of the year.

He earned that honour again in 1966, when he managed the Orioles to a 97-63 record and a World Series sweep of the Dodgers.

A pitcher on that Baltimore team, Steve Barber, died Sunday at 67.