Lefty O'Doul

Lefty O'Doul

__NOTOC__Infobox MLB retired
name=Lefty O'Doul
position=Left fielder

birthdate=March 4, 1897
San Francisco, California
deathdate=death date and age|1969|12|7|1897|3|4
San Francisco, California
debutdate=April 29
debutteam=New York Yankees
finaldate=September 30
finalteam=New York Giants
stat1label=Batting average
stat2label=Home runs
stat3label=Runs batted in
*New York Yankees (by|1919by|1922)
*Boston Red Sox (by|1923)
*New York Giants (by|1928, by|1933by|1934)
*Philadelphia Phillies (by|1929by|1930)
*Brooklyn Robins/Dodgers (by|1931by|1933)
*4th highest career batting average in Major League history
*National League batting champion: 1929, 1932
*All-Star (NL): 1933
*National League pennant: 1933
*World Series champion: 1933

Francis Joseph "Lefty" O'Doul (March 4 1897December 7 1969) was an American Major League Baseball player who went on to become an extraordinarily successful manager in the minor leagues, and also a vital figure in the establishment of professional baseball in Japan.

Born in San Francisco, California, O'Doul began his professional career as a left-handed pitcher with the minor-league San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League. After some major-league success with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox from by|1919 to by|1923, he developed a sore arm which relegated him to relief duties. Returning to the Pacific Coast League, he converted himself to a power-hitting outfielder. The New York Giants brought him back to the major leagues in 1928, where he batted .319 as a platoon player.

O'Doul was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in by|1929 and, teaming up with Chuck Klein, had one of the best offensive years in baseball history, leading the League in batting at .398 with 254 hits, 32 home runs, 122 runs batted in, and 152 runs scored. He continued to play well for Philadelphia but was traded to the Brooklyn Dodgers in by|1932, where he batted .368 to win another league batting title before ending his career back with New York in by|1934.

O'Doul then returned to the Pacific Coast League as manager of the San Francisco Seals from by|1937 to by|1951, later managing several other teams in the circuit and becoming the most successful manager in PCL history. One of his outstanding accomplishments while managing the Seals was developing the young Joe DiMaggio, who went on to a Hall of Fame career with the New York Yankees. O'Doul refused to take credit for DiMaggio's success, saying "I was just smart enough to leave him alone." [ [http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Lefty_O'Doul Lefty O'Doul at Baseball-Reference Bullpen] ]

O'Doul's fame and popularity live on in his hometown of San Francisco: the popular restaurant and bar he founded still operates as Lefty O'Doul's Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge on Geary Boulevard, and a bridge over McCovey Cove, near the Giants' home field of AT&T Park, is named the Lefty O'Doul Bridge in his honor.

O'Doul was also instrumental in spreading baseball's popularity in Japan, serving as the sport's goodwill ambassador before and after World War II. The Tokyo Giants, sometimes considered "Japan's Baseball Team," were named by him in 1935 in honor of his longtime association with the New York Giants.

O'Doul was inducted into the San Francisco Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 1981 and the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002.


ee also

* List of Major League Baseball batting champions

Further reading

* Leutzinger, Richard. "Lefty O'Doul and the Development of Japanese Baseball". "The National Pastime", no. 12 (1992), pp. 30–34. ISBN 091013748X.

* Leutzinger, Richard. "Lefty O’Doul, the Legend That Baseball Nearly Forgot: The Story of the Hall of Fame’s Missing Star". Carmel, Calif.: Carmel Bay Publishing Group, 1997. ISBN 1883532035.

External links

*baseballstats |mlb= |espn= |br=o/o%27doule01 |fangraphs=1009734 |cube=O/Lefty-ODoul
* [http://www.thedeadballera.com/Obits/Odoul.Lefty.Obit.html The Deadball Era]

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