- Lefty O'Doul
__NOTOC__Infobox MLB retired
March 4, 1897 San Francisco, California
deathdate=death date and age|1969|12|7|1897|3|4
San Francisco, California
New York Yankees
finalteam=New York Giants
Runs batted in
New York Yankees(by|1919–by|1922)
Boston Red Sox(by|1923)
*New York Giants (by|1928, by|1933–by|1934)
*Brooklyn Robins/Dodgers (by|1931–by|1933)
*4th highest career
batting averagein Major League history
*National League batting champion: 1929, 1932
*All-Star (NL): 1933
*National League pennant: 1933
World Serieschampion: 1933
Francis Joseph "Lefty" O'Doul (
March 4 1897– December 7 1969) was an American Major League Baseballplayer 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.
San Francisco, California, O'Doul began his professional career as a left-handed pitcherwith the minor-league San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League. After some major-league success with the New York Yankeesand Boston Red Soxfrom 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 Philliesin 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 Famein 1981 and the Japanese Baseball Hall of Famein 2002.
List of Major League Baseball batting champions
* 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.
*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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