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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Hank Bauer was traded for his replacement, Roger Maris.

Hank Bauer:
Born: July 31, 1922 in East St. Louis, IL
Debut: September 6, 1948 (Age 26) 
Last Game: July 21, 1961 (Age 38)

Died: February 9, 2007 in Lenexa, KS (Aged 84)
Trade information is from baseball-reference.com.

OK, not one for one but Bauer was in the trade that brought Roger Maris to the New York Yankees.  This post adds some details about Bauer to the previous:

Anatomy of a trade: Roger Maris: KC Athletics to NY Yankees. Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Yogi Berra, Bauer, Mickey Mantle Bowman Gum 1953 Wikimedia Commons
Bauer's baseball career was delayed by his service in World War II.  Bauer played at least 100 games for the Yankees from 1949 through 1959.  He was a key player on the five consecutive World Series (WS) champions (1949-1953) and the four consecutive pennant winners (1955-1958), which included WS wins in 1956 and 1958.  Bauer played right field almost exclusively and, despite sometimes being platooned with lefty hitting Gene Woodling (Yankees 1949-1954), Bauer with the Yankees had at least 502 plate appearances (PA) in five seasons and 5,374 over all.  Bauer was a righty batter hitting into the vast left field of the old Yankee Stadium, yet he provided top of the order punch with 158 home runs (HR), including 26 in 1956.  In 1957 Bauer led the American League with 9 triples.

For the Kansas City Athletics Bauer had only 3 PA batting first in the lineup, so his numbers there are almost exclusively what he did for the Yankees, including almost half his HR:

Batting 1st440428196317463184817421782332117182228.275.345.476.82183120916101032.278108
In 1959, Bauer's final Yankee season, he batted first in 45 of his 83 starts; 212 of 380 PA, 5 of 9 HR. 

That may be why Yankee manager Casey Stengel initially put the newly acquired Maris directly into Bauer's spots: RF and leadoff.  However, leadoff lasted only two games because in Yankee game number one in Fenway Park Maris had four hits, including a double and two homers.  Stengel learned quickly that he had more than Hank Bauer on his hands.

As mentioned in the previous post the key acquisition for the Athletics in the Maris trade was lefty batter Norm Siebern who went on to have a fine career.  But Bauer brought Yankee credentials to Kansas City, which included:
- the longest hitting streak in WS history: 17 games
- four HR in the 1958 WS against the Milwaukee Braves off Warren Spahn, Lew Burdette, Don McMahon, Warren Spahn.

Bauer hit very poorly in his first four WS but the Yankees won them all so that was not held against him.  But then he picked up the pace and had OPS 1.032 in 1958, his final WS.

Hank Bauer brought veteran leadership to the Athletics in a tangible way.  In July 1961 Bauer went immediately from player to manager of the Athletics.

Managerial Stats

1196138Kansas City AthleticsAL2nd of 23567.343102900Player/Manager
2196239Kansas City AthleticsAL7290.444162900
3196441Baltimore OriolesAL9765.599163300
4196542Baltimore OriolesAL9468.580162300
5196643Baltimore OriolesAL9763.6061601401.000WS Champs
6196744Baltimore OriolesAL7685.472161700
7196845Baltimore OriolesAL1st of 24337.53880200
8196946Oakland AthleticsAL1st of 28069.537149200
Baltimore Orioles5 years407318.5617263.2401.0001 Pennant and 1 World Series Title
Oakland Athletics3 years187226.4534136.700
8 years594544.52211394.5401.0001 Pennant and 1 World Series Title

Bauer was succeeded as manager of the Kansas City Athletics by his former Yankee teammate, southpaw Eddie Lopat.  However, as you can see Bauer went on to manage the Baltimore Orioles to the 1966 WS championship.

The only references to Bauer in the previous post were a footnote and as the principal in the 1957 Copacabana night club incident.  I didn't want that to be all.  The old Marine deserved better than that.

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