Sunday, June 2, 2013

1930s Baseball Signatures - Sam West

The next signature on the baseball was one of the easiest to identify, Sam West.  West (b. 1904 - d. 1985) played in the majors from 1927 to 1942 for the Senators (1927 to 1932, 1938 to 1941), Browns (1932 to 1938) and White Sox (1942).  In his career, he had 1,838 hits, 75 home runs and a .299 lifetime batting average.  He was a 4-time All Star (1933, 34, 35 and 37) and finished as high as 9th in the AL MVP voting (1931).  That season, he 175 hits, 3 home runs and a .333 batting average.  In his career, he batted .300 or better in 8 of the 12 full seasons he played (he played parts of 4 other seasons, but didn't appear in more than 57 games in each of them).  His selection to the 1933 All Star team is notable because that was the first All Star team ever assembled, coincidentally, his former teammate, Joe Cronin was also named to that inaugural All Star Team.

West appeared on one Hall of Fame ballot, 1948, when he received 0.8% of the vote.  He does have a Hall of Fame connection, though, in that in December 1932, he was traded from the Senators to the St. Louis Browns along with Lloyd Brown and Carl Reynolds for Hall of Famer Goose Goslin, Fred Schulte and Lefty Stewart.  By being traded, West missed playing on the 1933 AL Pennant winning Senators.  Of course, another Hall of Fame connection to these Senators teams is that legendary pitcher Walter Johnson managed the Senators from 1929 to 1932 (If only whomever got this ball signed could have gotten the manager on it...).

West isn't connected to the Boston Braves folks that I have shown so far, of course, but he played on the same Senators teams as Joe Cronin from 1928 to 1932, again placing this baseball possibly somewhere around the 1930-31 seasons.

Players Identified:

Joe Cronin
Lance Richbourg
Randy Moore
Bill Sherdel

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