Del Pratt

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Del Pratt
Del Pratt.jpg
Second baseman
Born: (1888-01-10)January 10, 1888
Walhalla, South Carolina
Died: September 30, 1977(1977-09-30) (aged 89)
Texas City, Texas
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 11, 1912 for the St. Louis Browns
Last MLB appearance
September 29, 1924 for the Detroit Tigers
Career statistics
Batting average .292
Home runs 43
Runs batted in 970
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Derrill Burnham "Del" Pratt (January 10, 1888 – September 30, 1977) was a star running back for the University of Alabama before becoming a professional baseball player. Pratt signed with the St. Louis Browns in 1912. He was a utility player, playing second base, shortstop, third base and the outfield.

Baseball career[edit]

In his rookie season, Pratt batted .302 for the Browns. In 1916 he led the American League with 103 RBIs.

Del Pratt, warming up, 1913

In 1917, the Browns were struggling. Owner Phil Ball accused some of the players of intentionally playing poorly so that they could be traded. Ball said, "Every $1000 I lose on the Browns this season will cost the ballplayers $100. Salaries will be cut next season." Pratt was offended. He and teammate Doc Lavan sued Ball for slander. The Sporting News went so far as to call Pratt the Browns' Trotsky. The suit was eventually settled in 1918, and Pratt was traded to the New York Yankees.

After the 1920 season, the Yankees traded Pratt to the Boston Red Sox for Waite Hoyt, but he decided to retire. He was hired as the University of Michigan baseball coach to replace Carl Lundgren (with a recommendation from Branch Rickey) and served as an assistant football coach and freshman basketball coach.[1] He began preparing the 1921 team, but the Red Sox coaxed him out of retirement before the first game of the season. Upon his return to the Sox in 1921, Pratt batted over .300. He ended his career with the Detroit Tigers.

Del Pratt as an assistant football coach at the University of Michigan, 1920.

His career batting average was .292 over twelve seasons, with an on-base percentage of .345. He had a total of 968 RBIs and 856 runs scored.

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