George Selkirk

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George Selkirk
George Selkirk Play Ball card.jpeg
Outfielder
Born: (1908-01-04)January 4, 1908
Huntsville, Ontario
Died: January 19, 1987(1987-01-19) (aged 79)
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 12, 1934 for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
September 27, 1942 for the New York Yankees
Career statistics
Batting average .290
Home runs 108
Runs batted in 576
Teams
Career highlights and awards

George Alexander Selkirk (January 4, 1908 – January 19, 1987) was a Canadian outfielder and front office executive in Major League Baseball. In 1935, Selkirk succeeded Babe Ruth as the right fielder of the New York Yankees—and also inherited Ruth's fabled No. 3 uniform (which was not retired until 1948, the year of Ruth's death).

Over the next eight seasons, Selkirk batted over .300 five times, twice drove home more than 100 RBIs, played on five World Championship teams (1936, 1937, 1938, 1939 and 1941), and made the American League All-Star team in 1936 and 1939.

Biography[edit]

A native of Huntsville, Ontario, Selkirk batted left-handed and threw right-handed, standing 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighing 182 pounds (83 kg) (13 stone). He earned the nickname "Twinkletoes" for his distinctive way of running on the balls of his feet. During his nine years of Major League service, all with the Yankees, he appeared in 846 games and hit .290 (.265 in 21 World Series games), with 108 regular-season home runs and 810 hits.

After military service in World War II (in the United States Navy, despite his Canadian citizenship), Selkirk managed at the Class A and Triple-A levels for the Yanks, and at Triple-A in the farm system of the Milwaukee Braves. He then worked as a player personnel director for the Kansas City Athletics and player development director of the Baltimore Orioles before becoming the second general manager in the history of the second Washington Senators club (now the Texas Rangers) in the autumn of 1962.

The Senators were chronically short of funds and never developed a strong farm system, forcing Selkirk to acquire players (such as the great slugger Frank Howard) through trades and fill out the roster with waiver-price acquisitions. Nonetheless, Washington improved every year from 1963 through 1967. But when the team's field manager, Gil Hodges, departed for the New York Mets after the '67 campaign, the Senators regressed and fell back into the American League basement. The death of one of the club's owners forced the sale of the team in the autumn of 1968, and Selkirk was fired during the transition. He then returned to the Yankees as a scout.

George Selkirk died at age 79 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His successful career as a player, and the respect he earned as a general manager, earned Selkirk a place in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

Selkirk is mentioned in August Wilson's 1987 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Fences." The protagonist, Troy, confident that he can do better than white ballplayers in the majors, alludes to Selkirk and his .269 average.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Ed Doherty
Washington Senators General Manager
19621968
Succeeded by
Bob Short