Snuffy Stirnweiss

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Snuffy Stirnweiss
Snuffy Stirnweiss 1948.jpg
Stirnweiss in 1948.
Second baseman
Born: (1918-10-26)October 26, 1918
New York City, New York
Died: September 15, 1958(1958-09-15) (aged 39)
Newark Bay, New Jersey
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 22, 1943 for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
May 3, 1952 for the Cleveland Indians
Career statistics
Batting average .268
Hits 989
Runs scored 604
Career highlights and awards

George Henry "Snuffy" Stirnweiss (October 26, 1918 – September 15, 1958) was an American second baseman in Major League Baseball. From 1943 through 1952, Stirnweiss played for the New York Yankees (1943–50), St. Louis Browns (1950) and Cleveland Indians (1951–52). He batted and threw right-handed.

In a 10-season career, Stirnweiss was a .268 hitter with 29 home runs and 281 RBI in 1028 games played.

Stirnweiss from 1938 Yackety-Yack yearbook

A native of New York City, Stirnweiss was an All-American halfback at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduating in 1940, he was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals of the National Football League. Nevertheless, he cast his lot with baseball and signed with the New York Yankees organization, starting his major league career with the Yankees in 1943. Stirnweiss was exempt from military service due to chronic ulcers.[1]

Stirnweiss was in three World Series and appeared in the All-Star Game in 1945 and 1946. He won the American League batting title in 1945 with a .309 average. On the final day of the season, he trailed Tony Cuccinello, whose final game had been rained out. After Stirnweiss singled in his first two at-bats, word came from the press box that he was ahead of Cuccinello and should sit out the rest of the game. He refused to do so, but then went out his next two times up. In the final inning, he singled. Without the additional 1-for-3, he would not have beaten Cuccinello. However, this fact was never discussed in the press.

A prolific base-stealer, he led the AL with 55 stolen bases in 1944 and with 33 in 1945. In the same period, he also led the league in runs (125 and 107), hits (205 and 195), triples (16 and 22), and in fielding percentage. In 1948, with only five errors tallied against him, Stirnweiss set a major league record for a second baseman with a .993 percentage.

The Yankees traded Stirnweiss to the St. Louis Browns in 1950 and the next year he was sold to the Cleveland Indians. He retired after the 1952 season. Following his retirement as a player, he managed in the minor leagues, and later entered the banking field.

A resident of Red Bank, New Jersey, Stirnweiss was killed at age 39 when the passenger train he was on plunged off the CRRNJ Newark Bay Bridge between Elizabethport and Bayonne, New Jersey.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Russo, Frank (2006). Bury My Heart at Cooperstown: Salacious, Sad, and Surreal Deaths in the History of Baseball. United States: Triumph Books. p. 272. ISBN 1572438223. 
  2. ^ Via Associated Press. "Heart Trouble Contributed To Engineer's Death: Series of Investigations Under Way In New jersey Rail Disaster; Death Toll 21", The Washington Observer, September 17, 1958. Accessed July 4, 2011. "Twenty of the bodies were identified. They included that of George (Snuffy) Stirnweiss, 39, former New York Yankee second baseman and father of six children. He had caught the train at the last moment in his home town of Red Bank."

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