Babe Martin

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Babe Martin
Left fielder / First baseman / Catcher
Born: March 28, 1920
Seattle, Washington
Died: August 1, 2013 (aged 93)
Tucson, Arizona
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 25, 1944, for the St. Louis Browns
Last MLB appearance
July 1, 1953, for the St. Louis Browns
MLB statistics
Batting average .214
Home runs 2
Runs batted in 18

Boris Michael Martin (March 28, 1920 – August 1, 2013) was a Major League Baseball outfielder for the St. Louis Browns (1944–46 and 1953) and a catcher for the Boston Red Sox (1948–49). He was nicknamed 'Babe'.

Martin was born Boris Michael Martinovich in Seattle, Washington to Serbian immigrant parents. The Martinovich family then moved to Zeigler, Illinois, when Babe was a boy, and subsequently moved to St. Louis, Missouri after the death of Babe's father.[1] He started his professional baseball career in 1940 and had a breakout year in 1944 with the Toledo Mud Hens, batting .350 in 114 games.[2] The following season, he joined the Major League Browns. He hit poorly and was sent back down to the minors. Martin retired in 1954. In 69 Major League games, he had 2 home runs, 18 RBI, and a .214 batting average.

In later years, Martin still held a grudge against one-armed outfielder Pete Gray, who was a teammate in 1945. "The worst thing that happened to our ballclub in 1945, which we should have won the pennant, was Pete Gray", he said. "And honestly I think if we hadn't had Pete ... we could have won the pennant in 1945."[3] Although Martin's batting average that season was actually 18 points lower than Gray's, Martin was referring to Pete Gray's fielding ability. Because Gray only had one arm, his throws back into the infield were slowed because he had to remove his glove from his one hand, get the ball, and throw into the infield. This slowed him down and allowed runners to advance more easily than they otherwise would have.

The Browns finished in third place in the American League, six games behind the Detroit Tigers.


  1. ^ Babe Martin at the SABR Baseball Biography Project
  2. ^ "Babe Martin Minor League Statistics & History". Retrieved 2010-11-2.
  3. ^ Neyer, Rob. Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Blunders (2006), p. 60.

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