Hank Helf

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Hank Helf
Born: (1913-08-26)August 26, 1913
Austin, Texas
Died: October 27, 1984(1984-10-27) (aged 71)
Austin, Texas
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 5, 1938, for the Cleveland Indians
Last MLB appearance
September 29, 1946, for the St. Louis Browns
MLB statistics
Batting average .184
Hits 35
Runs batted in 22

Henry Hartz Helf (August 26, 1913 – October 27, 1984) was an American professional baseball player. He played as a catcher in Major League Baseball for the Cleveland Indians in 1938 and 1940 and the St. Louis Browns in 1946.[1] From 1944 to 1945, Helf served in the military during World War II.[2]

On August 20, 1938, as part of a publicity stunt by the Come to Cleveland Committee, Helf, along with Indians' catcher, Frankie Pytlak, caught baseballs dropped from Cleveland's 708-foot-tall (216 m) Terminal Tower by Indians' third baseman Ken Keltner.[3] The 708-foot (216 m) drop broke the 555-foot, 30-year-old record set by Washington Senator catcher Gabby Street at the Washington Monument.[4] The baseballs were estimated to have been traveling at 138 miles per hour when caught.[3]


  1. ^ "Hank Helf at Baseball Reference". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  2. ^ The ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia. Sterling Publishing. 2007. p. 568. ISBN 978-1-4027-4771-7. 
  3. ^ a b Anderson, Bruce (March 11, 1985). "When Baseballs Fell From On High, Henry Helf Rose To The Occasion". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
  4. ^ Nitz, Jim. "The Baseball Biography Project: Ken Keltner". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 

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