Heinie Mueller (second baseman)
July 20, 1912|
St. Louis, Missouri
|Died: October 3, 1986
|April 19, 1938, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 28, 1941, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Runs batted in||127|
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Mueller originally signed as an infielder with the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization. Before reaching the major leagues, Mueller played with Springfield in the Western Association and in 1935 and 1936 with Houston.
In December 1937, the Cardinals sold Mueller to the Philadelphia Phillies. Mueller became the Phillies starting second baseman in 1938. In his major league debut on Opening Day, April 19, he became the first player in history to hit a leadoff home run in his first major league at-bat. No other Phillie would hit a leadoff homer on Opening Day until César Hernández in 2017. In four seasons with the Phillies, Mueller was primarily a second baseman (225 of his 441 games), but he also appeared as a pinch hitter, third baseman, outfielder, first baseman, and shortstop. In 441 major league games, Mueller collected 324 hits, scored 144 runs, knocked in 127 runs, walked 156 times, and stole 10 bases. He compiled a career batting average of .253 and a .337 on-base percentage.
Mueller joined the U.S. Army shortly after Pearl Harbor. He was stationed at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, where he played baseball for the Reception Center Missions. On July 7, 1942, Mueller was selected for an All-Service team that played against an American League all-star squad at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium. Before 62,059 fans, the American League beat the servicemen, 5–0.
After the war, Mueller attended the Phillies spring training in 1946. Having missed four seasons to military service, Mueller did not make the cut and was released by the Phillies on April 22, 1946. He continued to play in the minor leagues and later became a minor league player-manager, including a stint with the Muskogee Reds in the Western Association in 1949.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Biography and Photographs
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