Merv Shea

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Merv Shea
Born: (1900-09-05)September 5, 1900
San Francisco, California
Died: January 27, 1953(1953-01-27) (aged 52)
Sacramento, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 23, 1927, for the Detroit Tigers
Last MLB appearance
August 19, 1944, for the Philadelphia Phillies
MLB statistics
Batting average .220
Home runs 5
RBI 115

Mervyn John Shea (September 5, 1900 – January 27, 1953) was an American professional baseball player and coach. He was a catcher in Major League Baseball for all or parts of 11 seasons between 1927 and 1944 for the Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Browns, Chicago White Sox, Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. By his final season, Shea was the oldest player in the National League. Born in San Francisco, California, Shea was 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m) tall and weighed 175 pounds (79 kg). He threw and batted right-handed.

Playing career[edit]

In his 11 big-league seasons, Shea played in 439 games and had 1,197 at bats, 105 runs scored, 263 hits, 39 doubles, seven triples, five home runs, 115 runs batted in, eight stolen bases and 189 walks. He compiled a .220 batting average, .327 on-base percentage, .277 slugging percentage, 331 total bases and 13 sacrifice hits.

In 1933, Shea tied the American League record for fielding percentage by a catcher (.933). That season, which he split between the Red Sox and Browns, he reached career bests in games played (110) and hits (81). From 1934 to 1938 he was a second-string catcher, playing behind regulars such as Luke Sewell and Babe Phelps.

Later life[edit]

After his playing days, Shea coached for the Tigers (1939–42, serving on their 1940 American League championship edition), Philadelphia Phillies (1944–45, including his seven-game stint as a player at age 43 in 1944) and Chicago Cubs (1948–49). He managed the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League (1943), and also spent several years scouting for the Cubs' organization. Shea played himself in the Jimmy Stewart movie The Stratton Story (1949).

He joined the coaching staff of the Sacramento Solons of the PCL in 1951, but was forced to retire due to illness in his second season there.[1] He died at the age of 52 in Sacramento.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Former Ball Player Dies". The New York Times. January 29, 1953. Retrieved August 20, 2012. 

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