September 5, 1900|
San Francisco, California
|Died: January 27, 1953
|April 23, 1927 for the Detroit Tigers|
Last MLB appearance
|August 19, 1944 for the Philadelphia Phillies|
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.
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 1934–38 he was a second-string catcher, playing behind regulars such as Luke Sewell and Babe Phelps.
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).
- "Former Ball Player Dies". The New York Times. January 29, 1953. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
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