Wally Roettger with the University basketball team in 1923
|Born||August 28, 1902|
St. Louis, Missouri
|Died||September 14, 1951 (aged 49)|
|1923-24 Big Ten (basketball)|
Walter Henry Roettger (August 28, 1902 – September 14, 1951) was a professional baseball player who was an outfielder in the major leagues from 1927 to 1935. He played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, New York Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates, being a member of the 1931 World Series champion Cardinals.
In 599 games played, Roettger batted .285 (556-1949) with 192 runs scored, 19 home runs and 245 RBI in eight major league seasons. In the 1931 World Series, he hit .286 (4-14). His career fielding percentage was .986 at all three outfield positions.
Roettger attended the University of Illinois, graduating in 1924. While at Illinois, he played basketball and baseball. In 1931 while playing for the Cardinals, he got the first hit (off Lefty Grove) and scored the first run in the 1931 World Series.
He became the head coach for baseball at the University of Illinois from 1935 to 1951 and an assistant coach for basketball from 1936 to 1949.
Roettger committed suicide in Champaign, Illinois.
Roettger had two brothers who were involved in Major League Baseball. Hal Roettger served as an assistant to baseball executive Branch Rickey for nearly 20 years until he died unexpectedly in the swimming pool of a Florida motel in 1955. Oscar Roettger was a major league pitcher and first baseman who later coached minor league baseball.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors), or Retrosheet
- Wally Roettger at Find a Grave
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