1958 George Sisler VINTAGE Original Photo Hall of Fame Rare measuring approximately 8 X 10 inches. George Sisler was highly thought of as both a person and a ballplayer during his day. A five-tool player before the term came into vogue, Sisler finished his career as one of the game's greatest hitters. After graduating with a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Michigan in 1915, a rarity for ball-players at the time, Sisler moved right onto the roster of the St.
Starting his career as a pitcher, he eventually became a first baseman in order to get his powerful left-handed bat in the everyday lineup. Peerless defensively at first, Sisler also excelled with his 42-ounce bat in hand. In a big league career that lasted 15 seasons, "Gorgeous George" batted over. 300 13 times, including league-leading averages of. His 257 hits during the 1920 campaign remained a modern major league record until Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki broke it in 2004.A skilled base runner as well, he led the league in stolen bases four times. Baseball great Ty Cobb, an American League rival for many years, once called Sisler "the nearest thing to a perfect ballplayer" he had ever seen. Sisler claimed that the fact he was once a pitcher helped make him a better hitter. "I used to stand on the mound myself, study the batter and wonder how I could fool him, " he said. At the height of his success as a baseball player, though, he missed the entire 1923 season due to a sinus infection that produced double vision. He would come back to play another seven seasons, hitting. 320 during that span, but even he would acknowledge he was never quite the same hitter. Ending his career with 2,812 hits and a. 340 batting aver-age, Sisler was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. But because he often played on second-division teams and never had the national stage of a World Series, he was reserved and much less flamboyant that fellow stars of the time like Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb, and as a first baseman was overshadowed by the enormity of Lou Gehrig. George Harold Sisler (March 24, 1893 - March 26, 1973), nicknamed "Gentleman George" and "Gorgeous George", was an American professional baseball player for 15 seasons, primarily as first baseman with the St. From 1920 until 2004, Sisler held the Major League Baseball (MLB) record for most hits in a single season; it was broken by Ichiro Suzuki. Sisler's 1922 season - during which he batted. 420, hit safely in a then-record 41 consecutive games, led the American League in hits (246), stolen bases (51), triples (18), and was probably the best fielding first baseman in the game - is considered by many historians to be among the best individual all-around single-season performances in baseball history.
 After Sisler retired as a player, he worked as a major league scout and aide. He was on a team of scouts appointed by Branch Rickey to find black players for the Brooklyn Dodgers; the team's work resulted in the signing of Jackie Robinson. Sisler was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. In 1999 editors at The Sporting News named him 33rd on their list of Baseball's 100 Greatest Players. Contents 1 Early life 2 Major league career 3 Later life and legacy 4 See also 5 Notes 6 References 7 External links Early life Sisler was born in the unincorporated hamlet of Manchester (now part of the city of New Franklin, a suburb of Akron, Ohio). His paternal ancestors were immigrants from Northern Germany in the middle of 19th century. When he was 14, Sisler moved to Akron to live with his older brother so that he could attend an accredited high school. When Sisler was a high school senior, his brother died of tuberculosis but Sisler was able to move in with a local family and finish school.  He played college baseball for the University of Michigan.
As a freshman, Sisler struck out 20 batters in seven innings during a 1912 game.  He lettered in baseball from 1913 to 1915.  At Michigan he played for coach Branch Rickey and he earned a degree in mechanical engineering. After his graduation from Michigan, Sisler sought legal advice from Rickey about the status of his contract with Pittsburgh. The three-time Vanity Fair All-American had become highly sought-after by major league scouts. Rickey talked to Pittsburgh owner Barney Dreyfuss about releasing Sisler from the contract he had signed as a minor, but Dreyfuss maintained his claim to Sisler. Rickey wrote to the National Commission, baseball's governing body, who ruled that the contract was illegal. Rickey, now managing the St.
 Major league career Sisler entered the major leagues as a pitcher for the Browns in 1915. He posted a career pitching record of 5-6 with a 2.35 earned run average in 24 career mound appearances.  He defeated Walter Johnson twice in complete-game victories. In 1916, he moved to first base and finished the season with a batting average above. 300 for the first of seven consecutive seasons.
He also had 34 stolen bases that season; he stole at least 28 bases in every season through 1922.  1916 D350 George Sisler In 1917, Sisler hit. 353, registered 190 hits and stole 37 bases.
The next year he hit. 341 and stole a league-leading 45 bases.
 He then enlisted in the army, joining several major league players in a Chemical Warfare Service unit commanded by Rickey. Sisler was preparing to go overseas when World War I ended that November.  George Sisler drawn by Robert Ripley in 1922 In 1920, Sisler played every inning of each game.  He stole 42 bases (second in the American League), collected a major league-leading 257 hits for an average of.407 and ended the season by hitting.  His batting average was the highest ever for a 600+ at-bat performance. In breaking Ty Cobb's 1911 record for hits in a single season, Sisler established a mark which stood until Ichiro Suzuki broke the record with 262 hits in 2004. Suzuki, however, collected his hits over 161 games during the modern 162-game season as opposed to 154 in Sisler's era. Sisler finished second in the AL in doubles and triples, as well as second to Babe Ruth in RBIs and home runs.
Jim Barrero of the Los Angeles Times asserts that Sisler's record was largely overshadowed by Ruth's 54 home runs that season. "Of course, Ruth's obliteration of the home run record drew all the attention from fans and newspapermen, while Sisler's mark was pushed to the side and perhaps left unappreciated during what was a golden age of pure hitters", Barrero wrote.  As his popularity increased, Sisler drew comparisons to Cobb, Ruth and Tris Speaker. Sisler, however, was much more reserved than those three stars.
A writer named Floyd Bell described Sisler as modest, almost to a point of bashfulness, as far from egotism as a blushing debutante... Shift the conversation to Sisler himself and he becomes a clam.
 In 1922, Sisler hit safely in 41 consecutive games - an American League record that stood until Joe DiMaggio broke it in 1941. 420 batting average is the third-highest of the 20th century, surpassed only by Rogers Hornsby's. 424 in 1924 and Nap Lajoie's. He was chosen as the AL's Most Valuable Player that year,  the first year an official league award was given, as the Browns finished second to the New York Yankees. Sisler stole over 25 bases in every year from 1916 through 1922, peaking with 51 the last year and leading the league three times; he also scored an AL-best 134 runs, and hit 18 triples for the third year in a row.
A severe attack of sinusitis caused him double vision in 1923, forcing him to miss the entire season. He defied some predictions by returning in 1924 with a batting average over. Sisler later said, I planned to get back in uniform for 1924. I just had to meet a ball with a good swing again, and then run.
The doctors all said I'd never play again, but when you're fighting for something that actually keeps you alive - well, the human will is all you need.  Sisler never regained his previous level of play, though he continued to hit over.300 in six of his last seven seasons and led the AL in stolen bases for a fourth time in 1927. 309 in his three years in Boston, he ended his major league career with the Braves in 1930, then played in the minor leagues.
340 lifetime batting average over his 16 years in the majors. Sisler stole 375 bases during his career. He became one of the early entrants elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame when he was selected in 1939.  Later life and legacy After his playing career, Sisler reunited with Rickey as a special assignment scout and front-office aide with the St.
Louis Cardinals, Brooklyn Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates. Sisler and Rickey worked with future Hall of Famer Duke Snider to teach the young Dodgers hitter to accurately judge the strike zone.  Sisler was part of a scouting corps that Rickey assigned to look for black players, though the scouts thought they were looking for players to fill an all-black baseball team separate from MLB.Sisler evaluated Jackie Robinson as a potential star second baseman, but he was concerned about whether Robinson had enough arm strength to play shortstop.  With the Pirates in 1961, Sisler had Roberto Clemente switch to a heavier bat. Clemente won the league batting title that season.  Sisler's sons Dick and Dave were also major league players in the 1950s. Sisler was a Dodgers scout in 1950 when his son Dick hit a game-winning home run against Brooklyn to clinch the pennant for the Phillies and eliminate the second-place Dodgers.
When asked after the pennant winning game how he felt when his son beat his current team, the Dodgers, George replied, I felt awful and terrific at the same time.  A passage in The Old Man and the Sea refers to Dick Sisler's long home run drives.  Another son, George Jr. Served as a minor league executive and as the president of the International League. Sisler also spent some time as commissioner of the National Baseball Congress.
 He died in Richmond Heights, Missouri, in 1973, while still employed as a scout for the Pirates. Louis' Busch Stadium, there is a statue honoring Sisler. He is also honored with a star on the St.  In October 2004, Ichiro Suzuki broke Sisler's 84 years old hit record, collecting his 258th hit off of Texas Rangers pitcher Ryan Drese.Sisler's daughter Frances Sisler Drochelman and other of his family members were in attendance when the record was broken. Louis for the 2009 All-Star game, Ichiro Suzuki visited Sisler's grave site. George Harold Sisler (March 24, 1893 - March 26, 1973), nicknamed "Gorgeous George", was an American professional baseball first baseman and player-manager. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the St. Louis Browns, Washington Senators and Boston Braves. He managed the Browns from 1924 through 1926. Sisler played college baseball for the University of Michigan and was signed by the St. Louis Browns as a free agent in 1915. He won the American League batting title in 1920 and 1922. In 1920 he set the major league record for hits with 257 which stood for 84 years and had a batting average of.
407 (the seventh highest after 1900). In 1922 he won the AL Most Valuable Player Award, he finished with a batting average of. 420 which is the third highest batting average ever recorded after 1900. An attack of sinusitis in 1923 caused Sisler's play to decline, but he continued to play in the majors until 1930. After Sisler retired as a player, he worked as a major league scout and aide.A two time batting champion, Sisler led the league in hits twice, triples twice, and stolen bases four times. He collected 200 or more hits six times in his career, and had a batting average of over. 300 a total of 13 times throughout his career.
His career batting average of. 340 is the 16th highest of all time.Sisler was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. Sisler was born in the unincorporated hamlet of Manchester (now part of the city of New Franklin, a suburb of Akron, Ohio). His paternal ancestors were immigrants from Northern Germany in the middle of the 19th century. Manchester did not have a high school and when it was time to start, Sisler moved to Akron to live with his older brother so that he could attend school there.  Sisler was an athletic student and played baseball, basketball and football in high school, but was more focused on baseball.
 In 1910, when Sisler was a high school senior, his brother Efbert died of tuberculosis,  but Sisler was able to move in with a local family and finish school. As a freshman pitcher, Sisler struck out 20 batters in seven innings during a 1912 game.  He lettered in baseball from 1913 to 1915.  At Michigan he played for coach Branch Rickey while earning a degree in mechanical engineering.
 After he graduated from Michigan, Sisler sought legal advice from Rickey about the status of his contract with Pittsburgh. On June 28, 1915 Sisler made his major league debut, he entered in relief against the Chicago White Sox,  he pitched three scoreless innings and struck out two batters,  at the plate he collected his first major league hit.  A few days later, on July 3 he pitched a complete game victory for his first major league start, in the start he struck out nine batters but also walked nine.  It was after this start that Rickey decided to transition Sisler to first base.
 On August 29, Sisler defeated Walter Johnson in a complete game 2-1 victory.  In 1916 Sisler transitioned fully to first base and played the position for 141 games. 305 batting average led the team, as did his hits (177), his 24 errors that year led the American League for first basemen.
On August 11, 1917, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Athletics, Sisler recorded three hits in four at bats. Over the next 26 games he would record at least one hit and bat.
422 throughout his 26 game hit streak.  Sisler led the team in most offensive categories and his. 353 batting average was second in the American League, behind Ty Cobb.  The Selective Service Act of 1917 was passed in May of 1917, and with it, the draft was enacted in the offseason.
Sisler's teammates Urban Shocker and Ken Williams were assigned Class 1 in the draft, placing them at the top of the draft eligibility list. Williams would only play two games in the 1918 season before being drafted.Sisler was listed as Class 4 much further down on the list. He then enlisted in the army, joining several major league players in a Chemical Warfare Service unit commanded by Rickey. In 1918 he only played in 114 games but was able to steal 45 bases, which led the league, and placed third in the American league with a.  Sisler was preparing to go overseas when World War I ended that November. 1921 baseball card of Sisler.
In 1920, Sisler played every inning of each game.  He stole 42 bases (second in the American League), collected a major league-leading 257 hits for an average of.  His batting average was the highest ever for a 600+ at-bat performance.Suzuki with 704 at bats to Sisler's 631.  As his popularity increased, Sisler drew comparisons to Cobb, Ruth and Tris Speaker. Writer Floyd Bell described Sisler as modest, almost to a point of bashfulness, as far from egotism as a blushing debutante...
In 1922, Sisler hit safely in 41 consecutive games, an American League record that stood until Joe DiMaggio broke it in 1941. 420 batting average is the third-highest of the 20th century, surpassed only by Nap Lajoie's.426 in 1901 and Rogers Hornsby's. Sisler also led the AL in hits (246), runs (134), stolen bases (51), and triples (18). He was chosen as the AL's Most Valuable Player that year,  the first year an official league award was given, as the Browns finished second to the New York Yankees. Sisler's 1922 season is considered by many historians to be among the best individual all-around single-season performances in baseball history.  Sisler never regained his previous level of play, though he continued to hit over. 340 lifetime batting average over his 16 years in the majors and stole 375 bases during his career.
He had 200+ hits in six seasons. 300 thirteen times, including two seasons in which he hit over. 400; 1926 was the only full season in which Sisler's average was less than. He stole over 25 bases in every year from 1916 through 1922, peaking with 51 the last year and leading the league three times. Sisler holds team records for the St.
Louis Browns, and now the Orioles for career batting average, triples, and stolen bases, as well as batting average, on-base percentage, hits, on-base plus slugging, and total bases in a season. In 1939, Sisler became one of the first entrants elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.  He also posted a career pitching record of 5-6 with a 2.35 earned run average in 24 career appearances.
 He defeated Walter Johnson twice in complete-game victories. After his playing career, Sisler reunited with Rickey as a special assignment scout and front-office aide with the St.  Sisler was part of a scouting corps that Rickey assigned to look for black players, though the scouts thought they were looking for players to fill an all-black baseball team separate from MLB.  With the Pirates in 1961, Sisler had Roberto Clemente switch to a heavier bat.
Sisler's sons Dick and Dave were also major league players in the 1950s.  A passage in The Old Man and the Sea refers to Dick Sisler's long home run drives.  Another son, George Jr. He died in Richmond Heights, Missouri, in 1973, while still employed as a scout for the Pirates. In 1999 editors at The Sporting News ranked Sisler 33rd on their list of "Baseball's 100 Greatest Players".
 In October 2004, Ichiro Suzuki broke Sisler's 84 year old hit record, collecting his 258th hit off of Texas Rangers pitcher Ryan Drese. Sisler's daughter Frances (Sisler) Drochelman and other members of his family were in attendance when the record was broken.
 Tarpon Springs, Florida honored George by naming the former spring training home of the St. The fields were later taken over by the local Little League teams, and are still in use. Arguably the first great first baseman of the twentieth century, George Sisler was the greatest player in St. An excellent baserunner and superb fielder who was once tried out at second and third base even though he threw left-handed, Sisler's primary asset was his left-handed swing, which he used to notch a career.
From 1916 to 1925, Sisler batted over. 300 nine consecutive times, including two seasons in which he batted better than. 400, making him one of only two players in American League history (the other was Ty Cobb) to post multiple.
Though Sisler's greatest feats occurred in the years immediately following the end of the Deadball Era, by 1919 he had already established himself as one of the game's top young stars, placing in the top three in batting average every year from 1917 to 1919, and leading the league with 45 stolen bases in 1918. That year one writer declared that Sisler possessed dazzling ability of the Cobbesque type. He is just as fast, showy, and sensational, very nearly if not quite as good as a natural hitter, as fast in speed of foot, an even better fielder, and gifted with a versatility Cobb himself might envy. George Harold Sisler was born on March 24, 1893, the youngest of three children of Mary Whipple and Cassius Clay Sisler in Manchester, Ohio, 45 miles south of Cleveland.
Like many rural communities of the day, baseball was a passion that united the town. Sisler's extended family owned and populated much of the surrounding countryside, and young George quickly gained a reputation as a sterling ballplayer without sacrificing the educational values stressed by his parents, both graduates of nearby Hiram College. While Sisler excelled on the athletic fields and in the classroom, his life turned as he entered his teenage years. Manchester had no high school, and at age 14 he moved to Akron, Ohio, to live with his brother Bert and advance his education. At Akron High, Sisler played football as a slender end, basketball as a smooth forward, and baseball as a southpaw pitcher noted for his speed and curve ball.Upon graduating from high school, Sisler followed the wishes of his parents and curbed plans to enter the professional ranks in order to pursue a college education. Rejecting scholarship offers from Penn and Western Reserve, Sisler decided to follow his high school catcher Russ Baer to Michigan.
Sisler departed Akron with his sights set on law school, but upon his arrival in Ann Arbor enrolled in the engineering program due to his affinity for math. With no firm plans to play collegiate baseball, Sisler didn't act on the notion until several months after he arrived on campus. By that time, the Wolverines had filled their vacant coaching position with the man who would significantly impact Sisler's life, Michigan law school grad Branch Rickey. In the late winter of 1912, the confident freshman reported for baseball tryouts at Waterman Gym.Although the session was only for upperclassmen, Rickey was persuaded by a team member to give the green freshman a chance, and by the end of the session Sisler was regarded as a top performer. Freshmen were not eligible for varsity competition, but by leading the first-year engineering students to the school baseball title over a strong group of junior law students, Sisler made his mark on campus. Sisler's career continued to gather momentum as he pitched in Akron's industrial league that summer. He and his older brother Cassius, a catcher, comprised the core of the Babcock and Wilcox Boilerworks company team, and the local press chronicled his strikeout total and mound success. On one memorable Sunday afternoon, with the immortal Cy Young perched behind the plate as umpire, Sisler twirled a no-hitter against the Amherst Grays. A full-fledged member of the Wolverine varsity nine during his sophomore year, Sisler's fast start on the mound was interrupted by arm trouble, but his batting averaged remained around.
500 most of the campaign. Rickey left the squad to join the Browns front office after the season, but Michigan finished 22-4-1, and Sisler's. 445 batting average and pitching success earned him All-America honors.
Still plagued by a sore arm, Sisler starred at the plate for Akron's B&W team again in the summer of 1913 before turning to famed sports medical professional John "Bonesetter" Reese for treatment. Despite a sore arm, the following season Sisler split time between the mound and the outfield, and finished the year with a. Once again, he was named to the All-America team.
At some point during the summer of 1910, before his senior year in high school, Sisler had signed a contract to play for the Akron Champs of the Ohio & Pennsylvania League. The story leaked to the press, and Sisler's contract became public knowledge.Confronted with the problem, Rickey's keen mind soon found the loophole. Because Sisler was 17 when he signed, the contract was void without his father's signature, and Rickey recognized that immediately. Rickey took the case to the National Commission, and after a protracted battle, Cincinnati owner Garry Herrmann cast the deciding vote on January 9, 1915, granting Sisler free agency upon entering the professional ranks. Sisler then turned his eyes toward professional baseball, and toward his former mentor, the man he called "Coach" for the rest of his life, Branch Rickey. After entertaining an offer from Pittsburgh, Sisler signed with the St. Dreyfuss filed a complaint with the National Commission.
At 22 years old, Sisler joined the Browns as a left-handed twirler in 1915. The rookie pitched 15 games that summer for the Browns, starting eight and throwing six complete games. In 70 innings he compiled a 2.83 ERA. While Sisler experienced mound success that summer, it took Rickey only a few days to start working him at first base and the outfield.His hitting came in spurts, but he ended the season with a solid. 285 batting average, three homers and 29 RBI. The highlight of his rookie season was a 2-1 win over Walter Johnson on August 29 in which he limited the Senators to six hits and struck out three, winning the game thanks to Del Pratt's successful execution of the hidden ball trick. For the remainder of his life, Sisler spoke of that game as his greatest thrill in baseball. "Sisler can be counted a baseball freak, " the Washington Post reported the next day.
[Rickey] plays him in the outfield and he makes sensational catches... He plays him on first base and actually he looks like Hal Chase when Hal was king of the first sackers, and then on the hill he goes out and beats Johnson. Louis' new controlling partner Phil Ball replaced Rickey with Fielder Jones during the 1916 season, but despite the changes Sisler consolidated his hitting gains and took over as the club's first baseman.
305, the first of nine straight seasons over. 300, and rapped out 11 triples and four homers, as the Browns finished in fifth place with their first winning record in eight years. On June 10, 1916, the National Commission finally issued its ruling on Dreyfuss's grievance, turning it down and declaring Sisler's contract with St. As war loomed on the national horizon in 1917 the newlywed Sisler, who had married his college sweetheart Kathleen Holznagle the previous fall, became a star.Limited to three mound appearances in 1916, none in 1917, and just two in 1918, Sisler's grace around first base drew him accolades as one of the league's top defensive players. He was also an offensive star, finishing second in the league in hits, fourth in doubles and fifth in stolen bases in 1917, and third in hits in 1918 with a league-leading 45 steals. The national press took to calling him the next Cobb. From 1919 to 1922, Sisler largely fulfilled that promise, as he batted. 407 to win his first batting title in 1920, collecting 257 hits, a major league record that would last 84 years.
He captured his second batting crown in 1922 with a. 420 mark, which still stands as the third-best season average in modern baseball history. After the 1922 season, Sisler was given the inaugural American League Trophy as the league's MVP, voted on by a league-appointed panel of sportswriters. Sisler finished second in the league in stolen bases in 1919 and 1920, and led the league in 1921 and 1922.Though Sisler often ranked among the league leaders in doubles, triples, and home runs, he was primarily a place hitter, adept at finding the gaps in opposing defenses. Like Cobb, Sisler stood erect at the plate, and relied on his superior hand-eye reflexes to react to a pitch's location and lash out base hits. "Except when I cut loose at the ball, I always try to place my hits, " he once explained. At the plate you must stand in such a way that you can hit to either right or left field with equal ease. Unlike Cobb, who shifted his feet while hitting, Sisler was an advocate of the flat-footed swing. At the peak of his powers following his historic 1922 performance, Sisler missed the entire 1923 season with a severe sinus infection that impaired his optic nerve, plaguing him with chronic headaches and double vision. Though he was able to return to the field in 1924, when he also agreed to serve as manager of the Browns, Sisler was never again the same player. 305 in 1924--below the league average--improved to. 345 the following year, but then batted just. 290 in 1926 with a. Under his management, the Browns finished fourth in 1924 and third a year later. After falling to seventh place in 1926, Sisler was removed as manager, and later admitted that he "wasn't ready" for the post. In 1927, his last season with the Browns, he hit. 327 and knocked out 201 hits. He finished his major league career in strong fashion, hitting. After spending the 1931 campaign with Rochester of the International League and 1932 with Shreveport-Tyler of the Texas League, Sisler retired from baseball. He launched several private ventures, including a sporting goods company, and founded the American Softball Association.
Sisler engineered the first lighted softball park, and that sport boomed throughout the 1930s. In 1939, Sisler was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the writers' panel, and was among the first four classes of inductees enshrined that summer. In 1942, Branch Rickey hired the 49-year-old Sisler to scout for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Sisler served in this capacity throughout the decade, but his greatest contribution may have come in preparing Jackie Robinson to break baseball's color barrier. He scouted Robinson prior to his signing with the Dodgers, and helped the future Hall of Famer make the transition to first base during his first year in the majors.
Sisler moved to Brooklyn to assume an expanded role with the Dodgers in 1947, and in addition to scouting and player development helped tutor several of the players that would serve as the foundation of the outstanding Dodgers teams of the 1950s. When Rickey moved to the Pirates before the 1951 season, Sisler again went with him. There he helped bring Bill Mazeroski into the fold, and also worked with Roberto Clemente, teaching him to keep his head still during his swing. Sisler remained with the Pirates after Rickey left, but after serious abdominal surgery in 1957 he and Kathleen moved back to St. Despite the move, Sisler remained with the Pirates as a roving hitting coach, and instructed such players as Willie Stargell, Gene Alley, and Donn Clendenon.
Sisler passed away on March 26, 1973, in Richmond Heights, Missouri. Kathleen survived him by 17 years. The couple had three sons, one of whom, Dick Sisler, spent eight years in the major leagues and later managed the Cincinnati Reds. Another son, Dave Sisler, had a seven-year career as a big league pitcher.
George Sisler is buried at the Old Meeting House Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Frontenac, Missouri. George Harold Sisler (March 24, 1893 - March 26, 1973), nicknamed "Gorgeous George, " was an American star left-handed first basemen in Major League Baseball (MLB). Ty Cobb called him the nearest thing to a perfect ballplayer. He is widely regarded as having been one of the greatest players in St.
Louis Browns history and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. Although his career ended in 1930, from 1920 until 2004, Sisler held the MLB record for most hits in a single season. He is also one of only three men (along with Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby) since 1900 to have a batting average over. In the 1920s, a team's typical baseball season was 152 games, without including World Series games.
An unheralded superstar of the 1920s, he was a versatile player: Initially a pitcher, he became a dazzling hitter. 340 lifetime average, batting over. 400 twice who later became an excellent first baseman and he was also a threat as a base stealer (he lead the league four times). He was one of the first 10 to to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame (1939). Afterward, he moved into management, and scouted (and gave batting training to) Jackie Robinson.
Sisler was born in the unincorporated hamlet of Manchester, Ohio, which is about 12 miles south of Akron, in Summit County, to Cassius Sisler and Mary Whipple. They were both graduates of Hiram College and he had an uncle who was the mayor of Akron.
He played college ball for coach Branch Rickey at the University of Michigan, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering. By 1915, as a senior, he was the outstanding college player in the country. Sisler came into the major leagues as a pitcher for the St.
The following year he switched to first base; like Babe Ruth, he was too good a hitter to be limited to hitting once every four days. He posted a record of 5-6 with a 2.35 earned run average in 24 career mound appearances, twice defeating Walter Johnson in complete game victories.
In 1918 Sisler joined the Chemical Corps known at that time as the Chemical Warfare Service (CWS) during World War I. He was commissioned a second lieutenant and assigned to Camp Humphries, Virginia.
Also with CWS were Branch Rickey, Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, and Perry Haughton (president of the Boston Bravces) were sent to France. Just as Sisler was preparing to deploy overseas, the armistice was signed on November 11. Sisler was subsequently discharged from the CWS. In 1920, Sisler had a dream year. He not only played every inning of every game that season, but stole 42 bases (second in the American League), collected 257 hits for an average of.
407, and ended the season by hitting. In breaking Cobb's 1911 record for hits in a single season, Sisler established a mark that wasn't broken until 2004. In addition, Sisler finished second in the American League (AL) that year in doubles and triples, as well as second to Babe Ruth in RBIs and homers. Sisler did even better in 1922, hitting safely in 41 consecutive games-an American League record that stood until Joe DiMaggio broke it in 1941.
420 batting average is the third-highest of the twentieth century, surpassed only by Rogers Hornsby's. 424 in 1924, and Nap Lajoie's. He was chosen as the AL's Most Valuable Player that year, the first year an official league award was given. One of the rare first basemen who were also a threat on the basepaths, Sisler stole over 25 bases in every year from 1916 to 1922, peaking with 51 the last year and leading the league three times; he also scored an AL-best 134 runs, and hit 18 triples for the third year in a row.In 1923, a severe attack of sinusitis caused him to see double, forcing him to miss the entire season. The inflamed sinuses put pressure on his eyes, and surgery was required. The surgery was performed in April, but Sisler had to wear dark glasses through the summer, and afterwards he always squinted to keep the light affecting his eyes at a minimum.
Frustrated at the slow pace of recovery, Sisler began to blame his doctors for his condition, and he embraced Christian Science. In 1924, the veteran Sisler was back, having inked a deal to play and manage the team. The managerial responsibility and the lingering affects of sinusitis limited George to a. 305 average in 151 games.The club finished with an identical record as it had posted the previous season. He managed the team for two more years, guiding the Browns to a third place finish in 1925, and 92 losses in 1926, before he resigned. In 1925, Sisler regained some of his batting luster, hitting. 345 with 224 hits, but in'26, he hit a disappointing.
Sisler came into the 1927 season free of managerial responsibility. After a strong start, he tapered off, but still managed 201 hits, a. 327 average, 97 runs batted in and led the AL in stolen bases for a fourth time. Even though he was 34 years old and his legs were beaten from years of punishment, Sisler's 7 stolen bases led the league.
He played just over a month with Washington, where he hit. In his first look at National League pitching, Sisler hit a robust. 340 with 167 hits in 118 games. That earned him two more seasons in the Hub City, where he hit.  In 1928, the St.N 1931, nearing his 38th birthday and receiving no offers from big league clubs, Sisler signed with Rochester of the International League. In 159 games for Rochester, Sisler batted. The following year, he took an assignment as manager of Shreveport/Tyler of the Texas League, finding time to play in 70 games and hit. 287 with 17 steals at the age of 39. Sisler then retired as a manager and player. 340 lifetime batting mark in the big leagues, led the league in assists six times as a first baseman, and in putouts several times as well. He collected 2,812 hits, 425 doubles, 164 triples, 102 homers, 1,175 RBI, and 375 stolen bases. He had struck out only 327 times in his 15-year career. His abbreviated pitching mark stood at 5-6 with a 2.35 ERA in 111 innings.
George Sisler died in Richmond Heights, Missouri, at age 80. Sisler's legacy was confirmed in 1999, when two significant polls were conducted. That year, Sisler received the 8th most votes of any First Baseman in the poll for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team, a poll voted on by fans.
Also in 1999, editors at the The Sporting News named Sisler the 33rd best player on their list of Baseball's 100 Greatest Players. Sisler's sons, Dick and Dave, were also major league players in the 1950s; another son, George Jr.Was played in the minor leagues and later was the International League president. It was 84 years before Ichiro Suzuki broke Sisler's record for hits in a season by getting 262 hits over the modern 162 game schedule. The greatest player in St. Louis Browns history, "Gentleman" George Sisler was arguably baseball's most complete first baseman. Intelligent and athletic, he won two batting titles, led the league in steals four times and was one of the finest fielders ever.
407 and his 257 hits set a record that stood until 2004. League MVP in 1922, "The Sizzler" hit. 420 and heroically led the mediocre Browns to within a game of the pennant. He finished his career with a.340 average and lived the rest of his life in St. Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1939, George Sisler was described by Ty Cobb as the nearest thing to a perfect ballplayer.