Bill DeLancey

Branch Rickey once gave DeLancey a place on his all-time team, even though the lefthanded-hitting catcher played in only 219 ML games. Twenty-one when he joined the Cardinals for a brief trial late in 1932, he returned in 1934 to platoon with Spud Davis for the World Champion “Gas House Gang,” hitting .316 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI. He was particularly adept at handling the Cardinals’ eccentric pitchers. In 1935, he slumped at the plate and appeared tired. At the end of the season he was discovered to be suffering from tuberculosis. He missed four years, then hit .222 in a comeback attempt in 1940.