Charlie Keller

Keller’s black, bushy brows and muscular body inspired his alliterative nickname. The talent-laden Yankees kept the lefthanded slugger in Newark (International League) the season after he was the league batting champion and TSN Minor League Player of the Year for 1937. A place was made for him in 1939, and he hit .334 with the first of six Yankee pennant winners for which he would play. He was a five-time All-Star and reached highs of 33 HR and 122 RBI in 1941. He led the AL in walks with 106 in both 1940 and 1943. Keller’s career was interrupted by maritime service in WWII. He had chronic back problems which eventually relegated him to pinch-hitting, and he led the league in that department (9-for-38) in 1951, his final full season. Keller coached for the Yankees before retiring to rural Maryland to run a horse farm. His brother Hal caught briefly for the Senators and spent over 20 years as a front-office man for the Senators, Rangers, and Mariners. His son, Charlie Jr., led the Eastern League in hitting with a .349 average before being sidelined by the same congenital back problem that had plagued his father.