Frankie Baumholtz

Baumholtz’s career had a promising start when he finished fifth in the inaugural 1947 Rookie of the Year voting. He hit .283 with 32 doubles and a career-high 96 runs scored as the Reds’ everyday right fielder and had 18 assists. His average rose to .296 in 1948, but his production fell off in all other categories. He was traded to the Cubs with Hank Sauer for Harry Walker and Peanuts Lowery in 1949 while batting .235. Baumholtz hit just .226 for Chicago and was out of the league the next year.

He made it back as the Cubs’ centerfielder in 1951, and although he never equaled the production of his rookie season, he hit for a good average. His highest-average year, 1952, was interrupted by a broken hand; he finished at .325 while mostly playing right field. Back in centerfield in 1953, he had the arduous responsibility of covering most of the outfield between sluggardly sluggers Sauer and Ralph Kiner. Years later, Kiner would remember that all the centerfielder ever heard was, “you take it!”

In 1954 Baumholtz played part-time and began pinch-hitting, although with little success (2-for-17). He grew into the role in 1954, leading the league in pinch hits (15-for-37). Sold to the Phillies after the season, he again led in pinch hits (14-for-52) in 1956, and played only 15 games in the outfield. He was out of the majors after only two at-bats in 1957.

Before breaking into the majors, Baumholtz played professional basketball for two seasons in the NBL and the BAA.