Monday, November 30, 2009

#8 Lloyd Waner

Standing 5'9, and weighing a slight 150 pounds, Lloyd Waner turned his small stature into a Hall of Fame Career that saw him finish with just under 2500 hits and a .316 average.

Waner burst on the baseball scene in 1927, following his brother (and fellow Hall of Famer) Paul, who debuted with the Pittsburgh Pirates one year prior. He batted .355 that rookie season, as the Pirates won the National League Pennant before running into the buzzsaw known as Murderer's Row: The 1927 Yankees.

Waner and his brother were a formidbale duo, but despite over 5600 hits between the two of them, the sweep the Pirates got at the hands of the Yanks was their only World Series appearance.

After 17 season in Pittsburgh, Waner was traded to the Braves in 1941 for Nick Strincevich, and bounced around until 1945 before retiring. He remained on with the Pirates as a acout, and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1967. He also served Oklahoma City as a clerk, and died in 1982 from emphysema at the age of 76.

Much has been written about Paul and Lloyd Waner's nicknames: Big Poison and Little Poison. Even Paul and Lloyd disagreed. Lloyd's story is that a fan in Brooklyn called them "Big Person" and "Little Person," but the Brooklyn accent sounded like "poison" to a sportwriter. Of course, the "big" and "little" connotation is based on age, since I doubt a fan in the outfield seats would notice from 20 yards away that Paul was a half-inch taller and 3 pounds heavier.

The Autograph: Lloyd's autograph is highly common. I bought this card from a dealer, and it did not make a dent in my wallet. And I have a small wallet.

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