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Article:Whitey Lockman: An Unsung Hero

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On July 4, 1945, the Giants announced that they had acquired nineteen year old Carroll Whitey Lockman to strengthen their outfield. Lockman made his major league debut the next day against the Cardinals in front of 6,879 fans, and it was a performance to remember.

A Home Run in His First Plate Appearance

In the first inning, Whitey Lockman kicked a low line drive hit by Augie Bergamo that resulted in a double, but Whitey Lockman more than made amends. In the Giants' first, Lockman hit a two run home run, in the fourth he hit a two run double, and in the sixth, he robbed Cardinals' shortstop Marty Marion of extra bases with a spectacular catch in deep center field. Whitey fired to first base to double up Emil Verban. The only problem was that the Cardinals scored five runs in the seventh on their way to a 7-5 victory.

The Army Needed Whitey Lockman

Whitey Lockman knew that his stint with the Giants was going to be brief because he was scheduled for induction into the army within a week. There were the usual delays, and Lockman managed to appear in 32 games in 1945, hitting .341, with a .410 on base average and a .481 slugging average. He missed the entire 1946 season, but joined the Giants in the spring of 1947 when, in an exhibition game against the Indians in Alabama, Whitey broke his leg sliding into second base attempting to break up a double play.

The Injury Was More Serious Than Believed

The injury was more serious than believed. Whitey Lockman missed the entire 1947 season. Nineteen forty-eight was Whitey's first season. The twenty one-year-old rookie has a fine season, hitting .286 with 18 home runs and 59 RBIs. Whitey has many important at bats in 1949 and 1950, but his most significant plate appearances occurred on October 3, 1951 in the bottom of the ninth inning in a playoff game against Brooklyn.

Whitey Lockman KOs Don Newcombe

Don Newcombe was trying to protect a 4-1 lead when Alvin Dark led off the Giants' ninth inning with ground ball single to right field off first baseman Gil Hodges' glove. Don Mueller followed with another single to right which, in retrospect, some have said would not have occurred if Hodges hadn't been holding Dark on first with a three run lead. Monte Irvin fouled out to Hodges behind first base, bringing up Whitey Lockman.

Newcombe went into the stretch, checked the runners at first and third, and delivered the pitch. Lockman hit an opposite field double down the left field line, scoring Dark with the Giants' second and sending Mueller to third, but as Mueller slid into third, he broke his ankle. Clint Hartung ran for him, Ralph Branca relieved Newcombe, and Bobby Thomson hit Branca's second delivery into the left field stands to win the pennant.

A Solid Performer

Whitey Lockman played for the Giants most of his career, but he also played briefly the latter part of his career for the Cardinals, Orioles, and Reds. Whitey managed the Cubs from 1972-1974. He was a solid performer who appeared in the 1951 and 1954 World Series with the Giants. He was the type of player who typified an "unsung" hero.

References:

By JOHN DREBINGER. (1945, July 5). 36 CARD HITS ROUT GIANTS, 8-4 AND 19-2 :THE HOT CORNER WAS REALLY WARM . New York Times (1857-Current File),9. Retrieved March 22, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2005) database. (Document ID: 88254536).

By JOHN DREBINGER. (1945, July 6). CARDS' 5-RUN 7TH DOWNS GIANTS, 7-5. LOCKMAN CLOUTS HOMER 19-Year-Old Outfielder From Jersey City Also Doubles and Drives in 4 Runs Redbirds Take Series Double Finishes Dockins Youngster Makes Amends. New York Times (1857-Current file),p. 15. Retrieved March 22, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2005) database. (Document ID: 88254989).

By JAMES P. DAWSONSpecial to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. (1947, April 9). YOUNG OUTFIELDER OUT THREE MONTHS :Lockman Breaks Leg Running Bases in First--Giants Top Indians in Alabama, 4-0. New York Times (1857-Current file),p. 33. Retrieved March 22, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2005) database. (Document ID: 88116852).

By JOHN DREBINGER. (1951, October 4). GIANTS CAPTURE PENNANT, BEATING DODGERS 5-4 IN 9TH ON THOMSON'S 3-RUN HOMER :MEET YANKS TODAY Third Baseman's Clout Sends Giants Into the World Series BROOKLYN'S BRANCA LOSER Yields Homer on Second Pitch After Relieving Newcombe in the Play-Off Final Mobbed at Home Plate A Long Uphill Battle AFTER THE GAME WAS OVER GIANTS ANNEX FLAG ON THOMSON HOMER He Follows the "Book" Wait for Final Outs. New York Times (1857-Current file),1. Retrieved March 22, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2005) database. (Document ID: 306538792).

Whitey Lockman at Baseball-Reference


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