Teams: St. Louis Cardinals, 1938-1942, 1946-1953; New York Yankees, 1954-1955, 1956-1959; Kansas City Athletics, 1955-1956; Milwaukee Braves, 1959
While playing for the Columbus, Georgia, Redbirds of the South Atlantic League in 1936, Enos Slaughter was walking in from the outfield, brooding about his hitting, when manager Eddie Dyer reprimanded Enos for not hustling in. At that moment Slaughter vowed never to walk on a ballfield again. And he didn't. For the next 23 years Slaughter was the epitome of hustle, a quality that permeated all facets of his game.
Enos "Country" Slaughter collected
2,383 hits in 19 years.
Enos Bradsher Slaughter (1916-2002) was born in Roxboro, North Carolina. He was discovered playing semipro ball and was signed in 1935. Enos proved he was ready for the big leagues in 1937, when he led the American Association with a .382 batting average, 147 runs, and 245 hits.Slaughter won the right field job with the Cards in 1938, and fans around the circuit soon discovered he meant business. He batted .320 in 1939, scoring 95 runs. He hit .306 in 1940 with 96 runs, and batted .311 in 1941.
A .300 lifetime hitter, "Country" topped the .300 mark 10 times. He collected 2,383 hits in 19 years. Had he not missed three years due to World War II, he would have been within striking distance of 3,000. Slaughter led the senior circuit in hits in 1942 (188), in RBI in 1946 (130), in doubles in 1939 (52), and in triples twice, in 1942 and '49. Enos also worked hard on his defense, overcoming a reputation for wildness by developing a strong and accurate throwing arm.
A member of two world-champion Cardinals teams, Slaughter led the 1942 Cards to the pennant with a .318 average, 13 home runs, and 98 RBI, although he hit only .263 in the World Series. He redeemed himself in the '46 fall classic against the Boston Red Sox, batting .320 and scoring five runs -- the last on what has come to be known as the "Mad Dash."
In Game 7, with the score tied 3-3 in the eighth, Enos hit a leadoff single. Two outs later, he broke for second base while Harry Walker singled over shortstop Johnny Pesky. Running all the way, Slaughter rounded third as Pesky hesitated after the relay throw. Pesky may have had a play, but Slaughter hustled all the way to the plate, easily sliding in for the winning run.
After 13 years with the Cardinals, Slaughter was traded to the New York Yankees for the 1954 season, where he played as a part-timer and pinch hitter. A brief stint with Kansas City ended in midseason 1956, when he returned to the Yankees. In all, Enos played on three pennant-winning teams with New York (1956, '57, '58). In 1955, he led the AL with 16 pinch hits. Slaughter was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1985.
Here are Enos Slaughter's major league totals:
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