View Full Version : Hank Bauer Rest In Peace!!!!

02-10-2007, 01:21 AM
We lost a Great Yankee and Man today!!

I have had the pleasure on several occasions to meet and speak with Hank and he was a great person who loved to joke around. It amazed me how a man who was on the 1949 Yankees World Series team still remembered it like it was yesterday!!!

Hank I will definitely miss our talks, Rest in Peace!!!!

Hank Bauer, former Yankee and war hero, dies of cancer at 84
By Randy Covitz

McClatchy Newspapers


KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Hank Bauer was a winner on the ball field and on the battlefield.

He starred for seven World Series Champions with the New York Yankees. He managed the 1966 Baltimore Orioles to a World Series title.

And Bauer's proudest achievement was receiving two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star for heroism while serving in World War II.

Bauer, the hard-hitting right fielder and hard-nosed Marine, died of lung cancer on Friday at age 84 in the Kansas City area, where he had made his home for nearly 60 years.

Funeral arrangements had not been completed as of Friday night.

"Hank Bauer was my all-time favorite Yankee . . . the only Yankee I like," said Royals Hall of Famer George Brett. "The stories he could tell, nobody could tell them like Hank Bauer.

"He'd talk about winning all those World Series, and the characters of the people, the Whitey Fords and Billy Martins. Mickey Mantle. And the way baseball was played in his era."

Bauer, who set a World Series record by hitting safely in 17 consecutive games, was a linchpin on storied Yankees teams that won nine pennants during 1949 to 1958. He was a .277 hitter with 164 home runs and 703 RBIs in a major-league career that did not begin until age 26 because of World War II.

"Hank Bauer is an emblem of a generation that helped shape the landscape of our country," Yankees owner George Steinbrenner said in a statement. "He was a natural leader and a teammate in every sense of the word, and his contributions went well beyond the baseball field."

Bauer also played two seasons with the Kansas City Athletics before turning to managing with the A's in both Kansas City (1961-62 ) and Oakland (1969) and with the Baltimore Orioles (1964-68).

In Baltimore, he was selected American League Manager of the Year in 1964 and 1966, and his `66 Orioles swept the favored Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.

"A lot of people think of Earl Weaver, who is in the Hall of Fame as being at the start of the Orioles' so-called dynasty," said Baltimore Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer, "but Hank was the manager when we won our first World Series.

"He was the ideal manager. He didn't make it very complicated. If you were a high fastball pitcher, he said `You can't pitch high in this league,' so I'd bounce a couple of pitches, and he'd run out to the mound and say, `I didn't mean you.'

"He was a player's manager because he let you play. He had played on great teams and understood what you needed to do to be successful."

Bauer, an American League All-Star during 1952-54 ("until Al Kaline came along," he said in a 1995 interview), was most dangerous in the clutch. Bauer, often batting leadoff, helped the Yankees whip Milwaukee in the 1958 World Series by going 10 for 31 with four homers, eight RBIs and six runs. His record of hitting safely in 17 straight Series games encompassed 1956, 1957 and 1958.

Bauer helped win the 1951 World Series with a bases-loaded triple in a 4-3 victory over the New York Giants in the decisive sixth game. He ended the game by making a diving catch in right field for the last out.

"Maybe I bore down a lot more in the Series," Bauer said in his gravelly voice. "I had my luck. I had my good days and bad ones. I played for the right organization."

The friendships formed by the Yankees of the 1950s continued long after their playing careers, and one of Bauer's closest friends was Mantle, who died on Aug. 13, 1995. Bauer was a pallbearer at Mantle's funeral.

"Hank Bauer was a prototypical baseball man of his era," said sportscaster Bob Costas, who gave the eulogy at Mantle's funeral. "A guy who worked other jobs outside baseball, a guy who had been in the service, a guy who saw combat, a guy who respected and cherished the relationships he had with the guys he played with and also those he played against.

"Being a ballplayer of that era is what defined him."


Henry Albert Bauer was born July 31, 1922, in East St. Louis, Ill. He moved to the Kansas City area in 1949 after playing with the Blues of the American Association in 1947 and 1948. Not only did Bauer star as the Blues' right fielder, but also he married Charlene Friede, the club's office secretary. They maintained their home in the Kansas City area, raising four children and had 10 grandchildren. Charlene Bauer died in July 1999.

Bauer enlisted in the Marines shortly after Pearl Harbor. He spent 1942-45 in the service and was a platoon sergeant in the South Pacific. Taking part in the campaigns of Guadalcanal, New Georgia, Emirau, Guam and Okinawa, Bauer won two Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars and 11 campaign medals. He was wounded at Okinawa, hit in the left thigh by shrapnel on a mission in which only six of 64 Marines survived.

Returning to civilian life, Bauer resumed his baseball career in 1946 and starred for the Blues in 1947 and 1948. Bauer batted .305, hit 23 home runs, stole 23 bases, drove in 100 runs and scored 100 in 1947. He hit .318 for the Blues in 1948, was voted the team's most popular player by the fans. He was called up by the Yankees in September.

Bauer, a strapping 6-foot, 190-pound right-handed hitter, batted a career-high .320 in his second full season with the Yankees. He was known for his all-out hustling play, though one time he needed a reminder from manager Casey Stengel.

"One day in Yankee Stadium they hung me a curveball, I hit a one-hopper back to the pitcher, and I trotted to first," Bauer recalled. "I came in the dugout, I'm sitting there, and Casey came by me and said, `Tired?'

"I never failed to run out a ball again."


Bauer was traded to Kansas City in a seven-player deal in 1959 that sent Roger Maris to the Yankees.

"They did me a favor," Bauer said. "I was 37. I was finished. I was glad to come home."

He spent two years with the A's and became a manager for the first time in 1961. In his final game as a player with the A's on June 21, 1961, Bauer singled home the winning run in a 3-2 decision over Detroit at Municipal Stadium.

For years Bauer owned and operated a liquor store in Prairie Village. He sold it in 1978. An avid hunter and fisherman, Bauer said he gave up golf early.

"I lost interest in it," Bauer said. "Only time I ever hit to right field in my life was on that golf course."

Bauer's crew cut and raspy voice were fixtures in the Royals Stadium press box during the 1980s. Bauer scouted American League players for the Yankees during 1983-86 and served as a special assignment scout for the Royals in 1987. During the 1985 playoffs and World Series, Bauer provided The Star with analysis stories that proved extremely popular.

In 1993, Bauer was diagnosed with throat cancer, and his epiglottis, a cartilage flap covering the vocal chords, was removed. Still, Bauer came to the ballpark, attended charity events whenever possible and gave Brett the idea of kissing home plate at the end of Brett's final game at Kauffman Stadium.

"He had a marvelous life," Palmer said. "You don't ever want anybody to pass away. But I'm sure if you had talked to Hank, he would have told you, at least from a baseball standpoint, he had experienced just about everything good.

"Just imagine playing on those Yankees teams with Mantle and Berra and Elston Howard and all those guys, some really special teams. And he got to manage a world championship team. He's in my Hall of Fame."

02-12-2007, 02:48 PM
Hank Bauer is one of those athletes whose numbers decrease with each year who served in World War Two. Its good to reflect on those who have done things of service for society as well as participating in sports.