Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Negro League baseball history fact for today - Jim Pendleton

James “Jim” Pendleton caught the eye of Major League scouts in his one year of Negro League baseball.  He went on to have an eight year career in Major League baseball that unfortunately had two big detours caused by two Hall of Fame players. 
Born on January 7, 1924 in St. Charles, Missouri, Pendleton played shortstop for the Chicago American Giants in 1948 after serving in the military during World War II.  At 6’ and 185 pounds, he had speed and range playing the position; plus he could hit.  After the season, the Brooklyn Dodgers signed him.  It is said they paid the American Giants $7,500 for Pendleton’s contract.
But with Hall of Famer Pee Wee Reese the unmovable fixture as the Dodgers’ shortstop, Pendleton spent four years (1949 – 1952) in the team’s minor league system.  Before the 1953 season, he was traded to the Milwaukee Braves and converted into an outfielder.   In 120 games he batted .299 that season and hit three straight home runs during a hot streak at the plate.  It would be his best Major League season.
After coming to spring training the next year late and not in top shape, Pendleton lost his starting outfield position to Hall of Famer Henry Aaron; a 21 year old rookie at that time.  Pendleton never returned to his 1953 form and spent the remainder of his Major League career as a pinch hitter and reserve outfielder.
After two more seasons with the Braves, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates before the start of the 1957 season and in 1959 traded to the Cincinnati Redlegs.  Pendleton spent two years in the minor leagues, 1960 -1961, and then resurfaced to play for the Houston Colt 45s in 1962.  It was the inaugural season for the National League expansion team.  Although 38 years old, Pendleton had his best statistical season since 1953 playing in 117 games and batting .246 with a career high eight home runs.

What former Negro League player was Jim Pendleton's teammate on the 1953 Milwaukee Braves?

No comments:

Post a Comment