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Louis "Lou" Boudreau (July 17, 1917, in Harvey, Illinoismarker – August 10, 2001) was an Americanmarker Major League Baseball player and manager. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Famemarker in 1970. He was also a radio announcer for the Chicago Cubs of the National League.

In 1948, he won the American League Most Valuable Player Award and managed the Cleveland Indians to the World Series title.

Boudreau was an eight-time All Star Game selection, starting three times. He won the 1944 AL batting title (.327), and led the league in doubles in 1941, 1944, and 1947. He led AL shortstops in fielding eight times. Boudreau still holds the record for hitting the most consecutive doubles in a game (four), set on July 14, 1946.

Early life

Boudreau, who was of Frenchmarker and Jewish ancestry, graduated from Thornton Township High Schoolmarker in Harvey, Illinoismarker, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaignmarker, where he was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity, excelling in sports at both schools. He was captain of the basketball and baseball teams at the University of Illinois, when Cleveland Indians general manager Cy Slapnicka paid him an undisclosed sum in return for agreeing to play baseball for the Indians following graduation. Boudreau's father complained to the Big Ten Conference, and league officials ruled him ineligible for collegiate sports. During his junior and senior years at Illinois, he played pro basketball with the Hammondmarker All-Americans of the National Basketball League.

Career

Boudreau made his major league debut on September 9, 1938 for the Cleveland Indians, at the age of 21, playing first base in a single game. In 1939, manager Ossie Vitt informed Boudreau, who normally played third base, that he would have to move to shortstop as Ken Keltner already had the regular third base job.

In 1940, his first full year as a starter, he batted .295 with 46 doubles and 101 RBI. He was also selected to play in his first All Star Game.

Boudreau helped make history in 1941 as a key figure in stopping the 56-game hitting streak by Joe DiMaggio. After Ken Keltner made two fine stops at third base earlier in the game, Boudreau snagged a bad hop grounder at short barehanded and started a double play to retire Dimaggio. He finished the season with a .257 batting average and a league leading 45 doubles.

After the season, owner Alva Bradley promoted manager Roger Peckinpaugh to general manager and appointed Boudreau as the player-manager. Boudreau was 25 years old. Upon assuming ownership in 1947, Bill Veeck, after being approached by Boudreau, renewed the player-manager agreement with mixed feelings on both sides. Although the results were personally contentious, they did win the pennant in 1948, Cleveland's first in 28 years, and both Boudreau and Veeck were public in admitting the others' role in the success.

Boudreau managed the Indians throughout World War II. Playing basketball had put a strain on Boudreau's ankles which later developed arthritis and he was classified 4-F and thus, ineligible for military service.

Hall of Fame and retirement of number

He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Famemarker in 1970 with 77.33% of the vote. The same year, Boudreau had his # 5 retired by the Cleveland Indians.

Broadcasting

Cubs broadcasters, June 11, 1981 - Vince Lloyd, Lou Boudreau, Milo Hamilton, Jack Brickhouse




Boudreau served as an announcer for the Cubs in 1958 and 1959 before switching roles with manager Charlie Grimm in 1960. After one season as Cubs manager, Boudreau returned to the radio booth and remained there until 1987. Boudreau served as the Chicago Bulls radio play by play announcer from 1966-1968.

Personal

Boudreau married Della DeRuiter in 1938 and they had four children. His daughter Sharyn married Denny McLain, a former star pitcher with the Detroit Tigers.

Boudreau died in 2001 in Frankfort, Illinoismarker and is interred in Pleasant Hill Cemetery.

See also



References

  1. Chicago Jewish News
  2. Florida Jewish News
  3. Ralph Berger, Baseball Biography Project, SABR.org
  4. John Holway, A Mystery Man in the End to DiMaggio's Streak, New York Times, July 15, 1990


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