New York Yankees/Kansas City Athletics/Baltimore Orioles
Henry "Hank" Albert Bauer... . .Three-time All-Star. . .World Series Winning Manager of Baltimore Orioles. . .Born July 31, 1922 , in East St. Louis, Illinois. . .Died on February 9 2007. . .
The youngest of nine children, Hank Bauer was born in East St. Louis, Ill on July 31, 1922. Bauer played high school and American Legion baseball. After graduating from high school, Bauer joined a pipe fitters' union and repaired furnaces in a beer-bottling plant. Playing in the Chicago White Sox farm system in 1941, Bauer's brother Herman, arranged a tryout for Hank. Bauer impressed the scouts and won an assignment to the Oshkosh team in the Class D Wisconsin State League.
Bauer's baseball future seemed to recede in January 1942, when he joined the Marine Corps shortly after the attack at Pearl Harbor. While serving in the South Pacific, Bauer contracted malaria, but recovered enough to earn 11 campaign ribbons, two Bronze Stars and a pair of Purple Hearts in 32 months of combat. During the Battle of Okinawa, Bauer commanded a platoon of 64 men in a brutal siege in which only six men survived. Bauer received several shrapnel wounds in his leg and back, sending him home once he recovered.
After the war, Bauer returned to pipe fitting, but a New York Yankees scout remembered him and signed Bauer to the Yankees' farm team in Quincy, Ill. Two years later, the Yankees called Bauer up to the majors at the age of 26, hitting singles in his first three at bats.
Bauer, who had a powerful throwing arm, was named to the American League All-Star team three times, from 1952 to 1954, and compiled a career batting average of .277 with 164 home runs, 57 triples, 229 doubles, and 703 runs batted in.
Bauer is best remembered for his World Series performances, including a record 17-game hitting streak and several game-saving catches. In 1960, the Yankees traded Bauer to the Kansas City Athletics for Roger Maris. During Bauer's second year with the Athletics, he assumed the role as player/manager in 1961 and spent the 1962 solely as the team's manager.
In 1964, Bauer was hired as the Baltimore Orioles' manager. One of his finest baseball moments came in 1966, when Bauer led the Orioles to their first World Series title, which consisted of a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The series was loaded with future Hall of Famers like Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, and Jim Palmer of the Orioles and Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale of the Dodgers. Bauer managed the Orioles until 1968 before returning to manage the Oakland Athletics during the 1969 season.
After his retirement as a manager, Bauer returned to the Kansas City area, where he scouted for the Yankees and the Royals. Bauer passed away in Kansas City on February 9, 2007, at the age of 84.