MARCH 11, 1972

CHEROKEE BASEBALL HALL OF FAME PLAYER ZACHARIAH “ZACH” WHEAT DIED

Born May 23, 1888, near Hamilton, Missouri, Zack was one of three sons, all of whom played professional baseball. His mother was a full-blooded Cherokee. Joining the Brooklyn Dodgers in August of 1909, he hit .304. In 1910, Wheat led the Dodgers in batting average, hits, doubles, and triples and became “one of the most dreaded and murderous sluggers in the National League.” In 1916, Wheat was among the NL leaders in virtually every offensive category and set a Brooklyn record by batting safely in 29 straight games. He remains the Dodgers all-time leader in hits, doubles, triples, RBIs, and total bases.  Of his defense, Baseball Magazine wrote in 1917 “Wheat is the easiest, most graceful of outfielders with no close rivals.” In 1920, he set new highs in hits (191), runs scored (89), and slugging percentage (.463) and, in 1923-24, posted back-to-back .375 batting averages.  Injuries caused him to retire from baseball in 1929. Wheat entered baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1959. He died in Sedalia, Missouri.

Source:  Eric Enders, “Zach Wheat,” Society for American Baseball Research.  Retrieved 6/30/2019, https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/c914f820
Photo:  Charles M. Conlon (1868-1945), 1912.  The Sporting News.  Public Domain.  

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