Hal Trosky Jr. grew up around baseball. His father, Hal Trosky Sr., was a slugger in the ’30s and ’40s with his best season coming in 1936. That year, Hal Sr. smashed 42 homers and 162 RBIs while hitting .342. Suprisingly he only finished 10th in the 1936 AL MVP voting behind Gehrig, Appling, Averill, Gehringer, Dickey, and others. Hal Sr. retired early due to severe migraines, but he finished his eleven season career with great numbers; 228 HR and a .302 lifetime batting average.
Hal Jr’s professional career lasted from 1956-1960. He bounced around various levels of the minors before reaching the Bigs in 1958 with the Chicago White Sox. His major league career would be over after appearing in only two games; both in relief. He returned to the minors and played until 1960 when he retired for good. We recently wrote to Hal to learn a little more about his time in baseball. Mr. Trosky recounts his favorite managers…and surprisingly, his least favorite.
“My favorite managers were Frank Scalzi, Luke Appling, and Jim Turner. Least favorite was Al Lopez!”
We asked Hal what his favorite memory was of going to the ballpark with his father. Hal Sr. had his best years with the Cleveland Indians from 1933-1941, but he made brief comeback in 1944 and 1946 with the Chicago White Sox. The comeback years are what Hal Jr. remembers best.
“Favorite memory of being at the ball park when my dad was playing was his tenure with the White Sox. Every team member was so down to earth and special!! Totally different from todays athletes”
We asked Hal if he still gets into the baseball today. Any favorite teams or players? Surprisingly, Trosky no longer follows the game that he was around for so long. Apparently it has changed too much for him.
“I do not follow todays pro athletes in any sport. I could count on two hands pro athletes in the sport today that I select to imulate [sic]”
….and who would those athletes be?
“To narrow it to my first choice of emulation would be Tim Tebow. His actions represent 95% of the ‘standards’ that every and all of my teammates exhibited every day we PLAYED THE GAME!!!”
Tim Tebow! Probably the biggest sensation of the 2011 NFL season seems to have the beginning of an “old school” fan club. Like him or not, Tebow plays the game of football with heart. That’s how sports are meant to be played. Mr. Trosky remembers the good ol’ days.
Read more about Hal Trosky Jr. at SABR
Read more about Hal Trosky Sr. at SABR
UPDATE: The Baseball Historian posted an interesting (more in-depth) write-up on Hal Jr. Check it out
Full text of our correspondence. Click to enlarge
Next post: Ralph Mauriello recounts his baseball career, regrets, managers, teammates, and most memorable moment