The story of Pete Gray, a one-armed Major Leaguer
Pete Gray, a one-armed ballplayer who hit .290 in 1948
Making it in pro baseball is tough, but you know what's tougher? Doing it with only one arm.
Pete Gray, who lost his right arm in a childhood accident, began his march towards a .290 season with the Class A Elmira Pioneers 66 years ago today. But that wasn't his first taste of baseball glory.
The outfielder actually began his career in Canada's Provincial League in 1938. He spent the next seven seasons in the Minors and was named MVP of the Southern Association, today's equivalent of Double-A, in 1944. He compiled a .333 batting average, .439 slugging percentage, five home runs (!) and a league-leading 68 steals for the Memphis Chicks that season. Finally, in 1945, Gray was called up to the Majors to play for the St. Louis Browns. Although he only hit .219 in 77 games, his stint was a memorable one.
Gray would go on to play three more years in the Minors, paving the way for several future big leaguers -- including this guy: