Dodgers' George 'Shotgun' Shuba passes away at 89
Brooklyn Dodger George "Shotgun" Shuba passed away at the age of 89 at his home in Youngstown, OH.
It was George who extended his hand, "A Handshake for the Century", in offering congratulations near home plate to Jackie Robinson, his Montreal Royals teammate, who hit a home run on Opening Day 1946 at Roosevelt City in Jersey City. Robinson, the African-American infielder, was breaking the sport's color barrier that afternoon.
Photographers captured a smiling Robinson shaking hands with Shuba after Robinson's three-run home run in the third inning against Jersey City pitcher Warren Sandell.
Shuba's nickname was born after someone compared his line drives to the sound of buckshot. Shuba compiled a lifetime .259 batting average in 355 games with Brooklyn from 1948-55 with 24 home runs and 125 RBI. He was the first National League pinch-hitter to hit a home run in World Series history, connecting against the Yankees in 1953.
Shuba returned to Dodger Stadium in 2005 when the club staged a 50th anniversary celebration of the team's first and only championship in Brooklyn. Twelve of the 13 living members attended: Shuba, Carl Erskine, Roger Craig, Bob Borkowski, Don Newcombe, Johnny Podres, Clem Labine, Sandy Koufax, Ed Roebuck, Don Zimmer, Tommy Lasorda and Duke Snider (the only player not present was Billy Loes).
Shuba is survived by his wife, Kathryn, his son, Michael, daughters Marlene and Marykay and his sister, Helen.
Funeral services are pending.