Friday, May 28, 2010

Saturday, May 29th, the 100th Anniversary of George McQuinn's Birth

Greetings Browns Fans,

Here in Arlington, Va., we're celebrating the 100th birthday of our hometown hero and the best hitter of the '44 Series, George McQuinn. And despite Ryan Zimmerman's 30-game hit streak last year, McQuinn still holds the MLB record for an Arlington resident.

Here's what we put up on our Library website:

Best regards,
Pete Golkin


George McQuinn

He has no plaque in Cooperstown and you won’t find a hometown field with his name. But back in the day, George Hartley McQuinn of Arlington, Va. could pick it with the best of them. In 1938, just his first full season in the big leagues, he hit safely in 34 straight games for the lowly St. Louis Browns. Later, he hit .304 while playing for the New York Yankees.

Born in 1910, George McQuinn was a six-time All-Star and a major leaguer for 12 years. He helped win two American League pennants and a world championship ring as the unlikely spark for the 1947 Yankees. And at the end of each season, he came home to Arlington, where as a boy living near modern-day Ballston, George played ball with his five brothers. He was even named the first captain of the Washington-Lee baseball team.

Just before his final season in the big leagues, George bought himself a sporting goods store back home at 1041 N. Highland St. in Clarendon, gave it the winning brand “McQuinn’s,” and took an active role in running the place. He returned to the store for a year after his retirement following the 1948 season, but baseball wasn't finished with him yet. George managed various minor league teams, winning four championships with the Braves in Quebec. As time went on, he accepted part-time scouting positions for the Braves and then the Washington Senators while spending more time at his store and writing a concise but thorough “Guide to Better Baseball.”

Clarendon's downturn in the 1960s forced McQuinn to close his store, and he finally left baseball in 1972. He moved to Alexandria and became an apartment manager, spending more time with his family. George McQuinn died following a stroke on Christmas Eve 1978. He was 68 years old. McQuinn was never voted into Cooperstown. But in the last spring of his life, he was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in Portsmouth. His official photograph shows him wearing the Yankees uniform.

Saturday, May 29th, is the 100th anniversary of George McQuinn's birth.

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