Branch Rickey was his mentor, coaching Sisler at the University of Michigan, where he was an outstanding pitcher. Rickey also counseled Sisler, helping him eventually land a spot with the Browns, a team Rickey would manage after Sisler arrived. Other major league clubs were interested in Sisler. He considered an offer from Pittsburgh, but opted instead to play for the Browns. (Click on photos to enlarge)
For his career, Sisler hit .340, tying him for 15th place on the all-time list with Lou Gehrig. At just under 5-foot-11 and a trim 170 pounds, Sisler swung a 42-ounce bat. He often choked up on the handle, but few could handle the lumber as well as Sisler. He recorded 200 hits in six seasons. In 1920, he established a major league record with 257 hits, which still stands. Sisler was also an excellent run producer. He drove in 1,175 runs during his career.
His 1920 season was as mighty a performance as any player has ever produced. Playing every inning of every game, Sisler hit .407. Among his 399 total bases were 49 doubles, 18 triples and 19 home runs. He went hitless in only 23 games and climaxed the season with prodigious averages of .442 and .448 in August and September, respectively. He also drove in a career-high 122 runs and stole 42 bases. In 1922, when the Browns missed winning the American League pennant by one game, Sisler hit safely in 41 consecutive games en route to a .420 average.
He missed the 1923 season with severe sinusitis that infected his optic nerves, which caused double vision. Sisler returned in 1924, signing a $25,000 contract as player-manager. He hit .305 in 151 games. In 1925, he was back on track with 224 hits and a .345 average. In fact, he only had one sub-.300 season in seven after recovering from the illness.
In 1928, the Washington Senators bought Sisler for $25,000, and then moved him to the Boston Braves, where he was reunited with Hornsby. The St. Louis prodigies put on a good show. Hornsby led the league with a .387 batting average, while Sisler hit .340. In 1929 at the age of 36, Sisler ripped 205 hits and batted .326.
After 1930, Sisler drifted into the minors and eventually went into private business, operating printing and sporting goods companies. Rickey recalled him to baseball in the 1940s as a scout and special hitting instructor at Brooklyn and Pittsburgh.
Pictured below is Bo Drockelman, Grandson of George Sisler commenting on the aware from the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame at their dinner on Tuesday, November 16, 2010.
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