Saturday, May 29, 2010

Former Browns Pitcher, Jack Kramer, & Others in New Orleans Hall of Fame

Former New Orleans Zephyrs manager Tony Pena and Crescent City natives Al Jurisich, Jack Kramer and Lou Klein will be inducted into the New Orleans Professional Baseball Hall of Fame

Tony Pena was the Zephyrs' manager from 1999 to 2001, compiling a record of 205-216 in his three seasons at the helm of the Z's. As a player, Pena was a five-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove Award winner as a catcher, playing 18 seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros.

Al Jurisich pitched a total of nine seasons in the minors, including three with the New Orleans Pelicans in the Southern Association (1940 - 1942). He made his Major League debut on April 26, 1944 with the St. Louis Cardinals, posting a record of 10-12 during two seasons before moving on to the Philadelphia Phillies (1946 - 1947), where injuries reduced his time in the majors.

Jurisich appeared in the 1944 World Series against the St. Louis Browns, pitching two-thirds of an inning in relief during Game Three.

John (Jack) Henry Kramer signed as an amateur free agent with the St. Louis Browns in 1936. He made his major league debut on April 25, 1939 and would go on to compile a record of 143-144 over 22 seasons in professional baseball, including winning Game Three of the 1944 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. He was a three-time All-Star with the Browns in 1945, 1946 and 1947 and led the American League in winning percentage (.783) with a record of 18-5 with the Boston Red Sox in 1948.

Kramer finished his baseball career with the New Orleans Pelicans in 1959.

Louis Frank Klein signed a professional contract with the St. Louis Cardinals organization. Klein was a versatile infielder who enjoyed a long career in baseball, including a stellar 1943 rookie season where he was second in the National League in triples (14) and at-bats (627) and helped the Cardinals capture the 1943 pennant. He appeared in five games of the 1943 World Series against the New York Yankees.

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