Major league players put their names on the record books with homeruns, wins or living a long life. We learned that Mike Sandlock died today. He was the oldest living major leaguer and had a huge influence on a young catcher Roy Campanella:
Sandlock played 16 seasons of professional baseball, most of it in the minor leagues. Though he had batted over .300 in a handful of seasons in the minors, Sandlock, a switch-hitter, did not exactly scare big league pitchers from either side of the plate.RIP Mike Sandlock.
He played parts of two seasons with the Boston Braves in 1942 and 1944 — he spent 1943 working in a munitions factory — and had his best year in 1945 with the Brooklyn Dodgers, batting .282 in 80 games and swatting the only two home runs of his career. Both, oddly enough, came off pitcher Harry Feldman of the Giants.
By 1947, with many major league players having returned to baseball after serving in World War II, Sandlock was back in the minor leagues with Montreal, the Brooklyn farm team from which Jackie Robinson made his history-making leap to the major leagues.
Robinson was gone from Montreal by then, but one of Sandlock’s teammates was a young catcher he took under his wing: Roy Campanella, who would go on, as a Dodger, to win three Most Valuable Player Awards and enter the Hall of Fame. Campanella gave Sandlock credit for curing him of a tic in his throwing motion that slowed his release on stolen-base attempts.
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