Paul Lehner

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Paul Eugene Lehner (born July 1, 1920 in Dolomite; died December 27, 1967 in Birmingham) was a left-handed outfielder who played for four American League teams in one season in 1951. He was nicknamed "Peanuts" or "Gulliver" as a player.

Lehner made his Major League debut with the St Louis Browns and remained there for four years, rotating between first base and the outfield. Initially he maintained the belief that he couldn't hit safely if he played on Sundays, and fabricated ailments to remove himself from the roster. The Browns' trainer eventually gave Lehner some pills that he promised would allow him to hit, and Lehner knocked a home run in the first game of the Sunday double header. On another Sunday double-header on July 20, 1947, Lehner hit an inside-the-park grand slam to give the Browns a 4-3 win over the Boston Red Sox in the first Major League game to feature two African-American players.

Lehner moved to the Philadelphia Athletics in 1950, and had his best season with a .309 average, 9 home runs and 52 runs batted in over 114 games. He also tied an American League record with eleven put-outs from left field in a game on June 25.

Lehner started with the A's in 1951, but was traded three times that season, going first to the White Sox as part of the deal to bring in Minnie Minoso to Chicago. He was subsequently traded back to the Browns, who dropped him shortly afterward. He was picked up by the Cleveland Indians to finish the season.

Before leaving the Majors Lehner spent part of the 1952 season with the Boston Red Sox, but was released on July 5. In seven seasons in the Majors, Lehner was a .257 hitter with 22 home runs and 197 RBI in 540 games.

Lehner repeated his multiple-team achievement in the minors, playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Indianapolis Indians, Seattle Rainiers and Oakland Oaks, all in the latter half of the 1952 season. He returned South to play his final season in 1953 with the Southern Association's Memphis Chickasaws. He hit .262 with 2 home runs and 17 RBI that year.

Lehner died in Birmingham and is buried in Bessemer's Highland Memorial Gardens.

References

  • Hershfield, Leo (2000) Three Men on Third: A Book of Baseball Anecdotes, Oddities, and Curiosities. Halcottsville, New York: Breakaway Books ISBN 1891369156, p. 256
  • "Paul Lehner" (February 1, 20151) Wikipedia - accessed July 1, 2015

External links