Baseball History: Joe Glenn

joe glennBaseball is a sport with numerous connections.

Teammates or opponents, players can usually be linked by an accomplishment or just being on the same team.

Joe Glenn played professional baseball from 1928 until he retired as 40-year old in 1949, after over 1,000 minor league games.

Glenn was a catcher in the big leagues from 1932 to 1940 with the New York Yankees, St. Louis Browns and Boston Red Sox. In his eight major league seasons, Glenn hit five homers with 82 RBI, while batting .252. His best year was in 1939 with the Browns. He hit four home runs, had 29 RBI with a .273 batting average in 82 games.

The final game of Glenn’s career was with the Red Sox against the Detroit Tigers in the opener of a doubleheader at Fenway Park on Aug. 24, 1940. He entered the lopsided contest behind the plate for starter Jimmie Foxx as the Red Sox would eventually lose 12-1.

ted williams 1976Glenn did something that day, which no one else would ever experience in the majors. He caught the final two frames as Red Sox legend Ted Williams pitched for the only time in his career. Williams gave up a run on three hits.

Williams wasn’t the only other slugger that Glenn would catch. It was the last day of the 1933 season and the Yankees were not in contention for the American League pennant. Glenn got the start and he caught a complete game victory in what turned out to be Babe Ruth’s final game as a pitcher.

Ruth hit a homer and Glenn knocked in a run with a single as the Yankees beat the Red Sox 6-5. Of course, this wasn’t Ruth’s only time on the mound. He was 94-46 in his career, but for Glenn, it was the first time he was a catcher for a National Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder.

Home Run Connections

Of the five home runs that Glenn had in his career, four of them were hit off of former teammates with two coming against Hall of Fame hurlers.

As a member of the Yankees in 1936, his first homer didn’t clear the fence when he hit an inside the park effort against the Philadelphia A’s and future 1940 Red Sox teammate Hall of Famer Lefty Grove.

Joe_Heving_cardIn 1939 with the Browns, he hit the rest of his long balls. Perhaps his best day as a major leaguer in the batter’s box against the Red Sox. He hit a pair of homers off another future teammate Boston’s Joe Heving.

The final homer of Glenn’s career was against the Yankees and the other member of the Hall of Fame and former teammate Lefty Gomez.

Nels Potter was the other home run victim of Glenn in 1939. Potter was with the A’s at that time, but ironically he would pitch in the World Series with two of Glenn’s former teams. Potter was with the Browns in 1944 and the Red Sox in 1946.

Heving on the Mound

An interesting side note about Heving, who pitched 13 years in the majors with a 76-48 record for five teams. In three seasons with Red Sox from 1938-1940, Heving was 31-11.

On the day that Williams was on the mound for Boston, Heving was the starting and losing pitcher for the Red Sox.

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