Baseball History: Mike Sandlock

mike sandlock 53 frontThe oldest living person who played Major League Baseball is about to celebrate his 100th birthday on Oct. 17.

Born in Connecticut in 1915, Mike Sandlock played in five seasons in the big leagues during his professional career that spanned from 1938 to 1954.

Primarily a catcher, he made his debut in the majors in 1942 with the Boston Braves. He also played shortstop and third base.

After a second call-up with the Braves in 1944, Sandlock joined the Brooklyn Dodgers the following year and had his best season. He played in 80 games with a pair of homers and 17 RBI.

Sandlock appeared in 19 games for the Dodgers during the 1946 season, which would be his last in the majors until 1953 when he in 64 contests for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In 1947 and 1948, Sandlock was with the Montreal Royals in the Dodgers minor league system where he was a teammate of National Baseball Hall of Fame member Roy Campanella.

From 1949 to 1952, he had a stint with the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League. The Stars were affiliated with the Dodgers before changing the the Pirates in 1952.

mike sandlock 54 frontThe Only Homers

Sandlock’s two long balls in 1945 were the only ones he hit in the big leagues. Ironically, they were both off right-hander Harry Feldman of the New York Giants.

The first home run was on April 20 in the Polo Grounds as the Giants won 10-6.

Playing shortstop in the game, he hit a two-run shot in the second inning.

His second homer contributed to a 5-4 victory for the Dodgers at Ebbets Field on Sept. 19.

He hit a three-run blast in the second inning to put Brooklyn on top 3-0.

The Baseball Cards

A switch-hitter, Sandlock had two Topps baseball cards during his career and both of them list his birthday as Oct. 17, 1916. They are the only two sources that have that date.

The first Topps card in 1953 featured him with the Pittsburgh Pirates where is spent the entire season.

mike sandlock 54 backThe 1954 card has him with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Sandlock never played for Philadelphia, but had one appearance with the Syracuse Chiefs of the International League, which was the Triple-A club of the Phillies.

On the back of the card there is a section that mentions Sandlock catching the knuckleball of Johnny Lindell.

Unfortunately for the duo, they would lead the National League in 1953 in two categories. Sandlock had 15 passed balls, while Lindell threw 11 wild pitches.