Al Veigel passed away a week or so ago. You probably haven’t heard of Al – his big league career lasted all of two games. But Veigel’s passing has significance not only for his family, but also for aficionados of baseball history.
Why is that? The answer is after the jump.
The historical significance of Al Veigel’s death is that Art Kenney (who turns 96 next week) now becomes the last living link to 1930s NL baseball. Kenney and Veigel have more than their longevity in common – both were 1930s pitchers for the Boston Bees and both had 2 game careers.
Here are the last living links to ML baseball from the first part of the 20th century. Year of death is in parentheses.
|1930s||Ace Parker, Mike Palagyi, Bobby Doerr, Al Brancato – fl. 2012||Art Kenney – fl. 2012|
|1920s||Bob Cremins (2004)||Al Lopez (2005)|
|1910s||Red Hoff (1998)||Bob Wright (1993)|
|1900s||Smokey Joe Wood (1985)||Harry Hoch (1981)|
For the record, in Al Veigel’s debut game on Sep 21, 1939, his first two batters were both future HOFers, Paul Waner and Arky Vaughan. Veigel faced both twice, retiring Waner each time and Vaughan at least once. Veigel, though, took the loss in 2.2 IP, allowing 4 runs (all unearned) on 2 hits and 3 walks.
In other action that day:
- Bobby Doerr and Ted Williams went hitless against the Browns. But the Red Sox still prevailed 6-2, led by Joe Cronin’s 18th HR.
- Al Brancato was also held hitless but had 5 assists and a stolen base for the Athletics. The As, though, were edged 6-5 on a 2-run 9th-inning rally by the Tigers, led by Rudy York’s 16th HR and 3 RBI.