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11/11/07 This Day in Washington Baseball History...

The Continuing Attempt To Educate A Montreal Fan About DC Baseball History...

      George Washington Case was born on November 11, 1915 in Trenton, New Jersey. George Case debuted with the Washington Senators as a twenty-one year old outfielder on September 8, 1937 against the Philadelphia Athletics.

     Considered the fastest player in the Majors for most of his eleven-year career, Case managed to lead the American League in stolen bases for five consecutives seasons from (1939-43) stealing 224 bases over that period, during which he was only caught 56 times.

     The final year of the streak, Case stole 61 bases, but the next season, 1944, New York Yankees infielder Snuffy Stirnweiss stole 55 bases to beat out Case, who finished the year with 44. Sturnweiss would take the title in 1945 as well, but in '46, Case, who had been traded to the Cleveland Indians, came back to win his sixth stolen base title, which tied him for a time with Ty Cobb, as the only two men to win six titles in their respective careers.

     A decade after George Case had last led the American League in stolen bases and tied Cobb for overall titles in 1946, Luis Aparicio began a streak of nine straight stolen base titles stretching from (1956-1964), which relegated Case somewhat in the annals of baseball history.

     In addition to his 349 career stolen bases, George Case also managed a .282 AVG over 11 Major League seasons with the Senators and Indians, collecting 233 doubles, 21 HR's and 377 RBI's along the way.

      In an American League that included the Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Browns, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Athletics at the time George Case played, the Washington Senators never managed to make it to the Postseason.

     George Case's last game in the Majors came on August 3, 1947. Case hit just .150 with 12 hits in 80 at bats that season, with 1 double, 2 RBI's and 5 stolen bases, before chronic spinal injuries forced the thirty-one year old from the game.

     George Case died on January 23, 1989, at the age of seventy-five, four years after his last job in baseball as a Minor League instructor for the Seattle Mariners.

     According to a New York Times AP story the following day, Case was, "...survived by his wife; a son, George W. Case, a daughter, Robin Davis, and five grandchildren," who probably knew Case as the coach and owner of a sporting goods store in his hometown of Trenton, NJ, rather than as a man, who for a time, was considered the fastest man in the Majors.

*George Case Links*

George Case wikipedia page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Case

George Case's stats at baseballreference.com:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/c/casege01.shtml

Short George Case bio at thebaseballpage.com:

http://www.thebaseballpage.com/players/casege01.php

Snuffy Stirnweiss's Wikipedia page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snuffy_Stirnweiss

List of MLB stolen base leaders:

http://host305.ipowerweb.com/~rauzulus/baseball/mlbrecords/mlbsbleaders.html

Luis Aparicio's Wikipedia page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luis_Aparicio

New York Times AP Story on George Case's death August 24, 1989:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE7DB113EF937A15752C0A96F948260