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1/4/07 This Day in Washington Baseball History...

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

     Titus, Alabama is located in Elmore County, which sits in the greater Montgomery, Alabama metro-area. Titus's favorite son is Joseph Wheeler "Joe" Sewell, a professional baseball player for fourteen seasons with the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees who hit for a .312 career batting average and averaged 4 HR's and 90 RBI's per 162 games of his career from 1920 until 1933 according to baseball-reference.com's player profile...But Joe Sewell has no connection to Washington, DC's baseball history...

     Neither does Joe Sewell's brother, Thomas Wesley Sewell, who is one of the rare players to have actually had a folklore-ish one-at-bat Major League career, with the one at bat coming in 1927, when the then-twenty-one year old Tommy Sewell was called upon on June 21st and went hitless in the only chance he'd ever have...But Tommy Sewell has no link with DC either...

     It's the third Sewell boy, James Luther "Luke" Sewell, who in 1933, went all the way to the World Series with the Washington Senators, but eventually lost in five games to the Mel Ott-led New York Giants. Luke Sewell only played two seasons in DC, but the first in 1933 saw the Senators finish first in the American League with a 99-53 record with Sewell hitting .264 with 2 HR's and 61 RBI's in 141 games that season.

     In 1934, Luke Sewell played just 72 games for the Senators, batting .237 with 2 HR's and 21 RBI's and the next season Sewell moved to the Chicago White Sox. Sewell's career had started in Cleveland, where, according to thebaseballibrary's Morris A. Eckhouse's player biography, Sewell, "...After an apprenticeship under Cleveland great Steve O'Neill and two years platooning with Glenn Myatt..." took over the catching duties in Cleveland and for the next six seasons. (ed. note- "...Comparison to Jesus Flores with Brian Schneider and now Paul Lo Duca as mentors.)

     ...Luke Sewell, much like new Nationals catcher Paul Lo Duca, was notoriously hard to strike out at the plate. Lo Duca's only gone over 40 K's once in his professional career, but that's free swinging compared to Mr. Sewell, who, according to his wikipedia.org profile, "...never struck out more than 27 times in a season, and his career best was just 16 strikeouts in 451 at bats in 1936." (ed. note- "307 total K's in 5,383 career at bats.")...

     In Luke Sewell's 1933 World Series appearance, the only one of his twenty-year MLB career, Sewell hit in just 3 of 17 at bats against the NY Giants, with 1 RBI, 2 walks and 1 steal. Luke Sewell compiled a .259 career average with 20 HR's and 696 RBI's from (1921-1942). Joe Sewell, a .312 career BA, 49 HR's and 1055 RBI's from (1920-1933). Tommy Sewell...Well, Mrs. Sewell always loved Tommy best...

*Sewell Family Links*

Titus, Alabama's town profile at epodunk.com:

http://www.epodunk.com/cgi-bin/genInfo.php?locIndex=12235

Joe Sewell's career stats at baseball-reference.com:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/s/sewellu01.shtml

Tommy Sewell's career stats at baseball-reference.com:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/s/sewelto01.shtml

Luke Sewell's career stats at baseball-reference.com:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/s/sewellu01.shtml

Luke Sewell's wikipedia.org page:

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

baseballlibrary.com's Morris A. Eckhouse's Luke Sewell Player bio:

http://www.baseballlibrary.com/ballplayers/player.php?name=Luke_Sewell_1901

Paul Lo Duca's career stats at baseball-reference.com:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/l/loducpa01.shtml

...and as an added bonus for anyone who reads this far, a randomly-Googled Luke Sewell anecdote from a www.baseball-fever.com showthread...

          "Posted by: SHOELESSJOE3

          "A bit more on that 1927 season.

          "June 12 at Yankee Stadium, Ruth hits two home runs
          number 20 and 21. One of them deep into the bleachers
          only a bit to the right of dead center, near the 487 foot
          sign. The other to deep right center only a dozen rows
          from the scoreboard. Cleveland catcher Luke Sewell picks
          up Ruth's bat and demands that ump Hillebrand inspect it,
          '...no one can hit a ball that far, not with a legal bat'. The
          ump looks the bat over, taps it on home plate. Sewell than
          takes the bat and sniffs it. Later he explains the sniffing,
          smelling to see if he can detect an adhesive, a laminated
          bat. In the end, it's determined, it was Ruth not an illegal
          bat."