The Obit For Harry Danning

Harry "The Horse" Danning

HARRY ''THE HORSE'' DANNING The Last surviving member of the 1933 World Champion Giants, passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends on November 29, 2004. Harry Danning, former New York Giants star catcher during the 1930's and 1940's was born to immigrant parents in Los Angeles, September 6, 1911. During his baseball career from 1931-1942, "The Horse" played in four All Star Games with and against such notables as Carl Hubbell, Gabby Hartnett, Joe DiMaggio, Bob Feller, Jimmie Foxx and Lou Gehrig just to mention a few. Danning's other career highlights include being named best catcher in the National League in 1939 and best catcher in baseball in 1940. He was also catching when Lou Gehrig hit his last World Series home run, Joe DiMaggio hit his first World Series home run, and Ted Williams hit his famous game winner in the 1941 all star game. Danning's career was cut short by World War II, when he received an invitation from President Roosevelt to serve in the United States Army Air Corps. After the war he worked for several firms before settling down with Metropolitan Life. He retired as an insurance investigator in 1976 and resided with his wife, Diane Danning in Chesterton until her death in 1978. Danning eventually settled down in Valparaiso where he resided with his daughter and her family for the remainder of his life. Harry is survived by his daughter, Viktoria Danning Voller and son-in-law, Lot Voller of Valparaiso, IN; his three grandchildren, Randolph Voller of Pittsboro, North Carolina, Meredith Voller of Chicago, Illinois and Cynthia Voller of Valparaiso, Indiana. Harry is also survived by his brother, Curtis Ben Danning, sister, Leah Serlin and many nieces and nephews. As a longtime resident of Valparaiso, Harry donated funds to Valparaiso for an annual Memorial Day softball tournament with the Vaparaiso Park Department which bears his name. In 2003, the Park Department honored Harry by naming one of the fields "The Harry Danning Field" located at the old Porter County Fairgrounds in Valparaiso. Memorial services will be held at the Temple Israel Synogogue located at 601 North Montgomery Street in Miller, Indiana, 219-938-5232 on Sunday, December 5, 2004 at 3 p.m. Donations can be sent in Harry Danning's name in the form of a check to either, VNA Hospice Center, Visiting Nurses Association, 501 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, IN 46383 or Opportunity Enterprises, 2801 Evans Avenue, Valparaiso, IN 46383-1206.
Published in the Post-Tribune on 12/2/2004.

Harry Danning, 93; New York Giants Catcher Played in World Series
December 1, 2004
From LA Times Staff and Wire Reports

Harry "the Horse" Danning, 93, a catcher for the New York Giants from 1933 to 1942 who played in two World Series and hit .300 or better three years in a row, has died.

Danning died Monday in Valparaiso, Ind., of natural causes, said his niece, Sue Kaplan.

Danning grew up in Los Angeles and attended Los Angeles High School. He began catching for teams in the Depression to supplement his income and was spotted by a scout for the Giants.

During his time with the Giants, Danning was a member of four National League All-Star teams. On June 9, 1939, he hit one of the five home runs in one inning that broke a major league record of four that had been set in 1894. He was voted the best catcher in baseball in 1940.

He got his nickname from sports commentator Ted Husing, borrowing from a character created by writer Damon Runyon.

Danning's brother, Ike, also briefly played in the major leagues, for the St. Louis Browns.

Because of ill health, Danning, who was the oldest living Jewish major leaguer, was unable to attend a Baseball Hall of Fame event last summer in Cooperstown, N.Y., that honored Jews in baseball.