The Obit For Mickey Vernon

Mickey Vernon dies at 90

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Posted on Thu, Sep. 25, 2008

Almost one month after he was nominated for baseball's Hall of Fame, James "Mickey" Vernon died yesterday at the age of 90.
A winner of two American League batting titles, the Delaware County native died at Riddle Memorial Hospital in Media after suffering a stroke last month.

Mr. Vernon was born in Marcus Hook and attended Villanova. The man who was President Dwight Eisenhower's favorite player while with the Washington Senators was regarded as a good fielding first baseman. He set the major-league record for most games played at the position with 2,237.

His lifetime average was .286 over 20 big-league seasons, from 1939 to '43 and 1946 to '60, with the Senators, Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates. He was named to seven all-star teams and finished in the top five of the AL MVP voting three times.

Mr. Vernon won the 1946 American League batting title with a .353 average and the 1953 crown when he batted .337. The lefthanded first baseman led the AL in fielding four times and in doubles three times. He finished with 172 home runs, 1,311 RBIs and 137 stolen bases.

He became the first manager of the expansion Senators in 1961. He was fired 40 games into the 1963 season, finishing with a 135-227 record.

Mr. Vernon last month was named (along with nine other players whose careers began before 1943) to a special Veterans Committee ballot for next year's Hall of Fame induction class. At the time, he was the only living player on the list. The results are to be announced Dec. 8.

Mr. Vernon is survived by a daughter, Gay. Funeral arrangements are pending.