Al DeVormer

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Albert E. DeVormer

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Biographical Information[edit]

"Tell John McGraw that he has the best catcher in the National League in Al DeVormer..." - a baseball scout named Slattery quoted in 1926 in Time Magazine, about Al DeVormer, who was going to join the 1927 New York Giants in the spring

Catcher Al DeVormer was often around famous players and on interesting teams in his five-year major league career.

He was on the 1918 Vernon Tigers and was signed by the Boston Red Sox (a team Babe Ruth was on) in July of 1918, but never appeared in a game. A few weeks later, the first team he actually appeared with was the Chicago White Sox, a year before the "Black Sox" World Series. In addition to playing with many of the eventual Black Sox, he backed up future Hall of Famer Ray Schalk.

After his time with the White Sox, he played on the 1919 Vernon Tigers.

He then came to the New York Yankees, playing with them in 1921 and 1922. The Yanks won the pennant both years. 1921 was one of Babe Ruth's greatest years, when he hit .378 with 59 home runs, and DeVormer also had his best year, hitting .347. DeVormer backed up Wally Schang at catcher, and appeared briefly in the 1921 World Series. Among the pitchers that DeVormer caught while with the Yankees was Waite Hoyt.

On June 9, 1922, Schang was shaken up sliding into a base, and DeVormer came into the game as a courtesy runner. Schang later came into the game again, but in another inning he was taken out for a pinch-runner - again DeVormer.

The book Yankee Century: 100 Years of New York Yankees Baseball indicates that DeVormer and notoriously bad-tempered pitcher Carl Mays had a fairly high-profile altercation in 1922.

The Yankees traded DeVormer to the Boston Red Sox, who gave up George Pipgras and Harvey Hendrick for him; there was also cash in the deal, one of Red Sox owner Harry Frazee's infamous sales of talent to the Yankees. With the Red Sox, DeVormer was the Opening Day catcher in 1923. DeVormer backed up Val Picinich and appeared in quite a few games, getting his highest at-bat total in the majors, 209.

In 1926, DeVormer played for the Louisville Colonels of the American Association, hitting .368. Teammate Earl Webb hit .333.

At age 35, DeVormer came to John McGraw's New York Giants in 1927, although Rogers Hornsby was to take over the managing duties partway through the season. The Giants finished only two games out of first place. One of the pitchers that DeVormer caught was Burleigh Grimes.

Then he spent five years with the Toledo Mud Hens. In 1933, he was umpiring, apparently in the American Association.

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