Bruce Campbell

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Bruce Douglas Campbell

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Biographical Information[edit]

“That Campbell is the toughest man in baseball for the Detroit club to get out and I’m really glad to have him on our side... I was hunting with him in Arkansas this winter before the deal with Cleveland and I told him I had a good notion to shoot him just so I wouldn’t have to pitch against him again next summer.” - Schoolboy Rowe, quoted in the Fort Myers News-Press

"(Bennie Huffman) was robbed of an extra-base hit thanks to a superb catch by Tribe fly chaser Bruce Campbell, who leaped high against the fence in right-center to snare Bennie's drive in the eighth." - from the SABR biography of Bennie Huffman about the game of June 30, 1937

Right fielder Bruce Campbell played 13 seasons in the majors, all in the American League.

Campbell was born in Chicago and attended Lyons Township High School. He played briefly in the minors in 1930 and was up in the majors at age 20 in September, hitting .500 (5-for-10) with the Chicago White Sox. He spent most of 1931 in the minors (where he hit .383 in 79 games for Little Rock and also played briefly for Dallas) and came up to the majors for another brief glimpse, hitting .412 (7-for-17). Bruce became a major league regular in 1932, after the Pale Hose traded him early in the season to the St. Louis Browns. He struck out more than anyone else in the American League that year, but he also hit .285 with 14 home runs and 11 triples. Additionally, he led the league in hit-by-pitch (6). With the Browns in 1933, Bruce reached single-season bests in home runs (16) and RBI (106). At 23, he was both the youngest regular on the team and the top home run/RBI man.

After being traded to the Cleveland Indians after the 1934 season, his hitting improved. In 1935, he hit .325 in 308 at bats while in 1936 he reached .372 in 172 at bats. Both seasons, he was stricken with bouts of spinal meningitis, missing the remainder of 1935 after being stricken in August while returning in under two months after an April bout in 1936. On July 2nd, just weeks after his return, he went 6-for-6 with 5 RBI in a 14-6 victory over his old team, the Browns, in the first game of a doubleheader. Bruce went 1-for-1 in the second game before being removed for Milt Galatzer, finishing the day 7-for-7. He returned to full-season strength in his remaining three seasons in Cleveland, hitting .301 in 134 games in 1937. He was traded to the Detroit Tigers for Beau Bell in January 1940.

He joined Detroit at a good time, as they went on to win the American League pennant. While Bruce had only 297 at bats that year, he was fifth on the team in home runs, fourth in triples and sixth in on-base percentage. In the World Series, against the Cincinnati Reds, he appeared in all seven games, posting a batting line of .360/.448/.520 with a home run and 5 RBI. In each game he batted sixth, behind Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg and Rudy York in the lineup. Bruce stayed with the Tigers in 1941, being featured in a photo in Life Magazine that year greeting Greenberg at the plate following a home run. It was his last strong year, hitting 15 home runs and driving in 93 runners while hitting .293 in 141 games. He closed out his major league career as a regular with the Washington Senators in 1942, batting .278.

Bruce enlisted in the Air Force on conclusion of the 1942 season, serving in World War II. He came back in 1946 to play for two minor league teams, hitting around .270 for each. Living in anonymity after his playing career, he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1995, having recently been diagnosed with cancer.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 100 RBI Seasons: 1 (1933)

Related Sites[edit]