Fred Whitfield

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Fred Dwight Whitfield

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Biographical Information[edit]

"The good Lord gave me the ability to hit. That's all I can do. Otherwise I'd be plantin' crops back home in Alabama." - Fred Whitfield, quoted in the May 2, 1966 issue of Sports Illustrated, where he was named Player of the Week

First baseman Fred Whitfield played nine seasons in the major leagues, having the most success with the Cleveland Indians, for whom he hit 20+ home runs three times.

Signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1956, Whitfield progressed through their minor league system, reaching the majors in 1962. That year, he hit .266 with 8 home runs as backup to Gold Glover Bill White and was selected to the Topps All-Star Rookie Team. Stuck behind White, he was traded to the Indians for Jack Kubiszyn and Ron Taylor following the season.

Whitfield became the Indians' regular first baseman and hit 21 homers in his first year with the club in 1963. He had perhaps his best year in the majors for the Tribe in 1965, hitting .293 with 26 home runs and 90 RBI and finishing fifth in the American League in both homers and runs batted in. After losing his starting job to a young Tony Horton in 1967, he was dealt to the Cincinnati Reds following the season.

Whitfield spent two years with the Reds, backing up Lee May at first base. He finished his major league career playing in four games for the Montreal Expos in 1970.

After his playing career, he moved back to his hometown of Vandiver, AL where he worked for Anderson Electric. According to his obituary, he was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed playing bluegrass and gospel music on his guitar. He passed away in 2013, aged 75.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Related Sites[edit]