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Ken Landenberger

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Kenneth Henry Landenberger

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Biographical Information[edit]

First baseman Ken Landenberger was signed by the Chicago White Sox as an amateur free agent before the 1948 season and the 6' 3" left-hander was optioned to the Wisconsin Rapids White Sox of the Wisconsin State League for his first year in pro baseball. He showed plenty of moxie and hit .307 in 93 games. He stayed with the same club in 1949 and hit .295 with 8 homers and led the WSL in RBIs with 129 while playing 120 games. His bat was still hot in 1950 with a .307 average and 6 homers for the Superior Blues, plus he led the class C Northern League in RBIs with 104 and was chosen for the All-Star team.

Landenberger was bumped up to the class A Western League with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox in 1951 and again he hit well with a .314 average and 10 four-baggers in 147 games. Actually, he was just warming up for 1952. He was with the Sky Sox again that year, doing just about everything but sell hot dogs. Ken led the Western League with 112 runs, 183 hits and 133 RBIs. He also hit for a .315 average, just 5 points off the league leader, and smacked 26 homers to top things off. Yes, he did make the All-Star team. The only downer was his team lost the league title by one game to the Denver Bears. Ken was then rewarded with a late September call to Comiskey Park where he made it into two games, going 1-for-5 at the plate for the third-place Chicago White Sox. Unknown at the time, this would be the sum total of Ken's major league time.

Landenberger had two good back-to-back seasons with the Memphis Chickasaws of the Southern Association in 1953 and 1954, hitting .256 with 16 home runs the first year, and .294 with 24 round trippers the second. To top it off, in 1955 he hit .293 with 20 homers and played 145 games. The Chicago White Sox let him get picked up by the Seattle Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League in the 1955 minor league draft. Ken played three more years in the high minors with a .306 batting average figure and hit a total of 55 home runs. Ken also held a player-manager position in the 1957 and 1958 seasons. He also managed full time in 1959 and 1960. Landenberger spent eleven active seasons in the minors, hitting at an even .300 average with 169 home runs while appearing in 1,389 games.

Ken had been a minor league manager since 1957 when he stepped down from the Selma Cloverleafs job of the Alabama-Florida League just two weeks before his death. His life was sadly cut short by leukemia on July 28, 1960, in Cleveland, OH, the day before his 32nd birthday.

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1957 Sioux City Soos Western League 71-82 5th (t) none none
1958 Minot Mallards Northern League 67-55 4th Cleveland Indians Lost in 1st round
1959 Minot Mallards Northern League 63-60 4th Cleveland Indians Lost in 1st round
1960 Selma Cloverleafs Alabama-Florida League -- Cleveland Indians -- replaced by Joe Morlan on July 17


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