Larry Isbell

From BR Bullpen

Lawrence Dale Isbell

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 185 lb.

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Larry Isbell spent two seasons in AAA and also played professional football.

Isbell was one of the rare players to be All-American in both baseball in football. He was an All-American quarterback in 1951, when he guided Baylor to the Orange Bowl; he threw for 26 career touchdowns in college. In 1952, he was named the All-American catcher by the American Baseball Coaches Association. That season, he set a school record with a .431 average; through 2008, he still ranked second in Baylor annals for best single-season average, behind Mickey Sullivan.

The NFL's Washington Redskins picked Isbell in the first round, but he opted to sign with the Boston Red Sox. The club sent him straight to AAA and he hit .266/.360/.337 for the '52 Louisville Colonels, very similar numbers to the other Louisville catcher, former major leaguer Al Evans. Back with the Colonels in 1953, he was even better at .317/.386/.397 in 47 games while fielding .995; he outhit Pete Daley, the starter at catcher. In fact, he had the best average of any Louisville batter with 25+ games, ahead of Charlie Maxwell, Harry Agganis and Ken Aspromonte among others. He also played 3 games for the Fort Worth Panthers, hitting .200.

His baseball career ended despite those two productive seasons. He then signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League and played for five years as an All-Star defensive back as well as a punter, quarterback and receiver.

In 1977, Baylor began handing out the Larry Isbell MVP to its top baseball player. Isbell is a member of both the Baylor Hall of Fame and Texas Sports Hall of Fame.