Les Powers

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Leslie Edwin Powers

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Biographical Information[edit]

Washington native Les Powers spent eleven active seasons in professional baseball from 1933 to 1945. The twenty-three-year-old first-baseman was signed as an amateur free agent by the New York Yankees, during the 1933 season, and spent three solid seasons with the Yankee organization before being sold to the International League Baltimore Orioles in early May of 1936 for $15,000. He had a great year in the International League in 1936, hitting .340 with 23 home runs in 119 games and followed that up with another solid year in 1937, hitting .307 with 21 homers. The New York Giants purchased him from the Baltimore club on September 7, 1937 for an undisclosed amount.

Powers remained in the International League with the Jersey City Giants in 1938, played well, hitting .293 in 134 games. He made his major league debut with the New York Giants on September 17, 1938 appearing in two games that year as a pinch-hitter with no hits. On December 7, 1938, the Giants sold him to the Philadelphia Phillies for an unnamed figure. Les spent the entire 1939 season with the Phillies, appearing in just 19 games as a first baseman and a pinch-hitter, hitting at a .346 number in 52 at-bats and evidently did not impress Doc Prothro, manager of the dead-last Phillies, who put together a 45-106 record for the year. Les ended his big league time here and now with a career .327 average in just 21 games.

Powers spent four more seasons in pro baseball, all in the minor leagues, missing two years (1942-1943) while working in the war effort and was a player-manager for part of the 1941 season with the Bakersfield Badgers of the California League.

He finished up his pro career with two seasons (1944-1945) playing in the outfield and at first-base for the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League. His minor league stats show that he appeared in 1,278 games, hitting at a .294 clip with 81 home runs.

He was president of the Sunset League from 1948-1950 and the Southwest International League in 1951. He hired Emmett Ashford as the first black umpire in the minors.

After baseball, Powers taught school in the Santa Monica public schools system for over thirty years. He died on November 13, 1978, in Santa Monica, CA, from complications of Parkinson's Disease. Leslie Edwin Powers was 69 years old.

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