Odell Hale

From BR Bullpen

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Arvel Odell Hale
(Bad News)

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Biographical Information[edit]

Arvel Odell Hale played 10 seasons in the big leagues. In his prime he had a good batting average and moderate power, hitting 50 doubles, 13 triples and 14 home runs with the Cleveland Indians in 1936.

In The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, he is ranked # 98 of all time at second base. James says Hale was called "Bad News" after hitting seven home runs in six games in the minors, but was mostly called "Chief" or "Sammy" during his major league career. He was called "Sammy" after another player, Sammy Hale, and "Chief" apparently because he was part Native American.

Hale was born in 1908 in Hosston, LA and hit over .300 each year in the minors from 1929 to 1932. During the last part of the 1931 season, he played in 25 games for the Indians, hitting .283, but he was back in the minors in 1932.

According to the The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, scout Cy Slapnicka scouted Hale in the minors and didn't like him, but the Alexandria team owed money to the Indians, and so the Indians reluctantly took him into their organization.

He became a regular with the Indians in 1933, appearing in 98 games and slugging .462, only a few points behind the top regular, Earl Averill.

Odell played as a regular on the Indians team through 1939. He hit .300 four times and was in double figures in home runs four times. Some years he was the team's second baseman while other years he was the third baseman.

He became a back-up in 1940 as manager Ossie Vitt went with younger players in the infield: 23-year-old Ken Keltner was the third baseman, 23-year-old Ray Mack played second, and 22-year-old Lou Boudreau was at short while 27-year-old Hal Trosky was at first.

In the off-season Hale was traded to the Boston Red Sox, for whom he played 12 games at the start of the 1941 season before being claimed off waivers by the New York Giants, who used him in 41 games. He was then sold to the minor-league Milwaukee Brewers team, and he played for them in 1942.

He was not the only player named Odell, as Odell Jones came along a few decades later. There was also Billy O'Dell.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 100 RBI Seasons: 2 (1934 & 1935)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1936)

Further Reading[edit]

  • Michael Clair: "The wildest triple play ever? Probably! Talk about a heads-up play", mlb.com, December 28, 2021. [1]

Related Sites[edit]