Rube Novotney

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Ralph Joseph Novotney

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Biographical Information[edit]

Rube Novotney was a catcher 10 years (1943-1953), one in college (1943); nine in the minors (1945-1953), and a cup of coffee (1949), losing two years to the Military. Novotney was born on Tuesday, August 5, 1924, in Streator, IL. He graduated from High School, where he starred in baseball, in 1943, at age 18. He then attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1943), where he played baseball when he was inducted into the U.S. Marine Corps for two years during World War II (1943-1945) (BN). He broke into Organized Baseball at age 20 with Lockport in the PONY League (1945); Portsmouth in the Piedmont League (1945); Shelby in the Tri-State League (1946); Tulsa in the Texas League (1947); and the Los Angeles Angels in the Pacific Coast League (1947-1948); when, at 24 years of age, he broke into the big leagues on April 29, 1949, with the Chicago Cubs. He played for the Cubs where he played his final MLB game on July 3, 1949 at age 24.

He returned to the minors with Los Angeles (1949-1951) and the Nashville Volunteers in the Southern Association (1951-1953); ending his baseball career at age 29.

In 1949, his only year in MLB, he had 18 hits, 4 runs, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 0 home runs, 6 RBI and 0 stolen bases at (.269/.300/.328) in 22 games. In 1945, his best year in the minors, he had 4 home runs and 81 RBI at (.343). Overall in the minors, he had 32 home runs and 366 RBI.

For 30 years he was an assistant superintendent for the Los Angeles Times. He died at age 62 at South Bay Hospital in Redondo Beach, CA from lung cancer on July 16, 1987 and is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery & Mausoleum in Culver City, CA.


Principal sources for Rube Novotney include newspaper obituaries (OB), government Veteran records (VA,CM,CW), Stars & Stripes (S&S), Sporting Life (SL), The Sporting News (TSN), The Sports Encyclopedia:Baseball 2006 by David Neft & Richard Cohen (N&C), old Who's Who in Baseballs (none) (WW), old Baseball Registers (none) (BR) , old Daguerreotypes by TSN (none) (DAG), Stars&Stripes (S&S), The Baseball Necrology by Bill Lee (BN), Pat Doyle's Professional Ballplayer DataBase (PD), The Baseball Library (BL), Baseball in World War II Europe by Gary Bedingfield (GB) and The Pacific Coast League: A Statistical History, 1903-1957 by Dennis Snelling and SABR's, The Texas League in Baseball, 1888-1958 by Marshall D. Wright and The Southern Association in Baseball, 1885-1961 by Marshall D. Wright. and independent research by Walter Kephart (WK) and Frank Russo (FR) and others.

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