Sammy Holbrook

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James Marbury Holbrook

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 189 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Catcher Sammy Holbrook started his professional baseball career with the Talladega Indians of the Georgia-Alabama League at 18 years of age in 1929. He would hit .276 with four homers in 81 games. 1930 would see him with the Columbus Foxes of the Southeastern League, where he appeared in 26 outings with not much success. Holbrook chose to take a temporary leave from the game for the next three seasons (1931-1933).

The three-year time-off must have matured Sammy as he returned in 1934, now 23 years old, and hooked up with the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Southern Association, where he would hit at a .289 clip with 10 home runs in 103 games. Sammy was then acquired by the Washington Senators in an unknown transaction and would spend the entire 1935 season with the American League club.

In all likelihood, his strong showing in 1934 plus the fact the Griffith Stadium team was coming off of a seventh-place finish, 34 games in arrears from the previous year and were in dire need of a player with Sammy's talents, is the reason he would spend the entire 1935 season with the big league team. Sam would appear in 52 games that year, hitting at a .259 average in 135 at-bats and fielded the catcher's slot at a .984 percentage. The Senators would move up a notch in this year's standings but this would be Holbrook's only shot at the majors.

Sammy would drop back to the minors, spending his next seven seasons (1936-1942) with several different clubs, missing the 1940 season totally, for unknown reasons. Sam put up some good numbers in 1938 when he hit .339 for Federalsburg, Meridian and Louisville and had an outstanding season for the Federalsburg A's in 1939 when he hit .361 in 98 games with 110 hits, 20 home runs and 191 total bases. Sammy was active in 1941 and appeared with three different teams in 1942 before calling it a career after nine seasons in the minors and a .277 career batting average and 47 home runs in 727 games.

Sammy also had a taste of managing during his big year in 1939. He led the Federalsburg club as player-manager to a first-place finish in the class D Eastern Shore League with a 83-38 record, finishing 14 games in front of the pack but lost in the first round of the play-offs. He was also chosen for the All-Star team.

Holbrook was also a World War II veteran (BN).

After baseball, James Marbury Holbrook returned to his native state of Mississippi where he lived and worked until his death at the age of 81, in Jackson, MS.

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