Wally Shaner

From BR Bullpen


Walter Dedaker Shaner
(Skinny, Nig)

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Biographical Information[edit]

Wally Shaner was an outfielder for 13 years (1920-1932) - one in college (1920), four in the Majors (1923; 1926-1927; 1929) and eleven in the minors (1920-1925; 1928-1932). Shaner attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (1920), where he starred in baseball. He broke into Organized Baseball at age 20 and played with the Danville Veterans in the Piedmont League (1922).

Shaner was 22 years old when he broke into the big leagues on May 4, 1923, with the Cleveland Indians. He finished the season with the Springfield Ponies in the Eastern League and then played for Kansas City in the American Association (1924) and the Lincoln Links in the Western League (1925). Shaner led the league in triples and was fourth in batting average (.358). In 1925, his best year in the minors, healso had 230 hits, 145 runs, 41 doubles, 30 triples, 14 home runs, 85 RBI and 12 stolen bases at .358/.391/.581 in 145 games. The fence at Landis field was moved back 50 feet before the season began. This made Landis field the biggest in the Western League with a fence distance of 395 feet. Triples were common in such a big park and home runs were difficult to accomplish. His success in Lincoln led him to be picked up by Boston (AL).

He played for the Boston Red Sox (1926-1927). In 1927, his best year in MLB, he had 111 hits, 54 runs, 33 doubles, 6 triples, 3 home runs, 49 RBI and 11 stolen bases at .273/.311/.406 in 122 games. He was with the Mobile and the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Southern Association (1928) and the Cincinnati Reds (1929), where he played his final MLB game on June 14 at age 29. Overall in MLB, he had 175 hits, 80 runs, 45 doubles, 8 triples, 4 home runs, 74 RBI and 13 stolen bases at .278/.327/.394 in 207 games.

He returned to the minors with Chattanooga and the Nashville Volunteers of the Southern Association (1929), Peoria of the Three-I League (1930), the Columbus Senators of the American Association (1930), the Little Rock Travelers of the Southern Association (1930-1932), New Haven in the Eastern League (1932), St. Joseph in the Western League (1932); and Elmira, Scranton and Harrisburg in the New York-Pennsylvania League (1932), ending his baseball career at age 32. Overall in the minors, he had 60 home runs and 360i RBI.

Shaner was a veteran of World War II (BN). He was a stage manager at the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. He died at age 92 in Las Vegas on November 13, 1992 and is buried at Paradise Memorial Gardens in Las Vegas.

Career Highlights[edit]

  • His 30 triples in 1925 tied him for second place all-time in minor league history for triples in a season and fifth place in all of Organized Baseball (third since 1900)


He had the following recollection in Peter Golenbock's Fenway: "In the field we had one outstanding player, Phil Todt, our first baseman. He was a smooth fielder, but he swung up around his shoulders every time, and he only hit if they threw it there."


Principal sources for Wally Shaner 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) ; The Southern Association in Baseball, 1885-1961 by Marshall D. Wright; The American Association: A Baseball History, 1902-1991 by Bill O'Neal; and independent research by Walter Kephart (WK) and Frank Russo (FR) and others.

Related Sites[edit]