Wally Snell

From BR Bullpen

Walter Henry Snell

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Biographical Information[edit]

". . . Wally . . . was an unusual combination of scientist, athlete, mycological artist and glossarist who might not have pursued a career in science except for an accident in his last undergraduate baseball game." - David McLaughlin's biographical piece in the scientific magazine Mycologia

Ivy Leaguer Wally Snell came out of Brown University in 1913 (Eddie Eayrs and Joe Conzelman from Brown also made their major league debuts in 1913). On August 1st of that year, Snell had his chance, appearing in the first of 6 games and catching in two of them. On the Boston Red Sox, he was a year younger than teammate Tris Speaker and a year older than teammate Joe Wood.

He was Phi Beta Kappa at Brown and was signed by the Philadelphia Athletics. He later broke his hand in a game at Brown, however, and ended up being sent to the Red Sox instead.

In the fall of 1913, Snell went back to Brown to take up graduate studies. He played minor league ball in 1914 and 1915, becoming a first baseman in 1915. He received his master's degree in 1915, and became a doctoral student, getting his PhD from the University of Wisconsin in botany. He went back to Brown as a professor, and taught for 39 years, becoming an expert on mushrooms and other fungi. He also coached baseball from 1922-1927 and football at the university.

He is apparently not related to Charlie Snell, also a catcher, who was in the majors a year before Wally was.

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