Goodbye to Ruth’s final surviving teammate…

LAST SURVIVING TEAMMATE OF BABE RUTH

Billy Werber, who had the distinction of being the last surviving teammate of Babe Ruth as well as the last player to play against Babe Ruth while he was with the Yankees, has passed away at the age of 100. 

(Courtesy Baseball Hall of Fame)

 

Werber played 4 games with the Yankees in 1930 before being sent to the minors.  He returned to the Yankees in 1933.  With the Yankees infield manned by Tony Lazzeri at second base, Frankie Crosetti at short, and Joe Sewell at third base, Werber was deemed expendable and traded to the Boston Red Sox after playing 3 games for the Yanks.  In 1934, Werber became the starting third baseman for the Red Sox, and hit 11 home runs, 67 RBIs, 129 runs, 40 stolen bases, with a .321 batting average.  He also had 200 hits, 41 doubles and 10 triples.  He was an aggressive baserunner in the 30′s, second only to Ben Chapman and led the AL in SB’s three times. 

Werber also played for the 1940 world champion Cincinnati Reds.  For his career, he played 11 seasons, and hit 78 home runs with 539 RBIs in 1,295 games.  His career batting average was .271, and he had a total of 215 SB’s.  Other notable former teammates included Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, and Lefty Grove.

In recent years, Werber had quit watching baseball and one of his stated reasons was dismay over Johnny Damon’s “long hair and beard”.  Maybe he reacquired a passion for baseball in his last few years when Johnny adopted the “corporate” look with his relocation to the Bronx! 

ANDY PETTITTE

Meanwhile, on the Andy Pettitte front…

Why do I keep getting the visual image of Chevy Chase looking at the cameras, and saying “Generalimissimo Francisco Franco is still dead!”…

Every time I try to rationalize why the Yankees should just give the 5th spot to Phil Hughes, or go outside of the organization and sign Ben Sheets or even Freddy Garcia at this point, I keep thinking that Andy’s only viable option is New York and they need him and his innings pitched just as badly.  C’mon guys, just split the difference and call it a day!

MOVING DAY

Tomorrow is moving day as the Yankees move their offices across the street into the new stadium (right on schedule).

 

6 Comments

Wow – 100 years! What Mr. Werber must have seen! I too hope that he found his way back to baseball.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Can not wait to visit the new stadium!!

http://ladyyankee.mlblogs.com/

Wow, the last surviving player to have played with Babe Ruth. Great background on him, and I don’t know how he could start to like Johnny Demon (sorry for this, I hate him) after hating him for so long? Maybe the same way I can hate him after loving him for so long?
And I think the Yankees should sign Andy Petite, kind of like the way I think the Sox should sign Varitek already!!
I’m anticipate a visit to the new Yankee Stadium, and I regret not going to the old one.
-Elizabeth
http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

I think we’ll sign Pettitte. What are his other options? Retirement? I’d rather have him than Jon Garland any day, and Garcia already went to the Mets. Plus, he’ll be great backup for Hughes. Sign him, I say!

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

I talked with Bill Werber in 2003 when he was 95, and we spent a lot of time chatting about the game. A guy from SABR had just written a new book on him. Bill had really clear memories of Babe, Ted Williams, et al. He was a good guy, lived a great life.

Mark/MLB.com
http://mlblogs.mlblogs.com

Also, I’d consider it a great personal favor if you would please credit the Baseball Hall of Fame on that photo. It is on Google because I got it for my MLB.com story, which had the credit: “Courtesy of Baseball Hall of Fame.” – Mark

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