Arnold Malcolm Owen
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Mickey Owen, a catcher who was a four-time All-Star in the Major Leagues, died on July 13, 2005 at a veterans' home in Mount Vernon, Missouri. He was 89. According to reports, Owen had had Alzheimer's disease.
Owen hit .255 in his 13-year career with 14 home runs and 378 RBI. He was an All-Star in 1941, 1942, 1943 and 1944.
He was signed by the Cardinals before the 1935 season and made his major league debut with St. Louis on May 2, 1937.
He played in 80 games in his rookie season and would go on to play in 100 or more games from 1938 to 1944. That season, he became the third National League catcher to ever record an unassisted double play.
In December 1940, the Cardinals traded Owen to the Dodgers for Gus Mancuso, a minor league player and cash.
From 1941 to 1944, he averaged 46 RBI a season for the Dodgers and played for the Brooklyn team that faced the Yankees in the 1941 World Series.
During that 1941 World Series, however, he would make a costly error. The Dodgers held a 4-3 lead in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the series. Owen dropped a third strike on Tommy Henrich that would have been the final out of the game. The Yankees rallied to score four runs and to win the game 7-4. The victory game the Yankees a 3-1 lead the series and, the next day, New York won the championship.
He had two hits in 12 at-bats in the series and drove in two runs. It was the only time in his career that he would appear in the series.
In 1941, he made just three errors on the season and finished with a .995 fielding average. He also set a National League record for catcher with 476 consecutive chances without an error.
Owen hit just 14 home runs in his career, but, in 1942, he became the first player to hit a pinch-hit home run in an All Star game. It was the only home run that Owen hit that season.
In 1946, Owen jumped to the Mexican League as a player and manager. As a result, he was banned from the major leagues for three seasons.
He returned to the majors in 1949 with the Chicago Cubs and played for the team until the 1951 season. He returned to the majors for 32 games with the Red Sox in 1954.
Following his career as a player, he was a major league scout and, in 1959, he set up the Mickey Owen Baseball School to train and develop players.
He later served as the sheriff of Greene County, Mo., for 16 years and had an unsuccessful run for lieutenant governor in 1980.
Source: Associated Press obituary (7/14/2005)