Fritz Von Kolnitz
Alfred Holmes Von Kolnitz
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Fritz Von Kolnitz played only sparingly in his three-year stint in the majors, but he could certainly hold court off the field. Or, at least participate in it.
The player from Charleston, S.C. became a member of the South Carolina Bar in May 1914, less than a month after he made his major league debut with Cincinnati. Von Kolnitz had attended the University of South Carolina law school and had turned 21 the day before he officially became an attorney.
In his career as a player, von Kolnitz appeared in 115 games and hit just .212. His career numbers include 19 RBI and five stolen bases.
In his first season in the major leagues in 1914, he hit .221 with six runs batted in and four stolen bases for Cincinnati in 41 games. In 1915, he played in 50 games for Cincinnati, hitting .192 in 78 at-bats with six RBI.
Following the 1915 season, Von Kolnitz made the decision to retire from the game. However, newspaper stories on June 25, 1916, announced that Von Kolnitz had decided to re-enter the game.
He hit .227 in 24 games for Chicago in 1916 but he decided to end his career again in March 1917. This time, he did so by notifying Chicago manager Pants Rowland as the team was preparing for the season in Mineral Springs, Texas.
With World War I under way in Europe, Von Kolnitz joined the military to aid in the cause. On Sept. 21, 1918, he was one of 23 captains at Camp Gordon to receive a promotion to major.
In 1940, the former major leaguer decided to give politics a try and he made a run for Congress in South Carolina's First District. He lost that election, however, to L. Mendel Rivers, a young Charleston attorney, by a vote of 18,580 to 15,347.
Military duty called again in World War II and this time Von Kolnitz served as a lieutenant colonel.
In his life outside of baseball, he was a vice president and treasurer of a Charleston real estate concern.
He died on March 18, 1948, at his home in Mount Pleasant, S.C., after apparently suffering a heart attack. He was 54 years old.