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Loren “Bee Bee” Babe

He didn’t make it to the Baseball Hall of Fame, but his bat did. Loren “Bee Bee” Babe (1928-1984) was a small-town legend hailing from Pisgah, Iowa. The New York Yankees signed him out of high school in 1945. He spent eight years in the minor leagues in Kansas City under the tutelage of Casey Stengel. He was called up to the Yankees in 1952 to replace an injured Billy Martin. While his time with the Yankees was brief, only 17 games over two seasons, Mickey Mantle borrowed one of his bats in 1953 and hit a “prodigious blast” that cleared the centerfield bleachers in Washington’s Griffith Stadium. The bat was soon sent to Cooperstown. Babe was traded to the Philadelphia Athletics later in the 1953 season where he played in 103 games mainly at third base. For his brief career he hit two home runs and batted .223. He spent most of his post-playing career coaching and managing mainly at the minor league level, including the Iowa Oaks where he mentioned that one of his players would make a fine professional manager someday. He was speaking of future Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa.

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