Luke Appling

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Lucius Benjamin Appling (April 2, 1907 - January 3, 1991) was an American shortstop in Major League Baseball who played his entire career for the Chicago White Sox.

Appling was born in High Point, North Carolina. He attended Oglethorpe College, but left during his sophomore year when he was signed by the Southern League Atlanta Crackers in 1930. He was a good hitter in his first year, but committed 42 errors in 104 games. The Chicago Cubs showed some interest at first, but decided not to sign him, and the White Sox ended up purchasing him from the Crackers for $20,000. He seemed a poor pickup initially, as his hitting fell off and his fielding failed to improve, but in 1933 he stopped trying to be a power hitter and had his first of nine straight .300 seasons.

Template:MLB HoF Appling was a good leadoff hitter who topped the .400 mark in OBP eight times (1933-1934, 1937, 1940, 1943, 1947) and drew over 100 walks three times (1935, 1939, 1949), though he often batted third due to a lack of offensive talent on the White Sox. Indeed, this lack of talent insured that Appling, who spent his entire 20-year career with the White Sox, never had a chance to play in a World Series. His best season was 1936, when he batted .388, knocked in 124 runs (his only 100-RBI season), scored 111 times, recorded 204 hits, and had a team-record 27-game hitting streak. His .388 average was good for the first batting title ever won by a shrotstop and was the highest batting average recorded by a shortstop in the 20th century. Appling won another batting title in 1943 with a .328 average and also led the league in OBP that year (.419). Appling was selected to seven All-Star teams (1936, 1939-1941, 1943, 1946-47).

Appling was famous among his teammates for complaining day in and day out about minor ailments such as a sore back, a weak shoulder, or shin splints. While much of this complaining was probably for show, it earned him the moniker "Old Aches and Pains." He did suffer one serious injury: a broken leg that cost him much of the 1938 season.

Appling was well known for his ability to foul off pitches, leading to the story that he once fouled off 10 pitches in a row on purpose when ownership refused to give some baseballs to autograph because they were too expensive; he was supposedly never refused a ball again.

Appling remained a solid contributor into his forties, but ownership was dedicated to a youth movement and he retired after the 1950 season. At his retirement, Appling was the all-time leader for most games played and for double plays by a major league shortstop, and the all-time leader for putouts and assists by an American League shortstop. These records were later broken by Luis Aparicio, who also spent the majority of his career with the White Sox.

Appling was a successful minor league manager after his playing days were over, winning pennants with Memphis in the Southern Association and Indianapolis of the American Association and being named minor league manager of the year in 1952; but his only chance to manage at the major league level was as a late-season replacement for Alvin Dark as manager of the Kansas City Athletics in 1967, leaving his major league managerial record at 10-30. He later worked as a batting instructor for the Atlanta Braves in the 1980s. At age 75, he appeared in an old-timers game and hit a home run off Warren Spahn.

Appling was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1964.

He died in Cumming, Georgia at age of 83.

YEAR TEAM        AGE    G    AB    R    H  2B  3B  HR    HR%  RBI   BB   SO   SB  CS   AVG   SLG   OBA   OPS
1930 Whitesox     23    6    26    2    8   2   0   0   0.00    2    0    0    2   0  .308  .385  .308  .692 
1931 Whitesox     24   96   297   36   69  13   4   1   0.34   28   29   27    9   2  .232  .313  .303  .616 
1932 Whitesox     25  139   489   66  134  20  10   3   0.61   63   40   36    9   8  .274  .374  .329  .703 
1933 Whitesox     26  151   612   90  197  36  10   6   0.98   85   56   29    6  11  .322  .443  .379  .822 
1934 Whitesox     27  118   452   75  137  28   6   2   0.44   61   59   27    3   1  .303  .405  .384  .788 
1935 Whitesox     28  153   525   94  161  28   6   1   0.19   71  122   40   12   6  .307  .389  .437  .826 
1936 Whitesox     29  138   526  111  204  31   7   6   1.14  128   85   25   10   6  .388  .508  .473  .981 
1937 Whitesox     30  154   574   98  182  42   8   4   0.70   77   86   28   18  10  .317  .439  .407  .846 
1938 Whitesox     31   81   294   41   89  14   0   0   0.00   44   42   17    1   3  .303  .350  .392  .742 
1939 Whitesox     32  148   516   82  162  16   6   0   0.00   56  105   37   16   9  .314  .368  .430  .798 
1940 Whitesox     33  150   566   96  197  27  13   0   0.00   79   69   35    3   5  .348  .442  .420  .862 
1941 Whitesox     34  154   592   93  186  26   8   1   0.17   57   82   32   12   8  .314  .390  .399  .789 
1942 Whitesox     35  142   543   78  142  26   4   3   0.55   53   63   23   17   5  .262  .341  .342  .682 
1943 Whitesox     36  155   585   63  192  33   2   3   0.51   80   90   29   27   8  .328  .407  .419  .825 
1945 Whitesox     38   18    58   12   21   2   2   1   1.72   10   12    7    1   0  .362  .517  .471  .989 
1946 Whitesox     39  149   582   59  180  27   5   1   0.17   55   71   41    6   4  .309  .378  .384  .762 
1947 Whitesox     40  139   503   67  154  29   0   8   1.59   49   64   28    8   6  .306  .412  .386  .797 
1948 Whitesox     41  139   497   63  156  16   2   0   0.00   47   94   35   10   4  .314  .354  .423  .777 
1949 Whitesox     42  142   492   82  148  21   5   5   1.02   58  121   24    7  12  .301  .394  .439  .833 
1950 Whitesox     43   50   128   11   30   3   4   0   0.00   13   12    8    2   0  .234  .320  .300  .620 
     TOTALS          2422  8857 1319 2749 440 102  45   0.51 1116 1302  528  179 108  .310  .398  .399  .798 
     LG AVERAGE            8472 1226 2356 422 100 149   1.75 1139  965  754  107  75  .278  .404  .354  .758 
     POS AVERAGE           8344 1163 2262 406  87  90   1.07  986  943  719  114  80  .271  .373  .348  .720 
YEAR TEAM           RC RCAA RCAP   OWP   RC/G   TB  EBH   ISO   SEC   BPA IBB HBP SAC  SF GIDP OUTS    PA POS
1930 Whitesox        3   -1    0  .357   4.33   10    2  .077  .154  .462   0   0   0   0   0    18    26  SS
1931 Whitesox       31  -15   -6  .328   3.46   93   18  .081  .202  .398   0   1   3   0   0   233   330  SS
1932 Whitesox       61   -8    3  .444   4.33  183   33  .100  .184  .423   0   0   3   0   0   366   532  SS
1933 Whitesox      103   13   26  .563   6.26  271   52  .121  .204  .482   0   0   2   0   0   428   670  SS
1934 Whitesox       75    3   14  .519   6.07  183   36  .102  .237  .477   0   0   5   0   0   321   516  SS
1935 Whitesox      101   11   22  .553   6.97  204   35  .082  .326  .513   0   0   7   0   0   377   654  SS
1936 Whitesox      134   54   65  .721  10.43  267   44  .120  .289  .583   0   0   6   0   0   334   617  SS
1937 Whitesox      110   15   25  .568   7.04  252   54  .122  .286  .525   0   1   4   0   0   406   665  SS
1938 Whitesox       43   -4    2  .456   5.35  103   14  .048  .184  .427   0   1   1   0   0   209   338  SS
1939 Whitesox       93    7   29  .537   6.56  190   22  .054  .271  .469   0   0   9   0  11   383   630  SS
1940 Whitesox      109   28   43  .630   7.59  250   40  .094  .212  .483   0   1   3   0  11   388   639  SS
1941 Whitesox       99   22   27  .613   6.27  231   35  .076  .221  .456   0   1   2   0  10   426   677  SS
1942 Whitesox       70    0   10  .499   4.53  185   33  .079  .217  .420   0   3   4   0   7   417   613  SS
1943 Whitesox      110   46   46  .731   7.16  238   38  .079  .265  .496   0   1   1   0  13   415   677  SS
1945 Whitesox       16   10   11  .863  11.37   30    5  .155  .379  .614   0   0   1   0   0    38    71  SS
1946 Whitesox       88   18   21  .601   5.56  220   33  .069  .194  .426   0   0   6   0  15   427   659  SS
1947 Whitesox       81   19   17  .620   5.85  207   37  .105  .237  .456   0   1   4   0  15   374   572  SS
1948 Whitesox       82   14    9  .585   6.07  176   18  .040  .241  .438   0   0   3   0  17   365   594  3B
1949 Whitesox       90   17   21  .597   6.31  194   31  .093  .329  .468   0   0   6   0  23   385   619  SS
1950 Whitesox       12  -10   -8  .249   2.97   41    7  .086  .195  .343   0   0   4   0   7   109   144  SS
     TOTALS       1511  239  377  .577   6.26 3528  587  .088  .243  .470   0  10  74   0 129  6419 10243 
     LG AVERAGE   1285    0    0  .500   5.32 3424  671  .126  .244  .458   0  33 116   0 112  6419  9586 
     POS AVERAGE  1148 -140    0  .448   4.75 3111  583  .102  .219  .430   0  37 139   0 117  6419  9463 


League Leadership Rankings

1932 AL
-------------------------------
CAUGHT STEALING     T10TH     8
WORST OPS           7TH    .703
1933 AL
-------------------------------
GAMES               T9TH    151
AT BATS             4TH     612
HITS                6TH     197
SINGLES             4TH     145
DOUBLES             T10TH    36
CAUGHT STEALING     T4TH     11
AVERAGE             7TH    .322
TOTAL BASES         9TH     271
PLATE APPEARANCES   T9TH    670
OUTS                7TH     428
1935 AL
-------------------------------
GAMES               2ND     153
WALKS               2ND     122
OBA                 5TH    .437
RUNS CREATED/GAME   10TH   6.97
SECONDARY AVERAGE   8TH    .326
TOTAL AVERAGE       10TH   .897
1936 AL
-------------------------------
HITS                8TH     204
SINGLES             T2ND    160
RBI                 6TH     128
AVERAGE             1ST    .388
OBA                 2ND    .473
OPS                 6TH    .981
RUNS CREATED        7TH     134
RCAA                6TH      54
RCAP                T4TH     65
OWP                 4TH    .721
RUNS CREATED/GAME   4TH   10.43
TOTAL AVERAGE       4TH   1.085
1937 AL
-------------------------------
GAMES               T7TH    154
DOUBLES             T6TH     42
WALKS               T10TH    86
STOLEN BASES        T4TH     18
CAUGHT STEALING     3RD      10
OBA                 10TH   .407
1939 AL
-------------------------------
SINGLES             3RD     140
WALKS               3RD     105
STOLEN BASES        T9TH     16
CAUGHT STEALING     T7TH      9
OBA                 7TH    .430
1940 AL
-------------------------------
HITS                4TH     197
SINGLES             2ND     157
TRIPLES             5TH      13
AVERAGE             2ND    .348
OBA                 5TH    .420
RCAA                10TH     28
RCAP                4TH      43
OWP                 9TH    .630
1941 AL
-------------------------------
GAMES               T3RD    154
AT BATS             5TH     592
HITS                4TH     186
SINGLES             2ND     151
STOLEN BASES        T8TH     12
CAUGHT STEALING     8TH       8
AVERAGE             10TH   .314
OBA                 10TH   .399
RCAP                9TH      27
PLATE APPEARANCES   8TH     677
1942 AL
-------------------------------
STOLEN BASES        T5TH     17
1943 AL
-------------------------------
GAMES               T1ST    155
AT BATS             9TH     585
HITS                2ND     192
SINGLES             2ND     154
DOUBLES             T5TH     33
RBI                 10TH     80
WALKS               T4TH     90
STOLEN BASES        4TH      27
CAUGHT STEALING     T9TH      8
AVERAGE             1ST    .328
SLG                 10TH   .407
OBA                 1ST    .419
OPS                 5TH    .825
RUNS CREATED        2ND     110
RCAA                2ND      46
RCAP                2ND      46
OWP                 4TH    .731
RUNS CREATED/GAME   2ND    7.16
TOTAL BASES         7TH     238
TOTAL AVERAGE       3RD    .841
BPA                 5TH    .496
PLATE APPEARANCES   2ND     677
1946 AL
-------------------------------
GAMES               10TH    149
AT BATS             T5TH    582
HITS                3RD     180
SINGLES             2ND     147
WALKS               9TH      71
AVERAGE             6TH    .309
OBA                 6TH    .384
GIDP                T10TH    15
PLATE APPEARANCES   T6TH    659
OUTS                10TH    427
1947 AL
-------------------------------
SINGLES             T7TH    117
DOUBLES             T5TH     29
AVERAGE             8TH    .306
OBA                 10TH   .386
RCAP                T10TH    17
OWP                 10TH   .620
1948 AL
-------------------------------
SINGLES             5TH     138
WALKS               7TH      94
STOLEN BASES        T8TH     10
AVERAGE             9TH    .314
OBA                 3RD    .423
1949 AL
-------------------------------
WALKS               4TH     121
CAUGHT STEALING     2ND      12
OBA                 2ND    .439
RCAP                T9TH     21
SECONDARY AVERAGE   9TH    .329
TOTAL AVERAGE       10TH   .818
GIDP                T2ND     23


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