Gus Suhr Essentials

Positions:
Bats: L Throws: R
Height: 72 Weight: 180
Born: Wednesday, January 03, 1906 in San Francisco, CA USA
Died: 1 15 2004 in Scottsdale, AZ USA
Debut: 4/15/1930
Last Game: 5/12/1940
Full Name: August Richard Suhr

 

Among theGus Suhr, first baseman for the 1930-39 Pirates. Suhr is considered by some as the best first baseman in team history. He was signed by the Pirates after hitting .381 with 51 homers, 62 doubles and 299 hits for San Francisco of the Pacific Coast League in 1929. Those totals are obviously extremely impressive but a little bit misleading. The PCL was a high offense league and they played approximately 200 games per year with Suhr playing in 202 during that season. The 1930 season was one of the highest offense seasons in major league history so Suhr broke in at the right time. He hit .286 during his rookie campaign with 80 walks, 93 runs scored and 107 RBIs.

A leg injury cost him part of the 1931 seasons and his numbers really suffered hitting only .211 in 87 games. After that season he was a mainstay in the lineup, averaging 152 games played per season over the next seven years. Three times he led the NL in games played. Suhr drove in 103 runs during the 1934 season and two years later he had a career year, hitting .312 with 95 walks, 111 runs scored and 118 RBIs. He made his only all-star appearances that 1936 season. During each of his eight full seasons in a Pirates uniform, Suhr finished in the top six in the NL in both walks and triples, although surprisingly despite that accomplishment, he never led the league in either category.

In ten seasons in Pittsburgh, he hit .278 with 789 RBIs and 689 runs scored over 1,365 games. He ranks eighth in Pirates history in runs batted in and eighth in walks with 679. He played 822 consecutive games with the Pirates, which was an NL record. His streak only ended when he attended his mother’s funeral. The Pirates traded Suhr to the Phillies in the middle of the 1939 season in exchange for pitcher Max Butcher, who was just 28-46 career at the time of the trade. Despite the stats seemingly making this a one-sided trade, the Pirates actually got the better of the deal as Butcher went 67-60 in seven seasons in Pittsburgh, while Suhr played 70 games for the Phillies before they released him. He returned to the minors, playing off and on until 1948.

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