April 2, 1907, Lucius Benjamin Appling, is born in High Point North Carolina  he moved to Atlanta, Georgia with his family as a child. After graduating from Fulton High School, where he played baseball and football, Appling attended Oglethorpe College in Georgia for two years. Appling starred on the university’s baseball team, while also playing fullback on the football team, before leaving school during his sophomore year to pursue a career in professional baseball. He signed a contract with the Southern League Atlanta Crackers in 1929 and spent one year with the team, experiencing success at the plate but also committing 42 errors in only 104 games at shortstop. Despite his early difficulties in the field, Appling remained determined to make a successful career out of playing shortstop. He later recalled, “My Daddy was lefthanded, and I was lefthanded when I was little. In fact, I was lefthanded all the way to high school. Then I switched over to righthanded ’cause I wanted to play shortstop.”

Luke Appling was one of the best hitting shortstops ever to play in the American League. An exceptional contact hitter, Appling struck out only 528 times in over 10,000 plate appearances for the Chicago White Sox, while winning two batting titles and posting a lifetime mark of .310. His .388 batting average in 1936 established a 20th-century record for major-league shortstops, one that was approached only by the mark of .385 posted by Pittsburgh’s Arky Vaughan one year earlier and the .381 figure compiled by Honus Wagner in 1900. Blessed with a keen batting eye, Appling accumulated more than 100 walks three times during his career, enabling him to compile a lifetime on-base percentage of just under .400. Nevertheless, Appling is often excluded from conversations involving the greatest shortstops of all time since he committed a total of 643 errors in his 20 big-league seasons, leaving him with the worst fielding percentage of any player with at least 1900 games since 1910

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