On May 21, 1902, future Hall of Famer Earl Averill is born in Snohomish, Washington. “The Earl of Snohomish,” who will make his major league debut in 1929 with the Cleveland Indians, at the time he was 26, but he made up for lost time quickly as he becomes one of the first players to hit a home run in his first Major League at-bat (April 16, 1929, opening day). He will bat .318 over a 13-year career with the Indians, Detroit Tigers, and Boston Braves.
“I thank the good Lord he wasn’t twins,” said Hall of Fame pitcher Lefty Gomez, whose Yankees battled the Indians in the American League throughout the 1930s. “One more like him probably would have kept me out of the Hall of Fame.”
He will also be forever known for famously hit the line drive that broke Dizzy Dean’s toe in the 1937 All-Star Game. Dean had averaged 24 wins a season up to then, and only 4 wins a season after, he had to change his delivery due to the broken toe, which caused damage to his arm, leading to his early retirement in 1941 at the age of 31.
Averill was the first Major League player to hit four home runs in a doubleheader (three home runs in the first game, one in second game) on September 17, 1930.
He will be elected into the Hall of Fame in 1975. Averill said on once he was informed, “I could have gotten in sooner,” said Averill of his Hall of Fame election. “But it’s sure better late than never.” He passed away in 1983.