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Ray Sanders

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Ray Sanders

Ray Sanders
First baseman
Born: (1916-12-04)December 4, 1916
Bonne Terre, Missouri
Died: October 28, 1983(1983-10-28) (aged 66)
Washington, Missouri
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 14, 1942, for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last MLB appearance
September 21, 1949, for the Boston Braves
MLB statistics
Batting average .274
Home runs 42
Runs batted in 329

Raymond Floyd Sanders (December 4, 1916 – October 28, 1983) was a professional baseball player. Primarily a first baseman, he played all or part of six seasons in Major League Baseball between 1942 and 1949.


  • Early life 1
  • Playing career 2
    • Cardinals 2.1
    • Braves 2.2
  • Later life 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Early life

Sanders was born in Bonne Terre, Missouri.

Playing career


Sanders was originally signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1938. From 1939 to 1941 he was named to his league's all-star team as either a starter or honorable mention each year.[1]

Following the 1941 season, Cardinals general manager Branch Rickey traded future Hall of Fame first baseman Johnny Mize to the New York Giants, opening a spot for Sanders.[1] Sanders made his MLB debut for the Cardinals on April 14, 1942. He and Johnny Hopp split time at first base through mid August, with Hopp receiving the lion's share of playing time from that point on,[2] as well as starting all five games in the 1942 World Series, which the Cardinals won over the New York Yankees.

Sanders became the Cardinals full-time first baseman in 1943, with Hopp moving to a utility role. The Cardinals won their second straight National League pennant, but lost a rematch with the Yankees in the 1943 World Series in five games. In their lone win in Game Two, Sanders followed Whitey Kurowski's home run with one of his own, which wound up being the margin of victory in the 4–3 win.[1][3]

In 1944, Sanders had his best year, finishing 15th in the voting for the National League Most Valuable Player Award. He set career highs in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in, helping the Cardinals to return to the 1944 World Series. This time playing against the St. Louis Browns in their only World Series appearance, Sanders hit a home run in Game Five to help the Cardinals to a 2–0 win, with the Cardinals also winning Game Six to close out the Series.

In 1945, the Cardinals lost several of their star players, most notably Stan Musial, to World War II service, and failed to return to the World Series, finishing three games behind the Chicago Cubs. When Musial returned in 1946, the team intended to make him their regular first baseman. To make room, Sanders' contract was sold to the Boston Braves for $25,000.[4]


Sanders began the 1946 season as the Braves' regular first baseman, but he suffered a severe arm injury in August[4] in a collision with [1]

Sanders began the 1948 season in the minor leagues, first with the Pacific Coast League's Seattle Rainiers. When he was unable to get playing time due to Seattle's high level of talent, he was reassigned to the Class A Hartford Chiefs.[1] He finally returned to the major leagues in September, appearing in five games, all as a pinch hitter.[5] Despite his lack of playing time, he was on the Braves' roster for the 1948 World Series due to injuries to Jeff Heath and Jim Russell. In his lone appearance in the Series, he made the last out of Game Two off Bob Lemon.[6]

Sanders made the Braves as a bench player in 1949, but again missed most of the season due to injury. He broke his wrist during spring training,[1] and wound up playing just nine games, his last in the major leagues, with his final game coming on September 1. After spending 1950 with the minor league Milwaukee Brewers, he retired.[1]

Later life

Well after his playing days, Sanders went into scouting with the Cleveland Indians. He was married to Bernice Magre of Crystal City, Missouri for 40 years, and they had a daughter (Sandra) and a son (James). Sanders died in an automobile accident in Washington, Missouri.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j The Baseball Biography Project: Ray Sanders
  2. ^ 1942 St. Louis Cardinals Lineups and Defense
  3. ^ 1943 World Series Game 2 Box Score and Play-By-Play
  4. ^ a b Ray Sanders @ Baseball Library
  5. ^ Ray Sanders 1948 Game Log
  6. ^ 1948 World Series Game 2 Box Score and Play-By-Play

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
  • Ray Sanders at Find a Grave
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