From SABR member Nick Diunte at Examiner.com on January 16, 2012:
Al Van Alstyne found himself in spring training with the Red Sox in 1952 surrounded by their 15 best prospects, all trying to fill the void of Ted Williams pending leave for active duty in the Korean War. The Red Sox paraded 14 different players to the outfield after Williams departed for service at the end of April; unfortunately, Van Alstyne wasn’t one of them.
Van Alstyne passed away January 5th at the age of 84 after suffering from a long bout with cancer. He grew up in a baseball household, as his father Clayton Sr. pitched for the Washington Senators and his brother Clayton Jr. was an infielder in the Pirates organization. [Note: His father hit his only home run in his last major league at-bat, one of only 43 major leaguers to accomplish this feat.]
His father’s baseball connections opened the door for his signing with the Boston Red Sox in 1950 from St. Lawrence University.
“My dad played in Washington with Joe Cronin, and he was with me the day I signed in Boston, as Joe was the general manager there,” said Van Alstyne in a 2009 phone interview I conducted with him.
Read the full article here: http://www.examiner.com/baseball-history-in-national/al-van-alstyne-84-stood-the-shadows-of-williams-and-mantle
Originally published: January 16, 2012. Last Updated: January 16, 2012.