Battifarano: For nearly 80 years, Buzz Arlett’s power stood unmatched in minors

From Andrew Battifarano at on April 17, 2020:

In baseball, two-way talents are the exception rather than the rule. There are the anomalies, like second-ranked Rays prospect Brendan McKay the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani. Going back in time, one notable pitcher in the first half of the 20th century turned out to be such a prodigious slugger that his dominance on the mound is all but forgotten.

If you’re thinking of Babe Ruth, you’re on the right track. Buzz Arlett, known as “the Babe Ruth of the Minor Leagues,” played all of 121 Major League games across one season in 1931.

But Arlett’s journey in baseball didn’t begin and end with his stint with the Philadelphia Phillies. He went from shutdown hurler with 108 career victories to an insatiable powerhitter who belted 432 homers – a Minor League record that stood until 2015 – over a 20-year-career and whose 251 roundtrippers and 1,135 RBIs in the Pacific Coast League remain records today. His name lives on in Minors lore, too; Arlett is a member of both the PCL and International League Halls of Fame..

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Originally published: April 17, 2020. Last Updated: April 17, 2020.