Hogan: Dickey Kerr, a small miracle

From SABR member Lawrence Hogan at The National Pastime Museum on April 3, 2014:

It was said of Dickey Kerr: “He was not as tall as a walking stick and the tiniest of the whole team. Won’t weigh 90 pounds sopping wet. Too small for a pitcher, especially a left-handed pitcher. But would make someone a good watch charm.”

Damon Runyon said about this oddly sized major leaguer, “When the fancy are pawing over the runt of the litter, they always disdain the runt. Too small! Sell him for a lead nickel! Give him away! Drown him! Anything to get rid of him!” But it would be said of “Runyon’s Runt” that despite all the ridicule aimed at him, he played with determination, proving the old saying that ‘dynamite comes in small packages.’” 

There were games he had no right winning. When the majority of your supporting cast is in the tank to gamblers, winning two World Series games is nothing short of remarkable. Yet after two shocking opening losses by the infamous Chicago Black Sox that had rumors swirling about a fix, Game 3 saw Kerr hurl a three-hit shutout for a 3-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the tainted 1919 World Series. Then he came back in Game 6 to notch a 5-4 victory in his second complete game of the Series.

His Hall of Fame catcher, Ray Schalk, called Kerr “The Little Giant.” During his outstanding rookie season of 1919 (13-7 with a 2.88 earned-run average), newspaper reporters tagged him “The New Napoleon.” 

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/dickie-kerr-small-miracle-0

Originally published: April 3, 2014. Last Updated: April 3, 2014.