Not in Hall of Fame - 29. Ernie Lombardi

Great Baseball Nicknames- ‘Schnooz’- Ernie Lombardi. I would bet no one reading this ever saw Ernie Lombardi play. He was a catcher from 1931-47 with the Dodgers, Reds, Braves and Giants- in 1986 he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee. It’s too bad that he died in 1977 and didn’t get to enjoy the honor. Lombardi was an interesting player. He was a large man- 6’3 230. He had large hands and could hold seven baseball’s in his hand at one time. He is also considered possibly the slowest runner in the history of major league baseball. The baseball historian Bill James says that Lombardi is the slowest man to ever play baseball well. In seventeen seasons he stole a grand total of 8 bases. He was a career .306 hitter- and with his turtle like speed he certainly earned every hit- because he got very few infield or bunt singles. He was nicknamed “Schnooz’ due to his- big nose. While it was said that Lombardi took the ribbing he got from teammates and fans with good humor- there is this. In 1953 after his career ended he was battling depression- on his way to a sanitarium he slit his throat from ear to ear with a razor. He received blood transfusions and survived.

Ernie Lombardi: The Other Great Cincinnati Reds Catcher - The Grueling Truth


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