Tuesday, February 9, 2021

A Great Memory From Gus Zernial

Sometimes in my correspondence I just ask the player for a fond memory. Many times they don't respond but will still sign my cards. Athletics Great Gus Zernial responded with an interaction he had with Branch Rickey around 1940, when Zernial was a young 17-year old.

Fond memory: As a 17 year old I attended a St Louis Cards Try Out Camp. The Great Man of Baseball was Branch Rickey - He sat in a chair and had every youngster come before him - I did that and he said to me "Run" - I ran and came back and he said to me "You play centerfield."
Great memory.

Correspondence received around 1997.
Zernial passed away in 2011 at the age of 87.

Chicago White Sox (1949–1951)
Philadelphia / Kansas City Athletics (1951–1957)
Detroit Tigers (1958–1959)

Career highlights and awards:
All-Star (1953)
AL home run leader (1951)
AL RBI leader (1951)
Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame

Batting average .265
Home runs 237
Runs batted in 776


  1. great story. i wonder what he would have said about his 1952 topps card.

  2. Two Zernial posts in two days. Nice. If you're bored...


  3. This is awesome- the story, and the fact that Mr. Zernial would take the time to write it down for you. Nice autos, too.

  4. It's nice that he had a fond memory of Branch Rickey, because from what I've read, a lot of other players didn't.