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Joe Medwick

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Joseph Michael Medwick (November 24, 1911 - March 21, 1975), nicknamed "Muscles", was an American player in Major League Baseball. A highly competitive left fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals during the "Gashouse Gang" era of the 1930s, he also played for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1940-43, '46), New York Giants (1943-45), and Boston Braves (1945). He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1968 by the Veterans Committee.

Born in Carteret, New Jersey, he made his debut with the Cardinals in 1932. While fans nicknamed him "Ducky" and "Ducky Wucky" because of his waddle, none of his teammates dared to use that name to his face. His hard-charging style of play got him pulled out of the seventh game of the 1934 World Series by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, when Detroit Tigers fans started pelting him with garbage after he slid hard into third on a triple.

A 10-time All-Star, he played for 17 years, finishing with a lifetime .324 batting average. He won the Triple Crown and the NL Most Valuable Player in 1937. He helped lead the Dodgers to a pennant in 1941, but had lost much of his dominance after being nearly killed by a beanball thrown at him by a former Cardinal teammate 6 days after his 1940 trade. He eventually returned to finish his career with the Cardinals in 1947 and 1948.

During a USO tour by a number of players in 1944, Medwick was among several individuals given an audience by Pope Pius XII. Upon being asked by the Pope what his vocation was, Medwick replied, "Your Holiness, I'm Joe Medwick. I, too, used to be a Cardinal."

Medwick died of a heart attack in St. Petersburg, Florida at age 63.

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