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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lee Handley
Lee Handley 1940 Play Ball card.jpeg
Third baseman
Born: (1913-07-13)July 13, 1913
Clarion, Iowa
Died: April 8, 1970(1970-04-08) (aged 56)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 15, 1936, for the Cincinnati Reds
Last MLB appearance
September 28, 1947, for the Philadelphia Phillies
MLB statistics
Batting average.269
Home runs15
Runs batted in297
Career highlights and awards

Lee Elmer Handley (July 13, 1913 – April 8, 1970) was an American professional baseball second baseman and third baseman. He played in Major League Baseball from 1936 to 1947 for the Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Philadelphia Phillies. His younger brother, Gene, also played in the Major Leagues from 1946 to 1947.

Early years

Handley played baseball for Soldan High School and the Jerome Goldman Post American Legion team in St. Louis, Missouri. The Goldman team won the Missouri championship "due to a large degree to Handley's hitting and fielding."[1]

College sports

Handley played quarterback for Bradley Polytechnic Institute, with his accomplishments including a 50-yard pass that won a game in 1934. An article in the May 25, 1937, issue of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette described him as the "leading quarterback of the conference, featured schedule with his passing running and kicking."[2]

In 1933, Handley won the Most Valuable Player Award in football in the Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and he was an all-conference second baseman two years.[1] He also was a guard and captain on the basketball team and ran track at Bradley.[2]


Handley originally signed with the Cincinnati Reds, but Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis voided the contract, resulting in Handley's signing with Pittsburgh for a $20,000 bonus.[1]

Listed at 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m) tall and 160 pounds (73 kg), Handley was nicknamed "Jeep." He reached the majors in 1936 with the Cincinnati Reds, spending one year with them before moving to the Pittsburgh Pirates (1937–41, 1944–46) and Philadelphia Phillies (1947). He was a rookie Pirate regular at second base in 1937, and a full- or part-time third baseman from 1938 through 1941. His most productive season came in 1938, when he posted career-numbers in games played (139), runs (91), hits (153), doubles (25), home runs (6) and runs batted in (51). He also was considered in the Most Valuable Player vote.

In 1939 Handley hit a career-high average of .285 and tied for the National League lead in stolen bases (17), despite suffering a serious beaning that kept him out of the lineup for 52 games. He also was hurt in an automobile accident before the 1942 season, but returned in 1945 to hit .298 in 98 games.

In a 10-season career, Handley was a .269 hitter with 15 home runs and 297 RBI in 968 games, including a solid 1.31 walk-to-strikeout ratio (267-to-204).

Post-baseball career

In 1954, Handley and Frankie Gustine began a daily 15-minute sports program on KDKA radio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They had previously worked together on both radio and TV programs.[3]


An alumnus of Bradley University, Handley died of an apparent heart attack in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at the age of 56.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Gillespie, Ray J. (May 29, 1937). "Card Fan Who Liked Browns Stars With Pirates". The St. Louis Star and Times. Missouri, St. Louis. p. 7. Retrieved 14 July 2019 – via
  2. ^ a b Abrams, Al (May 25, 1937). "Handley Star All-Around Athlete in College Days". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh. p. 16. Retrieved 14 July 2019 – via
  3. ^ "Ex-Pirate Infielders Helm KDKA Sports Shows". Variety. April 28, 1954. p. 35. Retrieved 14 July 2019.

External links

This page was last edited on 13 October 2020, at 12:36
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