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Arky Vaughan's Geni Profile

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Joseph Floyd "Arky" Vaughan

Birthdate: (40)
Death: August 30, 1952 (40) (drowning)
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Vaughan and Laura Vonna Vaughan

Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About Arky Vaughan

Joseph Floyd "Arky" Vaughan (March 9, 1912 - August 30, 1952) was a Major League Baseball shortstop.

Born in Clifty, Arkansas, Vaughan made his major league debut in 1932 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He hit .318 with 61 RBI in his rookie season. Over the following decade, Vaughan established himself as one of the best-hitting shortstops to ever play the game, batting over .300 in every season through 1941, and regularly being at or near the top of the league in runs scored, RBI, batting average, stolen bases and walks. In 1935, he hit a career-high .385, with 19 home runs and 99 runs batted in; he was named Player of the Year by The Sporting News and was third in National League MVP voting. That season has been called the best ever by a shortstop other than Honus Wagner. In the 1941 All-Star Game, Vaughan hit two home runs, but was upstaged by a ninth-inning, three-run homer by American Leaguer Ted Williams.

Vaughan was traded to the Brooklyn Dodgers in late 1941 and was unable to maintain his high standards of play in his new city, despite leading the league with 20 stolen bases in 1943. Normally a reserved player, Vaughan got into a clubhouse fight with temperamental manager Leo Durocher late in 1943. He sat out the next three years before returning in 1947. He played in his only World Series that season, losing to the New York Yankees, and left the majors after 1948. His last year in baseball was 1949, with the Pacific Coast League's San Francisco Seals. He retired with 1,173 runs scored, 96 home runs, 926 RBI, 118 steals, a .318 batting average and a .406 on base percentage. His .385 batting average in 1935 is a Pittsburgh team record and remained a 20th century record for National League shortstops.

On August 30, 1952, Vaughan was fishing in Lost Lake, near Eagleville, California, when a storm brewed. The boat sank, and Vaughan and a friend drowned. Vaughan was 40.

Vaughan was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985. In 1981, Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig included him in their book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time. In his New Historical Baseball Abstract, Bill James claimed that Vaughan is the second-best shortstop in major league history, behind fellow Pirate and mentor Honus Wagner. Vaughan is the 26th greatest non-pitcher in major league history, according to win shares.

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Arky Vaughan's Timeline

March 9, 1912
August 30, 1952
Age 40