George Michael "Catfish" Metkovich

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George Michael "Catfish" Metkovich

Birthdate: (73)
Birthplace: Angels Camp, Calaveras County, California, United States
Death: May 17, 1995 (73)
Costa Mesa, Orange County, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Ivo/John Metkovich and Katarina Metkovich
Husband of Ann Margaret Metkovich
Father of <private> Lease (Metkovich); <private> Metkovich; <private> Metkovich and <private> Metkovich
Brother of Chris J Metkovich; Helen Metkovich; Louis Chris "Louie" Metkovich; Martin Albert Metkovich and Johnny Metkovich

Managed by: Fred Petrich
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About George Michael "Catfish" Metkovich


Metkovich, a former major league baseball player, was born in the mining town of Angel’s Camp, California and raised in Los Angeles. He was known affectionately as “Catfish” to his teammates. Splitting time between the outfield and first base, he averaged .261 batting mostly in the American League. Primarily a singles hitter, Metkovich hit a career high 28 doubles with the Boston Red Sox in 1942. After four years with the Red Sox, he was traded to the Cleveland Indians in 1946. After spending 1949 with the Chicago White Sox and 1950-53 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Metkovic was dealt to the Milwaukee Braves. He retired after the 1954 season. George can be seen in a bit part in the film “Angels in the Outfield” (1951). He was related to Chris and Ivan Metkovich, pipeline contractors in Los Angeles.

Birth: Oct. 8, 1921 Angels Camp Calaveras County California, USA Death: May 17, 1995 Costa Mesa Orange County California, USA

Major League Baseball Player. The outfielder-first baseman played 10 years with the Boston Red Sox (1943 to 1946), the Cleveland Indians (1947), the Chicago White Sox (1949), the Pittsburgh Pirates (1951 to 1953), the Chicago Cubs (1953) and the Milwaukee Braves (1954). In 1944, his first full year in the big leagues, he enjoyed a 25-game hitting streak and hit .277 with 28 doubles and 94 runs scored. On December 9, 1947, he was to go with $50,000 to the St. Louis Browns for infielder Johnny Berardino, who later became a soap-opera star on television. But because of a broken finger, Metkovich was returned to the Indians in exchange for another $15,000. He played baseball player-clown Al Schact in "Three Little Words" in 1950 and also had bit parts in "The Winning Team" and "Love Is Better Than Ever" in 1952. He was part of the blockbuster trade that sent Pittsburgh slugger Ralph Kiner to the Cubs. Metkovich, Kiner, catcher Joe Garagiola and pitcher Howie Pollet went to Chicago on June 4, 1953 for catcher Toby Atwell, first baseman Preston Ward, outfielders Gene Hermanski and Bob Addis, third baseman George Freese, pitcher Bob Schultz and $150,000. His career totals were .261 with 47 homers and 373 runs batted in. He was 31 for 116 as a pinch hitter (.267). He died from complications from Alzheimer's disease. (bio by: Ron Coons)


Burial: El Toro Memorial Park Lake Forest Orange County California, USA Plot: Southeast Section, Block 21, Lot 7, Space 10


Catfish Metkovich Biographical Information

Catfish Metkovich was an outfielder and first baseman who had a 10-season career in the big leagues from 1943 to 1954, and also played on the famous 1948 Oakland Oaks team..
One source says he looked like Ted Williams, although pictures of him also look a bit like the young Steve Garvey. So imagine Ted's face with a bit of the young Garvey eyes and baby fat, and you've about got it..
Metkovich (the name is of Croatian background) was born in 1920 in Angels Camp, CA, a place in the middle of nowhere about 25 miles from Yosemite National Park. He went to John C. Fremont High School in Los Angeles, CA. He was signed out of high school by the Detroit Tigers in 1939..
He played at Henderson in the East Texas League in 1939. In January 1940, he and many other Detroit signees were declaredfree agents by the commissioner of baseball, and he signed with the Boston Bees. He played at Evansville in the III League..
In 1943, he split his time between the Boston Red Sox and the San Francisco Seals. In his first season in the majors, he appeared in 73 games and hit .246. With the Seals in the minors, he played for manager Lefty O'Doul and hit .325..
His best season was 1944, when he hit .277 with 9 home runs and 13 stolen bases. The stolen bases led the Red Sox that year..
Ted Williams was away from the team most of the war years, but they played on the same team in 1946, along with Bobby Doerr, Dom DiMaggio, and Rudy York. He pinch-hit a double and scored a run in the seventh game of the 1946 World Series..
He was with the Oakland Oaks in all or part of 1948-1950 and 1955. The 1948 team, managed by Casey Stengel, was considered one of the great minor league teams of all time. Metkovich is generally thought of as one of the Nine Old Men, although he was fairly young at the time. Metkovich was dubbed "Catfish" by Stengel after he cut himself removing a hook from a catfish..
When he came back to the majors in 1951 (he played in the majors in 1947, 1949, and 1951, but was with the Oaks all of 1948 and 1950), he hit .293 for the Pittsburgh Pirates. His teammates in 1951 included Ralph Kiner, and in 1952 the rookie Dick Groat. He and Kiner and others were involved in a trade in the middle of 1953 which brought them to the Chicago Cubs. After the season, Metkovich was sold to the Milwaukee Braves, where he finished out his major league career as a backup, hitting .276, in1954 the same season as Hank Aaron played his rookie year for the Braves, hitting .280..
According to the similarity scores method, one of the two most similar players to Metkovich is Cesar Geronimo, the center fielder from the Big Red Machine from the 1970s..
He said he owed his success to his oldest brother who practiced with him all the time. During the off-seasons, he was an "airplane inspector"..
1950 MVP Pacific Coast League  Oakland Oaks.
knauff originally shared this

28 Oct 2013 ☒story

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George Michael "Catfish" Metkovich's Timeline

October 8, 1921
Angels Camp, Calaveras County, California, United States
May 17, 1995
Age 73
Costa Mesa, Orange County, California, United States