Babe Herman (1926-31, 1945, .339/.396/.557): Babe Herman was a great hitter and a lousy fielder who will always be remembered for one thing: doubling into a double play. On Aug. 15, 1926, the Dodgers were playing the Boston Braves. With one out and the bases loaded, Herman launched a fly ball to right that looked like it would be caught, but it hit the wall. The runner on third scored, but the runner on second, Dazzy Vance, rounded third and stopped, unsure if the ball had been caught. The runner on first, Chick Fewster, saw Vance round third and assumed he was going to score, so Fewster rounded second and continued to third, where he met the confused Vance. Meanwhile Herman, head down all the way, came sliding into third with what he thought was a triple. The base belonged to Vance, so Fewster and Herman were tagged out, inning over. What often gets overlooked, the run Herman did knock in turned out to be the winning run in the game. Also, Herman played so well that season that the Dodgers released aging future Hall of Famer Zack Wheat, convinced Herman could replace him. Herman’s best season came in 1930, when he hit .393 with 48 doubles, 11 triples, 35 homers and 130 RBIs. Tempering those numbers a bit is the fact the entire league hit .303 in 1930 and despite those lofty numbers, Herman amazingly didn’t lead the league in anything. Herman led the team in homers in RBIs in 1931 and hit for the cycle twice. He got into a salary dispute with the team after the season and the Dodgers traded him to Cincinnati. He left the majors after the 1937 season but in 1945, with the Dodgers in a pennant race and players scarce because of the war, GM Branch Rickey asked Herman, who had been playing in the Pacific Coast League, if he would like to return to the Dodgers. Herman, 42, said sure and hit .265 with a double, homer and nine RBIs in 34 at-bats. He retired for good and became a long-time scout for various teams. Babe Herman died in Glendale on Nov. 27, 1987 at age 84.
Source: latimes.com – Los Angeles Times