Friday, November 17, 2006

November 17th, 1938

Aubrey Gatewood Born

You have to admire a player whose name sounds like the sort of place one that modern players would live in, as in: "although he plays for the White Sox, Jim Thome actually lives just outside the city in the wealthy suburb of Gatewood." Combined with "Aubrey" being--at least in my mind--a girl's name, and you've got a pretty good package there. (As an aside, Aubrey is apparently considered a unisex name and means "rules the elves;" that's some name.)

As it stands, the name is pretty much the best thing Gatewood had going for him. He pitched fewer than two hundred innings over a four year career. The first three came with the Angels in 1963-65 and he returned several years later with the Braves for two innings in 1970. Some sources list Gatewood as a knuckleballers, but others--notably the Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers--make no mention and they have a fairly comprehensive list of guys who threw it in the big leagues.

Whatever pitches he threw, when Gatewood was healthy enough to throw them he was capable of getting outs. He had an ERA of just 2.04 over the first two years of his career and was still respectable thereafter but arm troubles plagued him, as the four year gap with no appearences in the Major Leagues indicate. I don't know what he's doing these days; perhaps he's mayor of the sort of quiet suburb that would bear his name.

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