Catfish Metkovich

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Catfish Metkovich
Catfish Metkovich 1949.jpg
Metkovich's 1949 Bowman Gum baseball card, during his tenure with the PCL Oakland Oaks
Outfielder / First baseman
Born: (1920-10-08)October 8, 1920
Angels Camp, California
Died: May 17, 1995(1995-05-17) (aged 74)
Costa Mesa, California
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
July 16, 1943, for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance
September 26, 1954, for the Milwaukee Braves
MLB statistics
Batting average .261
Home runs 47
Runs batted in 373

George Michael "Catfish" Metkovich (October 8, 1920 — May 17, 1995) was an American outfielder and first baseman in Major League Baseball for the Boston Red Sox (1943–46), Cleveland Indians (1947), Chicago White Sox (1949), Pittsburgh Pirates (1951–53), Chicago Cubs (1953) and Milwaukee Braves (1954). Born in Angels Camp, California, to Croatian parents, Metkovich earned his nickname when he stepped on a catfish during a fishing trip and cut his foot; the injury and ensuing infection caused him to miss several games.[1]

Metkovich stood 6'1" (185 cm) tall, weighed 185 pounds (84 kg), and batted and threw left-handed. He helped the Red Sox win the 1946 American League pennant as the team's semi-regular right fielder. He appeared as a pinch hitter twice in the 1946 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. After flying out against Red Munger in Game 4, Metkovich's pinch double off Murry Dickson in the eighth inning of Game 7 helped the Red Sox come back from a 3–1 deficit. He scored the tying run on a double by Dom DiMaggio.[2] But in the bottom of the same inning, the Cardinals broke the 3–3 tie on Enos Slaughter's "mad dash" to win the game and the world championship.

Metkovich's early career was spent in the American League, but his salad days were in the National League of the early 1950s. He finished 38th in voting for the 1952 National League Most Valuable Player, playing in 125 games and batting .271 with 101 hits, 7 home runs, and 41 RBIs. In his 10 MLB seasons he played in 1055 games, batting .261 with 934 hits, 47 home runs, and 373 RBIs.

Metkovich's playing career spanned 19 years (1939–57). He managed the San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League from May 16, 1957, through July 23, 1960, posting three winning records. He also briefly scouted for the expansion Washington Senators in the early 1960s.

Metkovich appeared in several Hollywood movies between 1949 and 1952[3]. In "Three Little Words (1950)", he performed in several slapstick comedy scenes with Red Skelton.

He died in Costa Mesa, California, at the age of 74. In 2013, Metkovich was inducted posthumously in the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame.


  1. ^ The Sporting News, 1954 Baseball Register, page 105
  2. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals 4, Boston Red Sox 3". Retrosheet. 15 Oct 1946.
  3. ^ "George Metkovich". IMDb. Retrieved 16 December 2017.

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference
  • Catfish Metkovich at Find a Grave
Preceded by
Bob Elliott
San Diego Padres (PCL) manager
Succeeded by
Jimmie Reese
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