Former Dodger Mike Sandlock passes away at 100

Catcher A.J. Ellis meets former Brooklyn Dodger Mike Sandlock at New York's Citi Field on July 21, 2012.

A.J. Ellis meets former Brooklyn Dodger Mike Sandlock at New York’s Citi Field on July 21, 2012.

By Mark Langill

Former Brooklyn Dodger catcher and infielder Mike Sandlock, who at age 100 was the oldest living former Major Leaguer, passed away on Monday night in Cos Cob, Connecticut.

Sandlock, a utility player, spent parts of five seasons between 1942 and 1953 with the Boston Braves, Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates. He appeared in a career-high 80 games with the Dodgers in 1945 at four positions — catcher, second base, shortstop and third base — as manager Leo Durocher juggled a roster depleted by players serving in the armed forces. The 1945 Dodgers featured four players over age 40 — catcher Clyde Sukeforth (43), outfielder Babe Herman (42), catcher Ray Hayworth (41) and pitcher Curt Davis (41). Sandlock’s 4-F draft status precluded military duty, but he still contributed to the war effort by missing the 1943 season to help manufacture ammunition at a Chrysler plant.

Sandlock was a witness to history during Spring Training 1947 when Jackie Robinson was attempting to make the jump from Triple-A Montreal to Brooklyn and become the first African-American in the 20th century to appear in the Majors. When some Brooklyn players circulated a petition protesting Robinson’s presence on the team, Sandlock refused to sign it. Sandlock spent the 1947 season at Triple-A Montreal and helped tutor catcher Roy Campanella’s throwing motion. Campanella joined the Dodgers in 1948, and Sandlock eventually became the starting catcher for the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League from 1949-52. He celebrated his 100th birthday on October 17, 2015.

1 Comment

Too bad, Everyday we get reminders that we don’t live forever. May he RIP.

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