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Art Shamsky Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: October 14, 1941 in St. Louis, Missouri
Biography | show moreshow less
Art Shamsky
This article was written by Eric Aron and is presented in part, courtesy of the Society for American Baseball Research

In the locker room celebration after the Mets won the 1969 National League pennant, he was quoted by the New York Daily News as saying, “I’ll walk down the street in New York now and people will say, ‘There’s Art Shamsky of the Mets.’ People used to laugh. They won’t anymore.”[1] Indeed, after his performance in the 1969 National League Championship Series, a three-game sweep over the Atlanta Braves, nobody would laugh. His seven hits in the NLCS led both teams, and, had the honor been bestowed, Shamsky might well have been named Most Valuable Player. He hit .300 during that Miracle Mets season and became a fan favorite, particularly among the area’s large Jewish population.

Art Shamsky played professional baseball for 13 seasons, between 1960 and 1972, eight in the major leagues. Nicknamed Sham and Smasher, the lanky left-handed outfielder/first baseman began his career with the Cincinnati Reds organization and later became a key part of the 1969 New York Mets world championship offense. In addition to his contributions to the Mets, Shamsky is best known for his four consecutive home runs spread over two games in August 1966 while he was with Cincinnati. He is the only major leaguer to hit three home runs in a game without being in the starting lineup.

Arthur Louis Shamsky was born in St. Louis on October 14, 1941. He grew up in a predominantly middle-class Jewish area of University City. His father ran a small scrap-iron business. Art was the only son, and had an older sister. “We were Jewish but we weren’t very religious,” he told an interviewer. “We observed the holidays but we didn’t make a big thing out of religion. About all I did as a player in recognizing the religion was to take off the major Jewish holidays.”[2]

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