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Earl Torgeson Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: January 01, 1924 in Snohomish, Washington
Died: November 08, 1990 in Everett, Washington
Biography | show moreshow less

Baseball Career:
First Game: April 15, 1947; Final Game: August 23, 1961
Bat: Left Throw: Left Height: 6' 3" Weight: 180

Earl Torgeson
This article was written by Mark Armour and is presented in part, courtesy of the Society for American Baseball Research

In a 15-year major league career filled with great stories and accomplishments of various stripes, Earl Torgeson was well known for getting in brawls. Even before he reached the major leagues, in the winter before his rookie season, he had faced assault charges for decking two men on a Seattle street who had used vulgar language in front of his wife. The judge threw out the case, telling the assembled, “I would have done the same thing.”

Billy Southworth, his first manager in Boston, called him “as fierce a competitor as I’ve seen in all my years in baseball.” Second baseman Roy Hartsfield said, “Torgy is a very humorous fellow -- until the ball game starts.” In 1948 Torgeson took offense in a preseason “City Series” game at Braves Field when Red Sox infielder Billy Hitchcock got tangled up with him while returning to the first base bag. After it happened again, Torgeson belted Hitchcock in the mouth, causing both benches to empty and a free-for-all to erupt. The skirmish cost Torgeson his glasses, and after this he would always remove them before a pending confrontation.

Then there was the time in 1950 he was hit in the ribs with a pitch thrown by the Pirates’ Cliff Chambers. The very next day Chambers threw one at Torgy’s head; believing this action had crossed the line, Earl angrily conversed with the pitcher. The conversation did not go well. After removing his glasses, Torgeson charged the mound and started a multi-player melee. Torgeson played the rest of the season with a broken rib, the result of Chambers’ first errant fastball. Fortunately, the second one had missed his head.

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