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Elmer Valo Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

ELMER VALO
Born: March 5, 1921 in Rybnik, Czechoslovakia
Died: July 19, 1998 in Palmerton, Pennsylvania
Player Career
Bat: Left Throw: Right Height: 5' 11" Weight: 190
First Game: September 22, 1940 ; Final Game: October 1, 1961
Biography | show moreshow less
Elmer Valo
This article was written by Mel Marmer and is presented in part, courtesy of the Society for American Baseball Research
Elmer William Valo was born in Czechoslovakia but lived the American dream during nearly sixty years in professional baseball. He insisted he was not a "natural athlete," saying, "Being a baseball player is not a glamorous job, it's hard work."[1] In twenty years as a major league player, he reached base as often as Joe DiMaggio.[2]

As teammate Eddie Joost noted in Danny Peary's book, We Played the Game, Valo was a complete player who always put out 100 percent and was well liked. Though not a graceful outfielder, he used his sprinter's speed, superior leaping ability, and sheer determination to make up for any deficiencies. He served as a player representative and goodwill ambassador for the Philadelphia Athletics, and had a lifelong commitment to youth sports as a baseball instructor at clinics and a basketball referee. And he was a popular speaker to youth groups; his theme was always the value of sports and their relationship to freedom and the American way of life.[3]

Al Simmons reportedly said of him, "There is a guy who should never hit less than .340. He has the timing, the coordination and the strength. If he could only learn to relax a little, he'd be great."[4]

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