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Appling, Lukelocked

(02 April 1907–03 January 1991)
  • John R. M. Wilson

Extract

Appling, Luke (02 April 1907–03 January 1991), baseball player, was born Lucius Benjamin Appling, Jr., in High Point, North Carolina, the son of Lucius Benjamin Appling, a furniture maker, and Dola Sapperfield. While he was in elementary school, Luke's family moved to the Atlanta area. Luke eventually starred in football and baseball at Fulton High School and then for two years at Oglethorpe College. The Atlanta Crackers (a successful minor-league team in the Southern Association) signed him to a professional contract after his sophomore year, and right from the start Appling could hit. His .326 BA (batting average) tempted the Chicago Cubs to purchase his contract, but his 42 errors in 104 games at shortstop reportedly scared the team off. The Chicago White Sox, however, bought him for twenty thousand dollars and brought him to the major leagues for the tail end of the 1930 season. In six games he hit .308, but he also made 4 errors. During the next two years, when he batted only .232 and .274, Chicago fans booed him and dubbed him “Kid Boot,” and the Sox tried unsuccessfully to trade him. Things began to turn around in 1932, however, when he married Faye Nell Dodd on 13 February; the couple subsequently had two daughters and a son....

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