Long Reads: 1941: DiMaggio, Williams and the Canadian that became the American League’s first 20-20-20 player

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Jeff Heath. Photo: Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

By Kevin Glew

Cooperstowners in Canada

Fate and, some would say, karma, attempted to humble Jeff Heath.

For no matter what the brash, broad-shouldered Canadian-born slugger did on a professional baseball field – and much of it was remarkable – he always seemed to be overshadowed.

It’s a curse that can be traced back to his first major league game.

On September 13, 1936, the then 21-year-old Fort William, Ont., native batted seventh and went 1-for-3 with a walk, while manning left field for Cleveland in their 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia A’s. But Heath’s debut was rendered a mere footnote by his flame-throwing teammate Bob Feller who fanned 17 A’s to set a since-broken American League single-game record.

Heath’s accomplishments continued to go mostly unnoticed in 1938 when, in one of the greatest rookie campaigns in major league history, he recorded 31 doubles, 18 triples, 21 home runs and drove in 112, while batting .343 in 126 games. Yet there was no Rookie of the Year Award at the time and the outspoken outfielder would finish second to the legendary Jimmie Foxx in the American League batting race and a distant 11th in the MVP voting.

But never were Heath’s heroics more overlooked than in his historic 1941 season. That year, the muscle-bound, multi-tooled slugger became the first player in American League history to record 20 doubles, 20 triples and 20 home runs in the same season. He also batted .340 and had 18 stolen bases. In most seasons that would’ve made him a favourite for the MVP Award.

In that storied campaign, however, Yankees legend Joe DiMaggio assembled a 56-game hitting streak and Boston Red Sox superstar Ted Williams batted .406 – the last season in which a big leaguer eclipsed the .400 mark. Nevertheless, it’s still hard to comprehend how Heath ended up eighth in the American League MVP voting. And today when baseball historians wax romantically about 1941, they rarely mention Heath.

For the record, playing second fiddle didn’t sit well with Heath, who was once described as “almost psychopathically temperamental,” by Cleveland Plain Dealer sportswriter Gordon Cobbledick. Around the ballpark, the 5-foot-11, 200-pound slugger was an uninhibited, loud-talking presence who craved the spotlight and was fanatically protective of his bats. In reading dozens of articles about Heath, it’s clear that he was a study in contrasts – a man that could be sullen and fight with teammates when frustrated, but who was almost unstoppable on the field when he was motivated. And when things were going well, he could be the lovable life of the clubhouse.

There are stories that Heath could do a mean Babe Ruth imitation, which is fitting because his behavior on and off the field could be positively Ruthian. Like the Bambino, Heath was a left-handed hitting outfielder capable of clubbing moonshot home runs. But also like the Sultan of Swat, Heath could be both petulant and self-absorbed and gregarious and generous, and he was especially kind to children. The stocky Canadian could curse at a reporter in one moment and then melt at the sight of a child in the next. He could be the clubhouse comedian or someone you didn’t dare approach.

“When Heath was upset, he got a strange look in his eyes, something akin to the warning sign flashed by a large animal brought to bay and unhappy about it,” wrote Howard Preston, a reporter who covered Heath during his playing days, in 1975. “Nobody ever pushed Heath too far because nobody ever really knew what he would do.”

On top of his volatile temperament, Heath was also physically intimidating.

“He was a muscular monster, a 200-pounder whose arms were so thick he had to cut sleeves out of his uniforms like Jimmie Foxx before him and Ted Kluszewksi after him,” wrote Heath’s teammate Bob Feller in his 1987 biography, Now Pitching, Bob Feller.

One constant theme throughout Heath’s career was that he felt underappreciated. In his 10 seasons with the penny-pinching Cleveland squad between 1936 and 1945, he was an almost perennial contract holdout and rarely played in spring training.

So why was he like this? Why did the Canadian-born slugger seem to have a perpetual chip on his shoulder? Why did he never seem to savor his time as a big leaguer?

That’s a tough question to answer. Little information is available about his upbringing other than his parents Harold and Maud (maiden name Askey) were immigrants from England who came to Canada and eloped early in the 20th century.

Born on April Fool’s Day 1915 in Fort William, Ont., (which is now part of Thunder Bay), Heath moved to Victoria, B.C., with his family when he was one. Seven months later, they pulled up stakes again and relocated to Seattle, Wash., where his father would operate a hardware store.

Heath didn’t play organized baseball until he was a freshman at Garfield High School in Seattle.

“I didn’t hit much though,” Heath said when reflecting on his high school playing days in a July 4, 1941 article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “The trouble was I was trying to imitate Babe Ruth. I wanted to knock the ball a mile every time. I did manage to hit a long one every now and then, but the best average I ever had in four years of high school ball was a scant .300.”

As a teen, Heath was more renowned for his football prowess where his stocky frame served him well as a running back. In fact, he was so overpowering that Jimmy Phelan, coach of the nearby University of Washington, called Heath “the best high school running back in the country” in 1934.

But after sustaining a serious knee injury, the promising running back reevaluated his options and decided to focus on a career on the diamond. In 1935, he suited up for the semi-pro Yakima Indians of the Northwest League, and though he never hit higher than .300 in high school, the powerful Canadian batted .390 in 75 games, which inspired his manager George Burns, a former big league first baseman with Cleveland, to recommend Heath to his old club.

In fact, Heath’s baseball skills had improved so much that he was selected to play on a team of the top American amateur prospects that toured Japan in the fall of 1935. Heath batted a robust .483 on the tour, but when he returned, he was stranded on the ship in San Francisco when U.S. customs discovered he had a British (Canadian) passport. It was this incident that inspired Heath to complete the paper work to become an American citizen.

Cleveland scout Willie Kamm had followed Heath and signed the 20-year-old slugger shortly after he returned from Japan. Kamm negotiated the young prospect’s signing bonus with Heath’s tough-talking mother, Maud. Cleveland initially offered $1,000, but, according to Heath, his mom got that number up to $5,000.

Suddenly, Heath, who had been a highly touted football prospect, was a full-time baseball player – and one of Cleveland’s most prized young signees. When Heath reported to Cleveland’s spring training in 1936, they assigned him to their Class-C Middle Atlantic League club in Zanesville where he would feast on that level’s pitching. In 124 games, he batted .383, tallied 208 hits – including 47 doubles, 14 triples and 28 home runs – while knocking in 187 runs. His performance earned him a big league call up in September in which he hit .341 in 12 contests.

But even after making that favorable major league impression, Heath was assigned to the Double-A Milwaukee Brewers the following year, where he once again tore the cover off the ball, hitting .367 with 34 doubles, nine triples and 14 home runs in 100 contests.

After two outstanding minor league seasons, Heath couldn’t be kept out of the big leagues any longer. As noted earlier, in 1938, he enjoyed one of the best rookie seasons in major league history. He hit .343 and gave the legendary Jimmie Foxx a run for the American League batting title. Playing his home games in Cleveland’s cavernous Municipal Stadium, Heath showed that he was one of the game’s most promising youngsters by belting 21 home runs, 31 doubles and a league-leading 18 triples.

This success clearly went to his head because he was a contract holdout the following spring. During the dispute, Heath was invited by Cleveland manager Ossie Vitt to work out with the team, but he declined, opting instead to watch practices from the stands – a maneuver that didn’t sit well with his teammates.

According to Heath’s SABR bio, veteran Cleveland first baseman Hal Trosky approached Heath at a hotel one night that spring.

“Heath, why don’t you stop fooling, sign your contract and get down to work like the rest of us,” Trosky reportedly said.

“Trosky, if you could hit like I can hit, you’d hold out all summer,” the cocky 23-year-old Heath replied.

The second-year outfielder did eventually sign in time for the start of the regular season, but it proved to be a rocky sophomore campaign. In late August, frustrated after striking out, he tossed his bat and it landed in the stands. He also fought with teammate Johnny Broaca in the dugout and punched a heckling fan – all in a two-day span. Also in 1939, he threatened to beat up Cleveland News sportswriter Ed McAuley after the scribe accused him of loafing – a common criticism of him over the years. On top of all of this, his 1939 numbers dropped dramatically from his rookie campaign. He batted .292 with just 14 home runs and 69 RBIs.

But if 1939 was disappointing, his 1940 campaign was a full-fledged disaster. The stocky slugger openly clashed with manager Vitt. But it should be noted that Vitt didn’t just feud with Heath. Many Cleveland players disliked Vitt for his motivational tactics, which included criticizing them in the press. Eventually the disgruntled players banded together and approached the club’s upper management demanding that Vitt be fired. Heath was accused of being the ringleader of this group, but many of his teammates were equally dismayed.

The attempted mutiny by the players didn’t go over well with the media or with the fans, and the group of complainants was branded the “Cleveland Crybabies.” For the record, Vitt was not fired until after the season and the team, despite its inner turmoil, still finished in second place with a strong 89-65 record. The same couldn’t be said for Heath whose batting average dipped to .219 and by the end of the season, he had lost his starting outfield job.

The starting outfield for the American League in the 1941 All-Star Game was Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Canadian Jeff Heath (above). Photo: Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

So heading into 1941, with his reputation damaged, the outspoken outfielder came to camp not only bound and determined to win back his starting job, but to regain his status as one of the best all-around players in the majors.

“Heath is hustling and trying as no one believed him capable of doing,” wrote Cleveland Plain Dealer scribe Gordon Cobbledick in an article that March.

The veteran beat reporter also noted a significant change in Heath’s attitude, writing that in 1940 the slugger was always right “and the world was wrong.”

“Now he recognizes his mistakes, cheerfully points them out and goes to work to correct them,” wrote Cobbledick.

The newspaper scribe also observed that Heath was “trimmer and faster” than he had ever been since entering the big leagues.

Heath was also energized by his new manager Roger Peckinpaugh, who offered him a clean slate.

So armed with a new attitude and a refined physique, Heath batted .359 in April and never looked back. He began the season batting sixth in Cleveland’s order, but by June 1, he had become the club’s regular cleanup hitter.

The list of highlights from his 1941 season is long. On May 17, he belted two monstrous home runs into the right-field stands at Fenway Park and eight days later, he became the first major leaguer to club a ball into the upper deck at Municipal Stadium. Just under a month later, on June 19 and 20, he registered back-to-back four-hit games.

And on Canada Day, Heath went 4-for-4 with two doubles and two runs against the St. Louis Browns before leading Cleveland to one of its most exciting wins in franchise history three days later. In that contest, he stole home in the bottom of the 10th inning to give his team a 9-8 walk-off win over the Browns in the first game of a doubleheader on Independence Day.

At one point during the 1941 season, Heath had a 19-game hitting streak, but with DiMaggio’s 56-gamer that same year and Williams flirting with .400, few noticed. Heath did, however, join those two legends in the American League outfield to start the All-Star Game at Detroit’s Briggs Stadium on July 8.

In front of 54,674 fans in Motown, Heath batted fifth and went 0-for-2 with a walk but was once again overshadowed by Williams, who clubbed a three-run, walk-off homer off reliever Claude Passeau with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to give the American League a dramatic 7-5 victory.

On top of his offensive heroics that season, Heath’s defensive play also improved.

“Geoffrey Heath, who used to play outfield like Mutt and Jeff, just can’t do anything wrong in that right garden [right field] right now,” wrote sports columnist James E. Doyle in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on June 9.

One person that took notice of Heath’s hard work and hustle that season was his manager.

“If every man on this ball club had showed the determination and hustle that Jeff has showed me since the season started, we’d be so far ahead, you’d think we were in another league,” Peckinpaugh told the Cleveland Plain Dealer for their July 4 issue. “I had heard that he wasn’t a hustler, but I want to say I haven’t seen a man in the league who has hustled better than he has.”

All indications are that Heath enjoyed playing for Peckinpaugh and he seemed content both on and off the field in 1941. During that season, Heath’s wife, Theabelle, gave birth to their first son, Robert Geoffrey Heath, on July 13. A photo of a beaming Heath was published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer the day after his son’s birth.

As noted earlier, Heath had a soft spot for children. He regularly signed autographs for them and joked around with them at the ballpark. In its May 5, 1941 edition, The Cleveland Plain Dealer shared a story of how Jack Wells, a friend of Heath’s from the State Highway Department, asked the slugger if he could sign a ball for his co-worker’s seven-year-old son who was having a tough time with asthma. Heath not only agreed to do it, but he got the whole team to sign the ball.

“That’s darned nice of you,” Wells reportedly told Heath when he was shown the ball. “I’ll see that the kid gets it.”

“If you don’t mind,” Heath responded. “I’d kind of like to take it to the kid myself.”

With that, Heath made the in-person delivery to the young boy who would never forget the experience.

Heath continued to be a threat at the plate in the season’s second half, even as his team fell out of contention.

The Canadian-born outfielder would club 24 home runs that season, but playing his home games in Cleveland’s spacious Municipal Stadium – which boasted a centre field fence that was 470 feet from home plate and power alleys that were 435 feet – cost him several more.

He recorded his 20th double of the season on July 13, followed by his 20th home run on September 9. It took him until September 27, however, to record his 20th triple to become the American League’s first 20-20-20 man.

For his historic three-bagger, Heath smashed a fastball from Browns right-hander Johnny Niggeling over the head of left fielder Roy Cullenbine to lead off the second inning at Sportsman’s Park.

With the multimedia coverage afforded to Major League Baseball today – where statistics are easily accessible and milestones are highly anticipated – Heath’s feat would’ve been trumpeted on the scoreboard, on the radio and TV broadcasts and on social media.

But in this meaningless, late September game in 1941 – the second-last of the season for both fourth-place Cleveland and the sixth-place Browns – the 3,139 spectators at Sportsman’s Park were oblivious to the significance of Heath’s hit. It’s safe to say that most media members didn’t know that history had been made either. There’s no mention of the feat in the following day’s Cleveland Plain Dealer or the St. Louis Daily Globe-Democrat and while the next day’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch does acknowledge it, they neglected to seek a quote from Heath to find out how he felt about it.

In fact, it’s unclear if Heath, who was never shy about discussing his accomplishments, was even aware of what he had done. In the research for this article, numerous online resources, newspaper articles and books were consulted and none of them include a quote from Heath about becoming the American League’s first 20-20-20 man.

But in many ways, this feat being neglected fit with the overall lack of attention that Heath’s entire 1941 season had garnered. Though Heath had achieved something that Williams and DiMaggio never would, he couldn’t wrestle the spotlight away from these two immortals.

In all, in 151 contests in 1941, Heath batted .340 (fourth in the league) and belted 24 homers (seventh in the league). He also topped the American League with 20 triples and finished second in hits (199), total bases (343) and RBIs (123). He also recorded 18 stolen bases, leaving him two shy of becoming the American League’s first 20-20-20-20 player.

“It was one of the most notable comebacks in all the history of sports,” wrote Cobbledick of Heath’s 1941 season.

The stocky outfielder’s season, however, failed to marvel those voting for the American League MVP Award. Heath would finish eighth. As expected, DiMaggio and Williams were one-two in the balloting, but Heath wasn’t even the top vote-getter on his own team. That honour went to Heath’s roommate Bob Feller, who won 25 games that season, to finish third in the voting.

So the curse continued. It seemed no matter what Heath did on the field the national spotlight failed to find him. In the ensuing years, Heath, far too often, relapsed into his temperamental ways. The proud slugger continued to feel underappreciated and asked Cleveland to trade him on multiple occasions. But they resisted and held on to him for four more seasons, though he’d never produce at the same level he did in 1941.

In 1942, his average dipped to .278 and he mustered just 10 home runs and 76 RBIs. He rebounded somewhat the following year to earn his second All-Star game selection, but he finished the campaign with a .274 batting average and 18 home runs in 118 games.

In 1944, he batted .331 but was limited to 60 games by a knee injury, but that didn’t stop him from holding out the following spring. His contract demands kept him out of Cleveland’s lineup until early June. In the 102 contests he did play in 1945, he put together his best numbers since 1941, hitting .305 with 15 home runs and 61 RBIs.

But now that he had turned 30 and was unlikely to reclaim his place as one of the American League’s elite sluggers, Cleveland dealt him to the Washington Senators for outfielder George Case on December 14, 1945.

Unfortunately for Heath, Griffith Stadium was not a home run hitter’s park either, and the volatile outfielder’s disruptive ways returned. A SABR report indicates that while he was with the Senators, Heath bullied the owner’s son and fellow Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer Sherry Robertson so mercilessly that the club had little choice but to trade him. On June 15, 1946, the Senators dealt him to the St. Louis Browns for outfielder Joe Grace and relief pitcher Al LaMacchia.

Heath socked 27 home runs for the St. Louis Browns in 1947. Photo: Find A Grave.com

Though he’d belt a career-high 27 home runs for the Browns in 1947, Heath continued his abhorrent behaviour. A story reported in multiple publications indicates that when the Browns signed Negro League star Willard Brown that Brown came to the team without any bats. Prior to the game on August 13, Brown found one of Heath’s old bats with the knob broken off the bottom.

Brown proceeded to hit a home run with the bat to become the first black player to homer in the American League. But after Brown rounded the bases, Heath reportedly grabbed the bat and smashed it against the clubhouse wall. There’s no evidence that Heath’s actions were racially motivated. It’s more likely that this tirade was sparked by his obsession with his bats. He didn’t want anyone to touch them – apparently not even his broken bats.

On top of that incident, Heath also fought with teammate John Beradino in the dugout during a game, and in the season’s final contest the Browns were mounting a rally against the Chicago White Sox in the bottom of the ninth and had the bases loaded when Heath’s spot in the order came up, only to discover that the slugger was showering in the clubhouse. So despite his career-high 27 home runs, Heath was sold to the Boston Braves – his fourth team in less than two years – on December 4, 1947.

In spring training with the Braves in 1948, much like he had with Cleveland seven years earlier, Heath arrived with an improved attitude. And once again he showed that when he set his mind to it, he could be one of the most feared hitters in the game. In 115 contests, he’d bat .319 with 20 home runs and in the season’s dying days, the Braves were safely in first place in the National League, destined to face Cleveland, Heath’s old team, in the World Series.

“If we play the Indians, I will kill them,” Heath reportedly told his Braves teammates.

An ankle injury sustained during this play at the plate cost Jeff Heath a shot at playing in the World Series for the Boston Braves in 1948. Photo: Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

But fate – or some might say, karma – intervened. In the fifth last game of the season, Heath doubled in the top of the sixth inning off Brooklyn Dodgers right-hander Rex Barney. He then tried to score on a single to right field by teammate Bill Salkeld, but when he attempted a hook slide to elude Dodgers catcher Roy Campanella, he suffered a gruesome ankle injury, which sidelined him for the rest of the season and prevented him from playing in his first Fall Classic.

“When I realized I’d be out of the Series, it just broke my heart,” Heath confided in a Baseball Digest article in 1953. “It was the biggest disappointment of my life.”

With Heath watching on crutches from the press box, the Braves lost the World Series to Cleveland in six games.

But Heath could take some solace in the fact that his hard work and improved attitude had earned him the respect of his Hall of Fame manager Billy Southworth.

“They told me when I got him from the American League that Heath was a troublemaker,” Southworth said. “If he is, I’d sure like to have eight other troublemakers just like him.”

However, Heath’s ankle never fully healed and he’d play just 36 major league games for the Braves in 1949. When he was released by the Braves after the season, they felt so highly about him that they offered him a job coaching in their minors.

Heath was flattered but declined and returned to Seattle to play for the Triple-A Pacific Coast League Seattle Rainiers in 1950. He’d bat just .245 in 57 contests for the club before he decided to hang up his playing spikes.

 “The goods are damaged,” Heath told The Seattle Times in his typically blunt fashion about his decision to retire. “I don’t care what you’re getting or who you are. You hate smelling out the joint. But after 15 or 16 years of baseball, it’s sort of hard to quit.”

Many baseball pundits regard Heath’s professional career as a disappointment, insisting that with a better attitude and more consistent commitment that he could have been one of the greatest players of his era.

“Heath had as much ability as Joe DiMaggio. He had a fine arm and could hit the ball as far as anyone,” his onetime manager Ossie Vitt would say. “He ruined a promising career because of temperament and disposition.”

Cleveland sportswriter Franklin Lewis offered a similar opinion.

“Heath . . .  should have been one of the greatest players in history,” wrote Lewis. “But there were no valves on his temper. He grinned in the manner of a school boy or he snarled with the viciousness of a tiger.”

For all his faults, however, Heath still finished with a lifetime batting average of .293. He hit over .300 in a season five times, twice led the American League in triples (1938, 1941) and his 194 home runs stood as a record for Canadian big leaguers for almost 50 years before Maple Ridge, B.C., native Larry Walker broke it on September 6, 1997.

Following his retirement, Heath tried his hand at dairy farming and dabbled in real estate, but didn’t last long in either endeavor. Eventually he became a lovably, brash TV analyst on Rainiers broadcasts.

 “Heath was really crude on TV, but that was part of the appeal,” Bill Sears, a long-time Seattle publicity man told Sportspressnw.com in 2012. “He’d butcher words and you’d never know what he was going to say next.”

The Rainiers players generally enjoyed having him around, and before games, the slugger-turned-broadcaster often entertained around the batting cage.

“Endearing himself to everyone, he usually took batting practice with the Rainiers players before each game,” wrote Dan Raley, in his 2012 book Pitchers of Beer: The Story of the Seattle Rainiers. “Standing around home plate, Heath was crass and entertaining, often doing a dead-on Babe Ruth impersonation. He would feign staggering up to the plate as if hung over, mention something about his lack of sexual prowess the night before and tap the plate.”

But Heath was not all laughs in retirement, his legendary temper still reared its ugly head.

In one incident in 1956, he swore on air due to some frustrations with technical difficulties and when he was reprimanded, he pushed his station manager down a flight of stairs. There’s another report of him getting in a fight with a construction worker at a café in Seattle in 1957.

To Heath’s credit, he regretted many of his tantrums, especially those during his playing career.

“It seemed as though every time I looked up I was in the middle of a contract dispute, player insurrection or a rhubarb with a newspaperman,” he lamented in a January 1953 Baseball Digest article.

Heath suffered a heart attack in August 1957 when he was just 42, but he’d soon return to the broadcast booth. His on-air antics made him a local celebrity and when the Seattle Pilots started their first and only major league season in 1969, Heath worked for their community speaker’s bureau.

And Heath was stubborn and outspoken to the end.

In 1972, citizens in Seattle had to be startled when they came across a burly, familiar looking man on the downtown streets wearing a sandwich board asking them to sign a petition against a dome stadium in the city. That man was Heath, who strongly objected to the idea of a dome stadium in Seattle.

Despite his efforts, however, the Kingdome would eventually be built, but he wouldn’t live to see it. Heath suffered a fatal heart attack at his Seattle home on December 9, 1975 when he was just 60 years old, leaving behind his wife Theabelle, two daughters, a son and six grandchildren. He was buried in Lakeview Cemetery in Seattle’s King County.

Upon Heath’s passing, many lamented what could have been for the Canadian-born outfielder who possessed talent that rivalled that of DiMaggio and Williams, but who was hindered by his pride and temper, not to mention fate and, perhaps, karma.

 “He was a mixture of gentleness and brute strength, angel and devil, but withal an exciting fellow for what he might have been as well as for what he was,” wrote Howard Preston in his obituary for Heath in the December 11, 1975 issue of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Heath was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame posthumously in 1988.

Writer’s Note: Two other American League players – George Brett (1979) and Curtis Granderson (2006) – have since joined Heath in the exclusive 20-20-20 club. Two National League players – Frank Schulte (1911) and Jim Bottomley (1928) were members of the 20-20-20 club prior to Heath. Two other National Leaguers – Willie Mays (1957) and Jimmy Rollins (2007) – would later join the club.

Sources

Online

Baseball-Reference.com

Baseball-Almanac.com

Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame website

FindAGrave.com

Retrosheet.org

Eskenazi, David, “Wayback Machine: Jeff Heath, An Oak of a Bloke,” Sportspressnw.com, May 29, 2012

Rogers III, Paul C., Jeff Heath SABR Bio

Books

Feller, Bob with Bill Gilbert, Now PitchingA Baseball Memoir (New York: Birch Lane Press 1990), p. 73.

Humber, William, Diamonds of the North — A Concise History of Baseball in Canada (Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford Univ. Press, 1995) p. 160-61.

Raley, Dan, Pitchers of Beer: The Story of the Seattle Rainiers, (Lincoln, Nebraska, Bison Books, 2012)

Schwanke, Douglas, Washington Senators Volume 1 (2007)

Shearon, Jim, Canada’s Baseball Legends (Kanata, Ontario: Malinhead Press, 1994) p. 55-65.

Shearon, Jim, Over the Fence is Out (Kanata, Ontario: Malinhead Press, 1994) p. 128-29.

Newspaper/Magazine Articles

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Susce, Indian Coach, Likes His Enemies, if Any, Nice, Strong and Devoid of Fat,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 12, 1941, p. 20.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Bagby Hurls in Home Town As Indians Open Series in Atlanta,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 29, 1941, p. 16.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Heath Hustling in Camp Has Been Revelation Even to His Warmest Admirer,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 30, 1941, p. 88.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Trosky’s Batting Average is Real Key to Tribe’s Pennant Hopes, Booing of Home Fans is No Help,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 7, 1941, p. 16.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Workman Has Good Chance to Win Indian Outfield Job; Campbell, Howell Still in Fight,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 10, 1941, p. 18.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Tribe ‘Game Club,’” Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 11, 1941, p. 18.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Indians Confident They Can Whip Any Ball Club,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 13, 1941, p. 85.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Record 40,000 Will See Feller Face Dietrich In Opener Today,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 15, 1941, p. 17.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Heath Collects 3 of Tribe’s 8 Hits off Jinx Hurler,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 23, 1941, p. 18

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Indians Tighten Hold on First Place,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 30, 1941, p. 16.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Harder-Heving Du Hurls Indians to Eighth in Row, 7-3,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 3, 1941, p. 14.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Heath’s Homer Climaxes First Inning Outburst,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 4, 1941, p. 97.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Indians Capture 10th Straight, 12-4,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 5, 1941, p. 13.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Travis and Heath top American League Batting Race,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 11, 1941, p. 13.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Tribe’s Five .300 Hitters Hammer Out Five-Game Lead,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 17, 1941, p. 41.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Rain Halts Wild Battle in the Ninth,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 18, 1941, p. 95.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Negro National League Claims Honor of First Home Run in Stadium’s Upper Tier,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 18, 1941, p. 19.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Athletics’ 16-Hit Attack Halts Tribe Streak at Five, 10-5,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 19, 1941, p. 14.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Indians Stretch Winning Streak to Six Games,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 12, 1941, p. 17.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Veteran Shuts Out Mack in Last 8 Innings,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 18, 1941, p. 19.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Plain Dealing: New York Scribes Delight in Building Indians Up While Hoping for a Letdown,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 18, 1941, p. 20.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Indians total 16 Hits, but Nats Cut First-Place Lead to 2 Games,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 21, 1941, p. 15.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Indians Trip Chisox, 3-1, Regain Lead,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 28, 1941, p. 1.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Indians Win Fourt in Row Under Lights, Trounce Browns, 10-6” Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 2, 1941, p. 16.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Suspension of Weatherly May Be Just the Indians Needs to Snap Them Out of Doldrums,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 3, 1941, p. 17.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Heath, No Hitter in School, Bids for AL Title,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 4, 1941, p. 31.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Plain Dealing: Indians’ Chances of Beating Out Yankees Depend on Hal Trosky, Key Man to Tribe Attack,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 10, 1941, p. 17.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Papa Heath Congratulated by Teammates,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 14, 1941, p. 12.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “It’s a Boy – And 5 Hits for Heath,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 14, 1941, p. 3.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Rosar Drives in 5 Runs to Lead Attack That Routs Indians, 10-3,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 17, 1941, p. 15.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Indians Win 2 in Last Inning,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 17, 1941, p. 1.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Smith Edges Newsom in Mound Duel to Win for Indians, 2-1” Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 6, 1941, p. 14.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Plain Dealing,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 7, 1941, p. 16.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Boudreau Out, Faces Operation,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 19, 1941, p. 16.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Nat Rookie Hands Indians Seventh Consecutive Setback, 6-3,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 21, 1941, p. 18.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Indians Loudest Batting Outburst in Two Months Crushes A’s, 11-4,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 28, 1941, p. 16.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Plain Dealing: It Was Easy to Overrate Indians Last Spring; Team Was Tops on Form Chart,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 27, 1941, p. 17.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Feller Bags 24th as Indians Finish With 14-8 Edge on Red Sox,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 19, 1941, p. 19.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Plain Dealing: Heath Gunning for RBI Championship, Has Had Fewer Opportunities Than Other Leaders,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 23, 1941, p. 17.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Lack of Capable Pitching Coach Was One of Indians’ Big Weaknesses, Bradley Says,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 24, 1941, p. 17.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Heath’s Comeback Was Brilliant, but Jeff Needs Baseball Instinct to Achieve Greatness,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 15, 1941, p. 21.

Cobbledick, Gordon, “Heath Hustles in his Own Way,” Baseball Digest, October 1943, p. 60, 62.

Doyle, James E., “The Sport Trail” Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 2, 1941, p. 18

Doyle, James E., “The Sport Trail,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 9, 1941, p. 14.

Doyle, James E., “The Sport Trail,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 15, 1941, p. 16.

Doyle, James E., “The Sport Trail,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 22, 1941, p. 14.

Loveland, Roelif, “Names of Indians Are His Medicine,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 5, 1941, p. 4.

Preston, Howard, “Memories: Jeff Heath, 59, ex-Indian dies,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 11, 1975, p. 91.

Wallar, Glen. L. “Smith’s Clout to Roof Nips Browns, 4-3,” St. Louis Daily Globe Democrat, September 28, 1941, p. 1E, 6E

Whitney, Eugene J., “Clift Tells Kramer to Forget Heath and Jeff Steals 9-8 Opener,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 5, 1941, p. 13.

“Braves player Jeff Heath,” The Boston Globe, December 11, 1975, p. 73.

“Q&A” Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 21, 1975, p.50.

Cleveland Plain Dealer, “Jeff Heath et al,” Editorial Page, May 5, 1941, p. 8.

Heath, Jeff, “A Clubhouse Lawyer Repents: I Did it the Wrong Way,” Baseball Digest, January 1953, p. 5 to 7.

McGoogan, W.J., “Browns Are Defeated in Ninth, 4-3,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 28, 1941, p. 40

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