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Yesterday I met the guy (a Phillie) who was the youngest 3B in MLB history

Putsy Caballero played 3B at the age of 16 and still wears his World Series ring from the 1950 Phillies! He came to the office where I work and they introduced him to me because they know I'm a baseball history nut. Putsy wasn't much of a major leaguer, but he had some stories to tell.

Comments on some of his contemporary players:

Jackie Robinson - "The toughest player I ever played against." Some of the unfriendlier pitchers used to wait until they got ahead of him when he had two strikes then try to drill him in the ribs. Some would swipe tag him at 2B trying to hit him hard on purpose. He showed me a picture of him tagging him out Robinson on a SB attempt (unknown if 2B or 3B). He said, "Do you know what the umpire yelled when I tagged him? 'The jig is out.' " He really admired Robinson's toughness.

Willie Mays - "The best OF I ever saw." Better than Mantle or Snider in CF during the 50s.

Best Pitching Staff of the era - Cleveland Indians with Bob Feller, Bob Lemon, and Early Wynn (all HOFers).

Teammate Richie Ashburn - "Said I was the best card player in baseball."

Babe Ruth - Long since retired, but "visited the Phillies clubhouse in '48 during Spring Training and signed baseballs for Curt Simmons, Richie Ashburn, and me. I lost that baseball in Hurricane Katrina."

Caballero's first salary? $12,500.

I wish I'd had more time to talk with him before he had to leave.


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