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Lloyd Waner

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Lloyd James Waner (March 16, 1906 - July 22, 1982) was a Major League Baseball player. His small stature and 150 pound (68 kg) weight made him one of the smallest players of the time. He is the brother of fellow Major Leaguer Paul Waner.

Waner broke into the majors with his brother's team, Pittsburgh Pirates in 1927 and quickly built the reputation of a slap hitter with an astute sense of plate discipline. In his rookie campaign, he batted .355 with 223 hits while only striking out 23 times (the highest strikeout total of his career).

Waner played for the Pirates until the beginning of the 1941 season. In the preceding years he batted .300 or higher ten times, finished in the top ten in MVP voting twice (1927 and 1929) and was an All-Star once (1938).

After splitting time in 1941, 1942 and 1944 with the Boston Braves, Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and Brooklyn Dodgers, Waner returned to Pittsburgh, where he finished his career in 1945. He finished with a career .316 batting average.

He (2,459) and his older brother, Paul (3,152), hold the career record for hits by brothers (5,611), outpacing the three Alou brothers (5,094): Felipe (2,101), Matty (1,777) and Jesús (1,216), and the three DiMaggio brothers (4,853): Joe (2,214), Dom (1,680) and Vince (959), among others. For most of the period from 1927 to 1940, Paul patrolled right field at Forbes Field while Lloyd covered the ground next to him in center. Paul was known as "Big Poison" and Lloyd as "Little Poison." A possibly apocryphal story claims that their nicknames reflect a Brooklyn Dodgers fan's pronunciation of "Big Person" and "Little Person." In 1927, the season the brothers accumulated 460 hits, the fan is said to have remarked, "Them Waners! It's always the little poison on thoid (third) and the big poison on foist (first)!" But given that Lloyd was actually taller, this story is somewhat incongruous.[citation needed]

Waner was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1967. Sabermetrician Bill James has listed Waner as one of ten examples of Hall of Fame inductees who do not deserve the honor.[1] Possible reasons for his (undeserved) selection include (1) his brother being a fellow inductee and (2) the inflated batting averages of his era, which also helped many other 1920's and 30's players in the eyes of the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee.

See alsoEdit


  1. Bill James Answers All Your Baseball Questions, an April 2008 entry from the Freakonomics blog

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