Dave Pope

David Pope (June 17, 1921 – August 28, 1999) was an American Major League Baseball outfielder who played for four seasons in MLB for the Cleveland Indians in 1952, and from 1954 to 1955. He then played for the Baltimore Orioles after being traded from 1955 to 1956, then was traded back to Cleveland for the remainder of the 1956 season. He left MLB behind on September 30, 1956.[1]

Dave Pope
Dave Pope 1955 Bowman.jpg
Born: (1921-06-17)June 17, 1921
Talladega, Alabama
Died: August 28, 1999(1999-08-28) (aged 78)
Cleveland, Ohio
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
July 1, 1952, for the Cleveland Indians
Last MLB appearance
September 30, 1956, for the Cleveland Indians
MLB statistics
Batting average.265
Home runs12
Runs batted in73

Pope, the son of Jackson and Mary Pope, was one of eleven siblings.[2] His older brother Willie Pope was a notable Negro league baseball player for the Homestead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords.[2] Pope served in the US Army during World War II.[3]

Although his major league career spanned roughly four years, Pope has a place in the photo and film archive for Game 1 of the 1954 World Series, as part of a play which contrasted with Willie Mays's famous catch. In the top of the 8th inning, Vic Wertz of Cleveland had hit a deep fly ball (400 or more feet) to center field which had been pulled down by Mays for a very long out. In the last of the 10th inning, Giants' pinch-hitter Dusty Rhodes hit a shallow fly ball, well under 300 feet, toward the cozy right field area of the Polo Grounds. Pope, who had been brought into the game in the late innings, ran over and leaped as high as he could but was a couple of feet short of being able to catch Rhodes' fly ball, which landed in the first row of seats for the game-winning home run.[1]

His 1956 Topps baseball card for the Baltimore Orioles gave him some vicarious redemption for that failed leap in 1954: It included a colorized drawing based on the black-and-white picture, but with the ball in his glove.[2]

In 1141.2 innings playing at all three outfield positions, Pope recorded a .990 fielding percentage, committing only 3 errors in 315 total chances.

Pope died in Cleveland, Ohio in 1999 and was buried at Lake View Cemetery in the same city.[4]


David Pegram, featured in the cast of the 2011 Tony Award Winner for Best Play, "War Horse, is a grandson of Pope.


  1. ^ "Baseball Reference". Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b Smith, Malik. "Obituary: William "Willie" Pope / Negro Leagues pitcher for the Grays, Crawfords", The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 16, 2010.
  3. ^ "Negro Leaguers Who Served With The Armed Forces in WWII". baseballinwartime.com. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  4. ^ Bona, Marc (April 25, 2018). "9 Famous Baseball Graves in Lake View Cemetery". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved January 2, 2020.

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