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Taft Shedron "Taffy" Wright (August 10, 1911 – October 22, 1981) was a professional baseball player. He played nine seasons in Major League Baseball from 1938 to 1949, primarily as a right fielder.

Taffy Wright
Taffy Wright.jpg
Right fielder
Born: (1911-08-10)August 10, 1911
Tabor City, North Carolina
Died: October 22, 1981(1981-10-22) (aged 70)
Orlando, Florida
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 18, 1938, for the Washington Senators
Last MLB appearance
September 16, 1949, for the Philadelphia Athletics
MLB statistics
Batting average.311
Home runs38
Runs batted in553

Early lifeEdit

Wright was born in Tabor City, North Carolina.

He signed a minor league contract with Charlotte of the Piedmont League in 1933. He was promoted to an A league minor league in 1934 and then to AA in 1935. For 1936–1937, he played for Chattanooga [1]

Major League careerEdit

Wright's first two major-league years were with the Washington Senators. He made a splash in his rookie season, batting .350. However, because Wright had just 263 at bats in 100 games, the American League awarded the official batting title to Jimmie Foxx, who had hit .349 in more than twice as many plate appearances. Though he followed up his rookie year by batting .309 in the second, the Senators traded him to the Chicago White Sox in the 1939 offseason, in a deal for Gee Walker.

Wright played the bulk of his career with the White Sox, recording over 100 hits every year and topping .300 four more times. He played his last season in 1949 for the Philadelphia Athletics. His career batting average was .311. On July 3, 1940, Wright became the first White Sox player to hit a pinch hit grand slam home run.

Wright was known to regularly appear in The Sporting News.

He is ranked in the top 150 outfielders of all time [2] and, as of April 2014, was ranked 75th in career at bats to strike out ratios. Wright also led or was among the leaders in right fielder defensive statistics for most of his career.[3]

Military careerEdit

Wright's major league career was interrupted by World War II, serving in the United States Army from 1942 to 1945 in the Pacific Theater of Operations.[4]

While serving as a Sergeant during the war, Wright played on several military baseball teams, and was selected as an Army Air Force All-Star in 1945 [5]

Taffy Wright RuleEdit

In his rookie season, Wright had the highest batting average in the league, although Jimmie Foxx was award the title as Wright was considered a part-time player. This led to the retroactively named Taffy Wright Rule. The rule, inconsistently applied, required that the winner of the batting title play at least 100 games in the field to be eligible for the title.[6]

Later yearsEdit

Wright continued to play minor league baseball until he was in his mid forties. Wright also served as a manager in the minor leagues.[7]

He is buried in Meadowbrook Cemetery in Lumberton, North Carolina [8]