Lefty Pete Gray
Lefty Pete Gray
The incredible, one-armed ballplayer.
Read about Pete below!
Archival quality 8.5 x 11” giclèe print. Other sizes available upon request using the contact link.
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Pete Gray lost his right arm to a train accident at the age of six. For the next few years, he had to retrain himself to do everything left-handed, including the most important thing to a boy of ten at the time - play baseball. My grandfather once wrote a column about Pete, saying “It never entered his head that he shouldn’t play baseball. When you are 10 years old, everything is possible.”
Pete Gray couldn’t just play ball. He became a starter with a top semi-pro team, then quickly broke into the professional Canadian-American League in 1942 where he batted .381. In 1944, with the top-ranked Minor League Memphis Chickasaws, he batted .333, set a league record with 68 stolen bases, hit five home runs, and was voted MVP of the Southern Association. “That did it. The following year he was called up by the St. Louis Browns, who had just won the American League pennant.”
Here’s the kicker: Pete Gray was an outfielder. He had his fielding system down to a blur-of-a motion that really must have been something to watch.
Few things are ever as they seem, really. Pete never paid a moment’s attention to his “shortcoming”. And why should he? He was a ballplayer. If there’s anything to be learned about baseball, it’s that yesterday is yesterday and today is today and the game ain’t over until the last out of the last inning - and even THAT isn’t decided until the very moment it happens. Everyone has a winner in mind. But if you’re a baseball fan, you know. You know what Pete knew. That anything is possible.