Frank Conrad Baumholtz (October 7, 1918 – December 14, 1997) was an American outfielder for Major League Baseball's Cincinnati Reds (1947–49), Chicago Cubs (1949 and 1951–55) and Philadelphia Phillies (1956–57). He was born in Midvale, Ohio.
Baumholtz finished 5th in voting for the 1947 National League Rookie of the Year for playing in 151 Games and having 643 At Bats, 96 Runs, 182 Hits, 32 Doubles, 9 Triples, 5 Home Runs, 45 RBI, 6 Stolen Bases, 56 Walks, .283 Batting Average, .341 On-base percentage, .384 Slugging Percentage, 247 Total Bases and 11 Sacrifice Hits.
Baumholtz finished 17th in voting for the 1952 National League MVP for playing in 103 Games and having 409 At Bats, 59 Runs, 133 Hits, 17 Doubles, 4 Triples, 4 Home Runs, 35 RBI, 5 Stolen Bases, 27 Walks, .325 Batting Average, .371 On-base percentage, .416 Slugging Percentage, 170 Total Bases and 7 Sacrifice Hits.
In 10 seasons he played in 1,019 Games and had 3,477 At Bats, 450 Runs, 1,010 Hits, 165 Doubles, 51 Triples, 25 Home Runs, 272 RBI, 30 Stolen Bases, 258 Walks, .290 Batting Average, .342 On-base percentage, .389 Slugging Percentage, 1,352 Total Bases, 45 Sacrifice Hits, 10 Sacrifice Flies and 2 Intentional Walks.
Baumholtz had a memorable minor league season in 1950, batting .379 and collecting 254 hits in 172 games for the Los Angeles Angels of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League.
Baumholtz was also a great basketball player at Ohio University, playing the guard position. His No. 54 jersey hangs from the rafters of the Convocation Center. It was retired on Feb. 4, 1995, which was declared "Frank Baumholtz Day" in the city of Athens, Ohio and on campus and was the only number so honored at the school until 2007 when Dave Jamerson and Walter Luckett had their jerseys retired as well.
Baumholtz was a first-team All-American in basketball in 1941, his senior year, leading the Bobcats to the finals of the 1941 National Invitation Tournament, the most prestigious tournament in the country at the time. He was named the tournament's most valuable player. He played two seasons of professional basketball. In 1945-46, he suited up for the Youngstown Bears of the NBL. The following year, he took the floor for the Cleveland Rebels of the fledging Basketball Association of America, the direct predecessor to today's National Basketball Association. During the 1946-47 season, Baumholtz played in 45 games, averaging 14.0 points per game and being selected to the All-BAA Second Team.
He died in Winter Springs, Florida at the age of 79.
In contrast to radio's "Quiz Kids" or the 1950 Phillies "Whiz Kids", according to Chicago columnist Mike Royko Baumholtz was the anchor, as it were, of a 1950s Cubs outfield "that was so slow they were known as the Quicksand Kids." Hank Sauer and Ralph Kiner were in left and right fields respectively. (One More Time: The Best of Mike Royko, University of Chicago, 1999, p. 29-31)
By Dean Hanley
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