Fred Francis Marsh (January 5, 1924 – October 26, 2006) was an American infielder in Major League Baseball who played from 1949 to 1956 for the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns, Washington Senators, Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles, primarily as a third baseman.
He was 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) tall and weighed 180 pounds.
Born in Valley Falls, Kansas, Marsh was signed originally by the Chicago Cubs in 1942 after graduating from Chicago's Steinmetz High School in 1941. Marsh joined the Navy during World War II and was discharged in 1945.
He made his big league debut on April 19, 1949 at the age of 25 for the Indians, to whom he'd been sent in an unknown transaction before the 1947 season. He appeared in only one game that year, as a pinch runner.
He did not play any major league ball in 1950. In 1951, he appeared in 130 games for the St. Louis Browns, who received him and $35,000 for Snuffy Stirnweiss and Merl Combs in a trade with the Indians on April 1 of that year. He hit .243 with four home runs, 21 doubles and 43 RBI in 445 at-bats that season, walking 36 times and striking out 56 times. 1951 would end up being the only season in which he appeared in 100 or more games.
1952 was an interesting season for Marsh. He started the season with the Browns, but on May 12 was traded with Lou Sleater to the Washington Senators for Cass Michaels. Less than one month later, the Senators traded him back to the Browns for Earl Rapp.
Marsh had started off poorly with the Browns that year, hitting only .208 in his first 11 games, thus prompting his trade to the Senators. He did even worse with the Senators though, appearing in nine games with them and batting only .087. His second turn with the Browns that year proved to be much more successful - in 76 games, he hit .287 with two home runs and 26 RBI. Overall that year, he hit .258 with two home runs, 28 RBI and 29 runs scored.
On January 20, 1953, he was traded to the White Sox for Dixie Upright and $25,000. His first year with the White Sox was rather bumpy, as he hit only .200 in 98 at-bats with them (62 games). He had a relatively good year in 1954 with them, playing in 62 games and hitting .306. His success that year did not keep him in Chicago though, as he was traded with Matt Batts, Don Ferrarese, and Don Johnson to the Orioles for Jim Brideweser, Bob Chakales, and Clint Courtney on December 6.
In 1955, Marsh played in 89 games, collecting 66 hits in 303 at-bats for a .218 average. He showed a great eye at the plate that year, walking 35 times while striking out only 33 times. He missed nearly half of the season with a broken elbow and a leg injury.
1956 would end up being his final big league season. He collected only three hits in 24 at-bats that year, for a .125 average. He played his final game on May 29 of that year.
Overall, Marsh hit .239 in 465 games in his career. He collected 296 hits in 1236 at-bats, with 43 of those hits being doubles, eight of them triples and 10 of them home runs. He scored 146 runs and drove in 96. He was a good basestealer in terms of percentage, as he was only caught once in 14 attempts - a 92.9% success rate. He had a good eye at the plate as well, walking 125 times and striking out only 171 times.
He had a .948 career fielding percentage. Statistically, the player he is most similar to is Ken Hamlin.
After his baseball career, he spent many years as a postal carrier.
After his death in Corry, Pennsylvania at the age of 82, he was buried at Pine Grove Cemetery in Corry.
By Dean Hanley
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