George Thomas "Shotgun" Shuba (December 13, 1924 – September 29, 2014) was a utility outfielder and left-handed pinch hitter in Major League Baseball who played seven seasons for the Brooklyn Dodgers. His seven seasons included three World Series as well as a World Series championship in 1955. He was the first National League player to hit a pinch-hit home run in a World Series game.
Shuba is often remembered for his symbolic role in breaking down Major League Baseball's tenacious "color barrier". While playing for a farm team in the 1940s, Shuba offered a congratulatory handshake to teammate Jackie Robinson, who went on to become the first African American to play in a major league game since the late 19th century. The moment was captured in a well-known photograph dubbed A Handshake for the Century for featuring the first interracial handshake in a professional baseball game.
In the early 1970s, Shuba's major league career was featured in a chapter of Roger Kahn's The Boys of Summer, a tribute to the 1950s Brooklyn Dodgers. Kahn observed in his book that Shuba earned his nickname, "Shotgun", by "spraying line drives with a swing so compact that it appeared as natural as a smile".
By Dean Hanley
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