Vernon Louis "Lefty" Gomez (November 26, 1908 – February 17, 1989) was an American professional baseball player. A left-handed pitcher, Gomez played in Major League Baseball (MLB) between 1930 and 1943 for the New York Yankees and the Washington Senators. Gomez was a five-time World Series champion with the Yankees. He was also known for his colorful personality and humor throughout his career and life.
Gomez grew up in California and played for the San Francisco Seals after high school. He made his MLB debut with the Yankees in April 1930. He was selected as an All-Star every year between 1933 and 1939. He sustained an arm injury in 1940. Though he rebounded well in 1941, he pitched his last full season in 1942, then appeared in one game in 1943 before retiring with the Washington Senators.
In 1933, Gomez married June O'Dea, who had a brief career as a Broadway actress. After his retirement, he became a popular public speaker. Gomez was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1972. He made an appearance at Yankee Stadium in 1987, when he and Whitey Ford were honored with plaques at the stadium's Monument Park. He died in California in 1989.
By Dean Hanley
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