Paul Gillespie

Paul Allen Gillespie (September 18, 1920 – August 11, 1970) was a Major League Baseball catcher for the Chicago Cubs in 1942, 1944, and 1945. A native of Sugar Valley, Georgia, he stood 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) and weighed 195 lbs.

Gillespie is one of many ballplayers who only appeared in the major leagues during World War II. He may be most well known for being a key reserve on the last Chicago Cubs team to win a National League pennant (1945). That was his best season, as he got into 75 games and hit .288 with 3 home runs, 25 runs batted in, and 12 runs scored. He played great defense, making just 2 errors in 45 appearances at catcher. Playing in three out of seven games of the 1945 World Series, he went 0-for-6.

Other notable accomplishments for Gillespie include hitting a home run in his first major league at bat. This took place against the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds on September 11, 1942. [1] He also hit a home run in his final major league at bat: September 29, 1945 against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field.[2] Gillespie, along with John Miller (1966–1969) are the only two players in major league history to do both.

His career totals for 89 games include a .283 batting average (58-for-205), 6 HR, 31 RBI, 17 runs scored, a .358 on-base percentage, and a .405 slugging percentage. In 56 appearances as a catcher his fielding percentage was .978, which was exactly the league's average during the time he played.

Gillespie died at the age of 49 in Anniston, Alabama.

By Dean Hanley

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