Del Pratt

Second Base
  • Card series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: St. Louis
  • Team: Browns (AL)
  • League: American League

Derrill Burnham Pratt (1888-1977) played for the Browns, Yankees, Red Sox and Tigers over a 13-year career in the majors. The scion of a cotton-mill dynasty, Pratt studied the family business at the University of Alabama while pursuing his first love, baseball. He excelled with ‘Bama in both football and baseball to the extent he was inducted into the school’s Sports Hall of Fame. Del entered minor-league ball in 1910 and showed himself to be an outstanding hitter. St. Louis signed him and held on against John McGraw’s efforts to lure him to the Giants. He rewarded the Browns with five great years where Pratt was the everyday second-baseman consistently batting near .300. Perhaps befitting one who was to the manor born, Pratt was a fighter. He became a union leader in the tumult of the Federal League era, had some fistfights with rowdy opponents, and generally stood his ground. Branch Rickey admired his feisty infielder but lost his managerial job when the Browns were sold in 1916. Del ran afoul of the new owner and was traded to NY where Miller Huggins would say Pratt “put the ball club on its feet.”

  • Long before the vaunted ‘27 club, sportswriters dubbed the infield Pratt joined as “Murderers’ Row,” the “greatest collection of pitcher thumpers in baseball today.”
  • During Pratt’s career, from 1912-1924, Pratt was 12th in all of baseball in WAR (between Max Carey and Home Run Baker)

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