Enos Bradsher Slaughter (April 27, 1916 – August 12, 2002), nicknamed «Country», was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) right fielder. He played for 19 seasons on four major league teams from 1938–1942 and 1946–1959. He is noted primarily for his playing for the St. Louis Cardinals and is best known for scoring the winning run in Game 7 of the 1946 World Series. A ten time All-Star, he has been elected to both the National Baseball Hall of Fame and St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame.
When Slaughter was a minor leaguer in Columbus, Georgia, he went running towards the dugout from his position in the outfield, slowed down near the infield, and began walking the rest of the way. Manager Eddie Dyer told him, «Son, if you’re tired, we’ll try to get you some help». During the remainder of his major-league career, Slaughter ran everywhere he went on a baseball field. In 1937, he had 245 hits and 147 runs scored for Columbus.
Slaughter batted left-handed and threw right-handed. He was renowned for his smooth swing that made him a reliable «contact» hitter. Slaughter had 2,383 hits in his major league career, including 169 home runs, and 1,304 RBI in 2,380 games. Slaughter played 19 seasons with the Cardinals, Yankees, Kansas City Athletics, and Milwaukee Braves. During that period, he was a 10-time All-Star and played in five World Series. His 1,820 games played ranks fifth in Cardinals’ history behind Yadier Molina, Ozzie Smith, Lou Brock, and Stan Musial. He presently ranks third in RBI with 1,148; sixth in ABs with 6,775; and seventh in doubles with 366.
Immediately upon return from his military service in 1946, Slaughter led the National League with 130 RBI and led the Cardinals to a World Series win over the Boston Red Sox. In the decisive seventh game of that series, Slaughter, running with the pitch, made a famous «Mad Dash» for home from first base on Harry Walker‘s hit in the eighth inning, scoring the winning run after a delayed relay throw by the Red Sox’ Johnny Pesky. The hit was ruled a double, though most observers felt it should have been ruled a single, as only the throw home allowed Walker to advance to second base. This play was named #10 on the Sporting News list of Baseball’s 25 Greatest Moments in 1999.
Slaughter was reported at the time as being one of the leaders in racial taunting against the first black major league player, Jackie Robinson and was accused of conspiring with teammate Terry Moore of an attempt to get the Cardinals to refuse to play Brooklyn with Robinson on the field. Slaughter later injured Robinson during a game by inflicting a seven-inch gash from his shoe spikes on Robinson’s leg. Slaughter denied that he had any animosity towards Robinson, claiming that such allegations had been made against him because he was «a Southern boy», and that the injury suffered by Robinson had been typical of Slaughter’s rough playing style.
As a part-time starter for the Yankees, Slaughter batted fifth and played in left field in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series in which teammate Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in World Series history, a 2–0 Yankees win. At age 40, he was the oldest player for either team in the game.
Post-MLB career and death
Slaughter retired from major league baseball in 1959. He was a player-manager for the Houston Buffs of the Texas League in 1960 and for Raleigh Capitals of the Carolina League in 1961. Slaughter coached baseball for Duke University from 1971 to 1977.
Enos Slaughter is a cousin of Henry Slaughter, southern gospel musician.
|Enos Slaughter’s number 9 was retired by the St. Louis Cardinalsin 1996.|
His jersey number 9 was retired by the Cardinals on September 6, 1996.
The Cardinals dedicated a statue depicting his famous Mad Dash in 1999. Slaughter was a fixture at statue dedications at Busch Stadium II for other Cardinal Hall of Famers during the last years of his life.