March 31, 2011 – Elmer Valo played in 1,806 games in the major leagues between for the A’s, Phillies, Dodgers, Indians, Yankees, and the Senators/Twins between 1940 and 1961 sandwiched around his military service in 1944-1945. Oddly enough, while he was with the Philadelphia A’s they moved and became the Kansas City A’s, when he was with the Brooklyn Dodgers they moved and became the Los Angeles Dodgers, and when he was with the Washington Senators they moved and became the Minnesota Twins, no other major league player can say that.
Elmer Valo was born on March 5, 1921 in Rybnik, Czechoslovakia and passed away on July 19, 1998 in Palmerton, Pennsylvania. Valo, an outfielder by trade only played for the Twins in 33 games in 1961 getting 36 plate appearances and hitting only .156, primarily as a pinch-hitter before the Twins released him on June 17 and he signed with the Phillies for 50 more big league games in his final major league season.
Although his Minnesota Twins career was very short, Elmer Valo had a most interesting baseball career and life and I wanted to share it with you. I am not going to rewrite a lot of what has already been written about the Wall Crusher but I will point you to a number of articles about him that I know you will enjoy if you enjoy reading about baseball going back to the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s.
SABR Biography – Elmer Valo
John Brattain wrote a piece called “Pinch Me I’m Elmer Valo” for The Hardball Times in February 2005.
Elmer Valo: Baseball Digest’s First “Cover Boy”
Baseball in Wartime – Elmer Valo
TheDeadballEra.com – Elmer Valo Obituary
Did you know that among players with at least 100 bases on ball in a season, the best walks-to-strikouts ratio, 6.31, belongs to Elmer Valo of the 1952 Philadelphia A’s who had 101 walks to just 16 strikeouts?