Card: 1938 Goudey #244
One more hit or one less at-bat would have given Frank Demaree a career .300 batting average in the big leagues. The 12-year major-league outfielder finished his career with a batting average of .299 – more precisely .299469, on 1,241 hits in 4,144 at-bats. One more hit would have raised his batting average to .2997, and one less at-bat would have raised it to .2995. Both figures would be rounded up to .300. Perhaps one step faster on an infield grounder, or a close pitch that the umpire could have called ball four instead of strike three.
"Frank" Demaree was born Joseph Franklin Dimaria on a ranch between Winters and Woodland, two towns west of Sacramento, California, and was raised in Winters. His parents, Franklin and Louisa, were deaf mutes who lived in the Apricot District, an area just west of Winters where the senior Franklin was engaged in fruit farming.
In the summer of 1930, Demaree signed his first professional contract, with the Sacramento Senators of the Pacific Coast League. Demaree is one of four Pacific Coast League hitters to have had a 30 home runs, 30 stolen bases season (in 1934, in 186 games), along with Joc Pederson (2014, in 115 games), Lefty O'Doul (1927), and Hall of Famer Tony Lazzeri (1925).
One day after a game in Sacramento in 1933, as Frank drove away from the ballpark, his car collided with another auto. After berating the other driver, he learned that it was Rudy Hickey, sports editor of the Sacramento Bee. “He was so afraid the writer would razz him, after that,” his wife Nadine told the newspaper, “that he began to hit the ball until he was second in the league standing. Then he came up to the Cubs.”
He got his first taste of the big leagues on July 22 against the Pittsburgh Pirates when he pinch-hit in the ninth inning for pitcher Jakie May. Demaree helped the Cubs win the National League pennant in 1932, 1935 and 1938. He hit a home run against the New York Yankees in the final game of the 1932 World Series. He also homered in Game 1 of the 1935 World Series.
During his only season with the Cardinals, they won the National League pennant in 1943. During his last season, he helped the Browns win the American League pennant. He was named to the National League All-Star Team in 1936 and 1937. He finished 7th in voting for the 1936 National League MVP, and 15th in voting for the 1937 National League MVP. Demaree hit over .300 five times in his career. He is an inductee in the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame.
In 1948, he managed a few games at Fresno, and he scouted for the Chicago White Sox in 1949. He also managed a few games at San Bernardino in 1950, and then worked at a movie studio for the rest of his life. He died at the age of 48.
Frank is part of the Born in San Fran/Oakland/Sacramento Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Frank is also part of the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Demaree is also part of the Italian American Sports Hall of Fame Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Frank is part of the All-Star Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Frank is also part of the St. Louis Cardinals Players Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Frank is also part of the Chicago Cubs Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop
Frank is also part of the Braves Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop
See all Frank’s baseball cards at TCDB
Visit a random Italian American MLB player: