Bob Usher

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Robert Royce Usher

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Biographical Information[edit]

Outfielder Bob Usher a native of San Diego, CA, who helped lead his hometown team to the American Legion baseball national championship, signed as an amateur free agent with the Cincinnati Reds before the 1943 season. The eighteen-year-old played one year with the Birmingham Barons of the Southern Association where he hit .273 in 129 games before serving two years (1944-1945) with the United States Navy during World War II, being stationed in the Pacific theater of operations.

Usher was in the outfield for the Reds in 1946 where he appeared in 92 games and hit for a .204 average. He was with them again in 1947 but got into only nine games and spent the rest of the season with the Rochester Red Wings. There he appeared in 119 games and hit .253 with eight homers. Bob was with the Tulsa Oilers in 1948, hitting .316 and showed up with the Syracuse Chiefs in 1949, where he hit .287 with 14 homers. This got him back to the Reds in 1950, where he hit for a .259 average, but in 1951 he fell to a .208 average in 114 games.

The Reds figured they had had enough of Usher and on October 4, 1951, they traded him along with Johnny Pramesa to the Chicago Cubs for Bob Borkowski and Smoky Burgess. Usher had one plate appearance for the Cubs in 1952 and spent the next five seasons (1952-1957) back in the minors with the Los Angeles Angels, from 1952 to 1954. He had a three-year total of 38 round-trippers with a .284 batting average. In 1955 Bob fell to .225 with 10 homers for the San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League but he popped back in 1956 with 12 home runs and a .350 average (second in the league) for the same San Diego club.

Usher got one last chance in the majors and finished his big league career with the Cleveland Indians and the Washington Senators in 1957, hitting a combined .257. He finished with a six-year major league .235 batting average and 18 home runs. In 1958, the 33-year-old Usher gave pro baseball one more try, playing 115 games for the Miami Marlins, where he hit for a .275 average with 6 home runs. This finished out his minor league career of 10 active seasons (1943-1958). He appeared in 1,338 games, hit 94 four-baggers and had a .275 batting average.

Usher, who attended Syracuse University and Miami University of Ohio during his playing days, later graduated from San Diego State University. After baseball, in 1959, he returned to San Diego and went into government work in the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C., as an investigator in the Office of Naval Intelligence and as a safety manager in geological surveillance. He later returned to the West Coast where he served in the Coast Guard Auxiliary in the San Francisco Bay area, rising to the rank of Vice-Commodore. Usher retired in San Jose, CA where he died in 2014 at the age of 89.


Baseball Players of the 1950s

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