Pete Suder

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1952 Topps #256 Pete Suder

Peter Suder
(Pecky)

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Biographical Information[edit]

Infielder Pete Suder was signed as an amateur free agent by the New York Yankees before the 1935 season. The nineteen-year-old got his first taste of pro baseball with the Washington Generals of the class D Pennsylvania State Association where he played the hot corner and fielded at a .947 clip in 98 games while hitting for a .294 average. In 1936 Pete hit .309 with 18 homers for the Akron Yankees of the class C Middle Atlantic League while playing shortstop at a .951 percentage. In 1937, Pete played third for the Norfolk Tars, fielded at a .962 pace, hit an even .300 with 22 round-trippers and made the Piedmont League All-Star team.

The Binghamton Triplets had Suder in 1938 and he helped them win the Eastern League pennant by hitting .278 with 10 homers. He made the All-Star team at third base by fielding at a .945 clip in 135 games. He was with Binghamton again in 1940 playing third base, fielded .945 in 138 games, hit .301 with 16 homers and helped the second-place Triplets win the Eastern League playoffs. He made the All-Star team and was also named the league's MVP. Would you believe that on October 1, 1940 the Yankees would lose him to the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1940 Rule V draft ? He remained with them until he played his last game in 1955.

He came up with the Athletics in 1941. He collected his first big league hit off Red Ruffing at Yankee Stadium, a double past Joe DiMaggio in center field as Chubby Dean beat the Yankees, 3-1. Suder had three solid years with the Athletics from 1941 to 1943, then with World War II in full force, he joined the United States Army in March of 1944, mustering out in January of 1946. Pete played every position in the infield on his return in 1946 and showed a .959 fielding percentage in 128 games while hitting for a .281 average, the second best of his big league career. Seven years later he hit his career high .286 in 1953.

Versatility was a reason Suder stayed in the majors. He played second, third and short but second base was his natural habitat. If anyone knew how to manipulate himself around the bag it was Suder. It was easier for a runner to find a pearl in a clam then it was getting a piece of Suder at second base to break up a double play. The American League leader in fielding percentage at second base in 1947 and 1951, Pete also tied a major league record as part of five twin killings in a game on May 17, 1950.

Pete was at second base in 1954 and knocked in the last two runs in Connie Mack Stadium for the Philadelphia club before their departure to Kansas City. They played the Yankees and were beaten 4-2. The clever second sacker was in the Athletics' Opening day lineup in Kansas City in 1955, his last year in the majors. After 1,421 games he took with him a .249 average and left a lot of runners frustrated. After his playing days were over Pete managed two years in the minors in 1957 and 1958 and became a scout for the Washington Senators.

After baseball Suder worked as a guard at the Beaver County Jail before becoming the prison's warden. On retirement he resided in in his native Aliquippa, PA, where he died on November 14, 2006 at 90 years of age.

Suder's brother, George Suder, also played minor league ball.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Year-By-Year Minor League Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1957 Kinston Eagles /Wilson Tobs Carolina League 51-89 8th Washington Senators Kinston moved to Wilson on May 11
1958 Fox Cities Foxes Three-I League 56-73 6th Washington Senators

Sources[edit]

Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball: Third Edition
Baseball Players of the 1950s

Related Sites[edit]