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Who were the last men standing for each World Series team?

Apr 29, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

stan musial young

Chris Jaffe, inspired by the death of Virgil Trucks, who was the second-to-last guy on the 1945 Tigers team, wanted to know something:

This got me wondering, who are the last survivors of various pennant-winning teams? Who was the last man left who could say he personally played in the Fall Classic? So I did the digging and looked it up.

He’s a historian by trade, so he does that a lot.  In this case he looked at all World Series teams before 1949 — after 1949 there are multiple survivors for each team — and wrote up the results. Sadly: every single man who played in a World Series prior to 1945 is now in Baseball Valhalla. Stan Musial was the last pre-1945 fall classic participant to shuffle off this mortal coil.  Also: last man from the 1947 Dodgers team, recently immortalized in “42” is Ralph Branca.

This stuff fascinates me. If I were a billionaire I’d hire a guy like Jaffe just to give me a report of weird random crap he thought to look up. He or she would have coffee with me each morning and just fill my head with this kind of thing.

  1. heyblueyoustink - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    If I were a billionaire, I’d be sleeping in right about now.

  2. mybrunoblog - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Just got out of my time machine and found this newspaper clipping from the year 2092.
    “Derek Jeter died today at age 118. Mr. Jeter outlived most of his generation by 20 or 30 years. Mr. Jeter, the last surviving member of the legendary 1998 Yankees, refused to die saying simply “I’m hanging around because if you were me would you ever want to die?”

    • addictedzone - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      In his will, Mr. Jeter left a gift basket with an autographed baseball and baseball card to the estate of nearly every member of the Maxim Hot 100 from the last 90 years.

  3. historiophiliac - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    Great. History as trivial pursuit.

    • blacksables - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:07 PM

      That’s my favorite category.

  4. elmo - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Ted Williams will return, and outlive them all.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:14 PM

      Teddy Ballgame was always ahead of his time!

  5. yahmule - Apr 29, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    I liked the way Ralph Branca was portrayed in 42. I even Googled him when I got home and was happy to see he was still alive. I didn’t realize he was the last Dodger remaining from that historic team.

  6. lucien7116 - Apr 29, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    I met Ralph Branca and his wife when I was in college…A great man and a wonderful lady. I’ve never forgotten the experience from 30 years ago.

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