Today in Tribe History: February 19, 1942

Indians first baseman Hal Trosky announces his retirement from baseball.

Trosky saw his 1941 season end prematurely while dealing with a finger injury. Persistent migraines that he could not find treatment for forced him to hang up the cleats early after nine seasons with the Tribe from 1933 to 1941. He led the league in games played in his second and third seasons in the Majors and hit .343 with 42 home runs and a league-best 162 RBI in 1936.

“Prince Hal” penned a letter to team president Alva Bradley two weeks prior to the public announcement of his decision, sharing that he felt he was not in the physical condition to play and had asked to be put on the voluntary retired list by the club.

“I have considered the matter seriously and know that by retiring I will be serving the best interests of the ball club, the public and myself,” Trosky said in an excerpt printed in the February 19, 1942, edition of The Plain Dealer. “If, after resting a year, I find that I’m better, I’ll try to be re-instated. If I don’t get better, then I guess my baseball career is over.”

Trosky would eventually return to the Majors, playing 135 games with the Chicago White Sox in 1944 and another 88 games for the Sox in 1946 before leaving the game for good. He ended his career with 216 home runs as an Indian, a mark just ten short of his former teammate Earl Averill’s then club record.

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