Given Name: Ralph
SS-3B-1B-OF-2B 1927-36, 38-40, 46 Browns , White Sox, Senators, Tigers, Giants
Ebullient Red Kress led AL shortstops in fielding in 1929, but in errors in 1930.
The Browns moved him off SS so Jim Levey could move in; Levey, in turn, led the league
in errors. The next season, St. Louis traded Kress (after three seasons of hitting
over .300 with over 100 RBI a year) to the White Sox, who were unveiling Luke Appling
at SS. Kress therefore adapted to whatever position he had to, even pitching, to
the detriment of his batting average. The Senators got him next and he competed with
Joe Cronin, who was not only the shortstop but the manager; Cronin released Kress.
After he spent 1937 in Minneapolis (American Association), hitting .330 and leading
shortstops in total chances, the Browns reacquired him. Played at short, he responded
by hitting .302 and leading the league in fielding. Traded to Detroit in 1939, he
broke his leg during the season. In 1940, the pennant-bound Tigers released the hard-luck
Kress. He loved baseball enough to quit after coaching for the hapless 1962 Mets.
That November, his heart gave out.
|FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY|
|» August 22, 1936:
Washington ties an AL record when Red Kress, Joe Kuhel, and Carl Reynolds hit HRs in the fourth inning.|
» May 13, 1939: In a 10-player deal, Bobo Newsom goes from the St. Louis Browns, along with Beau Bell, Red Kress, and Jim Walkup, to Detroit for Vern Kennedy, Bob Harris, George Gill, Roxie Lawson, Chet Laabs, and Mark Christman. It is one of the biggest trades of the 1930s. Newsom will rack up 17 wins this year as a Tiger to finish at 20–11. Kennedy will be the reverse, finishing at 9–20, while Gill, 0-1 after two fine seasons with the Tigers, will be 1–12 with the Browns.