One of several stars who lost the peak years of their careers to military service, Lewis joined the Senators for eight games as an 18-year-old in 1935. The next season, when second baseman Buddy Myer was injured, the Washington infield was reshuffled and Lewis took over at third base. Myer was the defending AL batting champ, but Lewis hit a very respectable .291 and scored 100 runs. Myer became Lewis's mentor and the veteran's nickname was given to the youngster.
In the years before World War II, Lewis hit over .300 three times and scored 100 or more runs four times, with a high of 122 in 1938. He led the AL in triples (16) in 1939. In 1940 he moved to right field, allowing longtime Senator shortstop Cecil Travis, who was slowing down, to move to third. After returning from the service, he hit .333 at the end of the 1945 season and .292 in 1946. He had an off-year in 1947, then missed all of 1948 with an injury. When he could not regain his earlier form in a 1949 comeback bid, he retired. (MC)
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FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»August 10, 1937:
Washington 3B Buddy Lewis makes four errors in a game with the A's, tying the record set in 1901.