Wesley Branch Rickey
Tentative Steps In The Big Leagues
Rickey graduated from OWU in 1904 with a B.Litt. degree. Meanwhile, he had become a professional baseball player during the summer months, when on vacation from college. He played minor league baseball for two consecutive seasons and at the end of the 1904 season was promoted from the Dallas team in the Texas League to the Cincinnati Reds, who were in need of help at Rickey's position, catcher. He joined the Reds in September, but was sent packing (and never got into a game) after the manager found out that Rickey, because of religious scruples, refused to play baseball on Sundays. Rickey made it to the major leagues again in 1905 and played parts of two seasons as a catcher for the St. Browns. He also played in 1907 for the New York Highlanders (the team that eventually became the Yankees), but an injury sustained during the offseason while throwing a ball in the OWU gymnasium had impaired Rickey's throwing ability and ended his playing career prematurely.
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