Lennie Merullo, the last living Chicago Cubs player to play in a World Series game, passed away on Saturday at age 98, according to The New York Times.
Merullo played shortstop on Chicago’s 1945 squad, which beat the St. Louis Cardinals — winners of the three previous National League titles — to take the NL pennant by a margin of three games.
Merullo and his teammates, including Ray Prim, Claude Passeau, Paul Derringer, and Peanuts Lowery, went on to face the Detroit Tigers in the World Series.
The Tigers, led by Hank Greenberg and Virgil Trucks, beat the Cubs in seven games, wrapping up the series in Chicago.
Serving as the backup for starting shortstop Roy Hughes, Merullo went 0-for-2 in his plate appearances during the World Series, The Times notes.
The Boston native spent his entire pro career with the Cubs, playing from 1941 to 1947. The Times notes that he received a deferment from WWII because of colour blindness.
In his seven pro seasons, Merullo appeared in 639 games, notching a career .240 batting average, a .301 slugging percentage, and 497 hits.
Merullo is survived by his wife, four sons, several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Matt Merullo, Lennie’s grandson, spent six seasons in the Major Leagues, including four seasons with the Chicago White Sox.
h/t Matt Ford
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