Original Document
Original Document
Quotations on Pete Gray

From 1945 St. Louis Browns teammates:

"Let's face it, Pete Gray can't field ground balls or flies or shift his glove quickly enough to get the ball back to the infield as fast as the average man. There's no question that he's cost us quite a few ball games. I'll be frank with you. I resent Gray being played over a man with two arms just to draw people into the ballpark."
– George McQuinn, first baseman

"Gray cost us the pennant in 1945. There were an awful lot of ground balls hit to him when he played center field. When the batters who hit those balls were pretty good runners, they could keep on going and wind up at second base. I know that lost us eight or ten ball games because it took away the double play or somebody would single and the runner on third would score, whereas if he had been on first, it would take two hits to get him to score."
– Mark Christman, third baseman

"I think Pete was basically a good guy, but he had this terrible complex about his missing arm, and he resented it if he even thought you felt sorry for him. And he was always ready to fight. He didn't take guff from anybody. You'd feel sorry for him if he didn't already make you dislike him. If he'd only had a better attitude, he might have been better accepted by the team."
– Ellis Clary, infielder

"Gray simply can't get the bat down fast enough to hit the low ones. When other pitchers around the league discover that weakness they'll feed him a steady diet of breaking balls or pitches that are low and away."
– Jimmy Dykes, Chicago White Sox manager

"Timing is the secret to Gray's success as a hitter. Once he starts his swing he can't change his timing. So, I'd jam him with fastballs because he has trouble getting around on the inside pitches. Then, when he'd open up, I'd make him chase a pitch outside."
– Ed Lopat, Chicago White Sox pitcher

From present day figures:

"Pete Gray's extraordinary career as a ballplayer stands as a testament to the indomitable human spirit. His impressive work in the outfield and his inspiring service to our nation's youth helped to give people the courage to overcome great challenges and realize their dreams."
– Bill Clinton, former president of the United States

"Pete provided an enormous emotional lift for wounded veterans coming home from World War II, who saw what honest-to-goodness determination could do."
– Bob Feller, Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame pitcher

"Pete Gray came from a town where coal miners once owed their souls to the company store and men breathed the black dust from dark tunnels below the ground. The mines used them up. Gray couldn't work the breakers, so he played baseball. With one arm or two, the world he came from was a hard place. But Pete Gray made it. War or no war, he was a big-leaguer."
– Dave Kindred, The Sporting News

"Pete could do more with just one arm than many major leaguers could do with two."
– Phil Rizzuto, New York Yankees Hall of Fame shortstop and broadcaster

"What Gray might have accomplished in the big leagues if blessed with two arms is something for the imagination to play with. Surely he would have been one of the greatest big leaguers of all time."
– Shirley Povich, The Washington Post

"Pete Gray was not able to hit for power in the major leagues because using one arm, he could not apply a force as great at the 150 pounds necessary to transfer enough of the energy developed in his strong thorax and legs to the bat,"
– Robert Adair, author of The Physics of Baseball

Back to Top