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The Legacy of Pete Gray
What to Know
Teaching Time
2 hours
Grade Level
High School
  • History
Historical Period
  • The Great Depression and World War II - 1929-1945
  • Post-WWII Pennsylvania - 1946-1974
  • Contemporary Pennsylvania - 1975 to Present
In 1945 Pete Gray played in 77 games for the St. Louis Browns. He collected 51 hits, 8 for extra bases, and compiled a .218 batting average. As an outfielder, he made 162 put-outs, 3 assists, and 7 errors for a .959 fielding average. These statistics are not that impressive. What they do not tell us, though, is that Gray was the first one-armed man ever to play major league baseball. Students will examine Pete Gray's major league career by studying primary source quotations and the statistics he compiled during his one season with the Browns. The class will be divided into two groups: one will defend the credibility of Gray's career; the other will try to prove that he did not belong in the major leagues. After being given time to gather evidence for their respective cases, the two teams will discuss the issue: "Did Pete Gray belong in the major leagues?"


Students will: 1. Analyze statistics and synthesize a number of historical and contemporary sources with multiple view points to develop his/her position on Pete Gray's legacy. 2. Develop critical thinking skills through small group discussion. 3. Clearly communicate and defend position through written exercise. 4. Understand the historical context (World War II) and its possible effects on the events discussed. 5. Calculate basic statistical percentages.

Standards Alignment

  • History

    8.1.9. B. Analyze and interpret historical sources.
    8.1.12. B. Synthesize and evaluate historical sources.
    8.1.12. C. Evaluate historical interpretation of events.
    8.2.12. A. Evaluate the political and cultural contributions of individuals and groups to Pennsylvania history from 1890 to Present.
    8.2.12. D. Identify and evaluate conflict and cooperation among social groups and organizations in Pennsylvania history.
    8.3.12. A. Identify and evaluate the political and cultural contributions of individuals and groups to United States history from 1890 to Present.

  • Mathematics

    2.2.11. A. Develop and use computation concepts, operations, and procedures with real numbers in problem-solving situations.
    2.5.11. A. Select and use appropriate mathematical concepts and techniques from different areas of mathematics and apply them to solving non-routine and multi-step problems.
    2.5.11. B. Use symbols, mathematical terminology, standard notation, mathematical rules, graphing and other types of mathematical representations to communicate observations, predictions, concepts, procedures, generalizations, ideas and results.

  • Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening

    1.2.11. A. Read and understand essential content of informational texts and documents in all academic areas.
    1.4.11. C. Write persuasive pieces.
    1.4.11 D. Maintain a written record of activities, course work, experience, honors and interests.
    1.5.11. A. Write with a sharp, distinct focus.
    1.5.11. B. Write using well-developed content appropriate for the topic.
    1.5.11. C. Write with controlled and/or subtle organization.
    1.5.11. D. Write with a command of the stylistic aspects of composition
    1.5.11. F. Edit writing using the conventions of language.
    1.6.11. A. Listen to others.
    1.6.11. D. Contribute to discussions.
    1.6.11. E. Participate in small and large group discussions and presentations.

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