#14 – OF Whitey Kurowski
Before I began researching for this post, I didn’t know who Whitey Kurowski was, but after a bit of research, I think that uncovering such a fascinating and inspiring player made the whole endeavor worthwhile.
As a child, Kurowski was diagnosed with Osteomyelitis, a disease which effectively damages the bones, and Kurowski was left missing pieces of bone in his right forearm. In spite of that, Whitey became a professional baseball player, and from 1941 to 1949, he was one of the better hitters in the league, and he earned four trips to the All-Star Game. Ultimately, Kurowski’s career was ended at the young age of 31 by elbow and arm problems in his right arm.
Over those nine seasons, Whitey Kurowski hit .286/.366/.455 while swatting 106 home runs and posting a 127 wRC+. Additionally, he played a crucial role in the 1942, 1944, and 1946 World Series teams, helping lead the Cardinals to all three titles.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Kurowski was his ability to perform at a high level in spite of an illness that limited his natural and structural strength. His numbers are good enough to earn him a spot on this list, but his perseverance earned him spot in my mind as one of the Cardinal greats.
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