Saturday, July 15, 2023

 Who was Charlie Gehringer?

New library display answers that question

By Marion Cornett

Many can answer that in a heartbeat, while others might merely shake their heads.

The quick and easiest answer is he was a Detroit Tigers baseball player, coming out of the village of Fowlerville in the early 1900s. But there is so much more about him.

A few quick facts:

    ~~His love for baseball started in Fowlerville and he playedfor the high school. He was known as “The Fowlerville Flash.”

    ~~The Detroit Tigers picked him up in 1924 and he played through 1942.

    ~~He was then nicknamed the “Mechanical Man.”

    ~~At 5’11, 200 lbs, he batted left and threw with his right arm.

    ~~His career spanned 2,839 hits, surpassing .300 13 times throughout his career.

    ~~He won the American League Most Valuable Player award in 1937.

    ~~The Baseball Hall of Fame recognized his accomplishments and inducted him in 1949.

    ~~Clayton Klein wrote, “A Well-Kept Secret,” a recounting of letters between his wife of 61 years, Marjorie, and Hank Greenberg, another Detroit player and friend to Charlie. Charlie Gehringer’s biography is included in this book.

The Fowlerville District Library now houses many pictures and some memorabilia, including a commemorative bat given to Mr. Gehringer in 1993. Come visit the library and peruse this collection. Or, check out “A Well-Kept Secret” or Mike Grimm’s “Mastodons to Manufacturers: A History of Fowlerville, Michigan.”

If you’re like me, it is always fun to learn more about the history where you live. See how Charlie Gehringer put this village on the map for a lot of Michiganders.

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