George Selkirk

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George Alexander Selkirk (January 4, 1908 – January 19, 1987) was a Canadian outfielder and front office executive in Major League Baseball. In 1935, Selkirk succeeded the legendary Babe Ruth as the right fielder of the New York Yankees. Although he could not match Ruth's charisma and power-hitting ability — few could come close to that — over the next eight seasons, Selkirk batted over .300 five times, twice drove home more than 100 RBI, played on five World Championship teams (1936, 1937, 1938, 1939 and 1941), and made the American League All-Star team in 1936 and 1939.

A native of Huntsville, Ontario, Selkirk batted left-handed and threw right-handed. He earned the nickname "Twinkletoes" for his distinctive way of running on the balls of his feet. During his nine years of major league service, all with the Yankees, he appeared in 846 games and batted .290 (.265 in 21 World Series games), with 108 regular-season home runs.

After military service in World War II, Selkirk managed at the A and AAA levels for the Yanks, and at AAA in the farm system of the Milwaukee Braves. He then worked as a player personnel director for the Kansas City Athletics and player development director of the Baltimore Orioles before becoming the second general manager in the history of the second Washington Senators club (now the Texas Rangers) in the autumn of 1962.

The Senators were chronically short of funds and never developed a strong farm system, forcing Selkirk to acquire players (such as the great slugger Frank Howard) through trades and fill out the roster with waiver-price acquisitions. Nonetheless, Washington improved every year from 1963 through 1967. But when the team's field manager, Gil Hodges, departed for the New York Mets after the '67 campaign, the Senators regressed and fell back into the American League basement. The death of one of the club's owners forced the sale of the team in the autumn of 1968, and Selkirk was fired during the transition. He then returned to the Yankees as a scout.

George Selkirk died at age 79 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His successful career as a player, and the respect he earned as a general manager, earned Selkirk a place in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

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