Date and Place of Birth: April 11, 1916 Tiburon, California
Died: September 22, 2006 Kentfield, California
Rank: Lieutenant (junior grade)
Military Unit: US Navy
Area Served: United States
Major League Stats: Sam Chapman on Baseball-Almanac
B “Sam” Chapman was born on April 11, 1916 in
Despite being drafted by the Washington Redskins, Chapman chose baseball over football and signed with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1938, immediately joining the major league team in May without playing a single minor league game. Chapman made his debut on May 16 and played 114 games his rookie year, batting .259 with 17 home runs and 63 RBIs.
Over the next few seasons Chapman developed into an outstanding all-round ballplayer. In 1941, he batted .322 along with 25 home runs and 106 RBIs, despite the Athletics finishing in last place. However, Chapman’s career was put on hold when military service beckoned the 25-year-old on November 1, 1941.
served with the Navy as a chief specialist in athletics at Norfolk
Naval Training Station in 1942. He later made an application for
flight training and left
During his service years Chapman still had the opportunity to play baseball. In 1942, he was with the Norfolk NTS team. He also played in the June 15, 1942 five-inning baseball game at the Polo Grounds, New York, as part of an all-sports carnival to raise funds for Army-Navy Relief and the July 7, 1942 Service All-Stars game at Cleveland against the American League All-Stars. Chapman was also part of the baseball teams at Corpus Christi NAS and NAAS Waldron Field.
Lieutenant (jg) Chapman was
discharged from service in September 1945 and rejoined the Athletics
for nine games before the season ended. Chapman was an all-star in
1946, clouting 20 home runs in 146 games. Although he never returned
to the form he had shown in 1941, before military service, he was a
mainstay of the Athletics through 1950, hitting as many as 24 home
runs in one season (1949). He was traded to the Indians in May 1951
|NAS Waldron ball team in 1944. Sam Chapman is front row, third from right|
|Lt Sam Chapman (right) instructs Johnny Sain in the cockpit of a Navy fighter plane at NAS Corpus Christi|
After leaving baseball, Chapman became an inspector for the Bay Area
Air Quality Management District. He passed away at an
assisted-living residence in
Sam Chapman has been inducted into the Marin Athletic Hall of Fame, Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame, National Collegiate Football Hall of Fame and Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society Wall of Fame. A statue of Chapman is going to be installed at the Tiburon ferry landing.
Created March 5, 2008.
Copyright © 2015 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball
in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.