Date and Place of Birth: September 12, 1916 Middletown, Maryland
Died: May 23, 1990 Frederick, Maryland
Military Unit: US Merchant Marine
Area Served: Atlantic and Pacific
E “Charlie” Keller was born on September 12, 1916 in
Keller played for
Not surprisingly, Keller was
with the Yankees the following year, making his major league debut
on April 22, 1939 against the Washington Senators. Keller played 111
games that year and batted .334 with 83 RBIs. In the World Series
1940, Keller was an American League all-star, the first of three
all-star selections before he entered service in December 1943. He
was commissioned an ensign with the Merchant Marine on December 30,
1943, then began training at St Petersburg Maritime Training Station
Beginning in the summer of 1944, Keller served at sea aboard the
liner Santa Cecilia,
which transported troops across the Atlantic and
Keller was discharged from service on August 17, 1945, in time to play 44 games for the Yankees before the season ended. Despite his time away from the game he batted .301 and clouted 10 homeruns.
Keller remained with the Yankees through 1949. He was a two-time
post-war all-star and following two years with the Detroit Tigers
(1950 and 1951) he ended his playing days – due to chronic back
problems - with the Yankees in 1952.
|The Santa Cecilia|
|Charlie Keller training to be a purser-pharmacist's mate with the Merchant Marine|
Keller coached the Yankees before retiring to run his Yankeeland
Horse Farm near his hometown of
His brother, Hal, was a catcher with the Washington Senators from 1949-1952, going on to serve in front-office positions with the Senators/Texas Rangers (1961-1978), and Seattle Mariners (1979-1985). He served as the Mariners' Vice President, Baseball Operations/General Manager from 1984-1985.
His son, Charlie Jr, led the Eastern League in hitting while playing
Keller was elected to both the
Charlie Keller passed away on May 23, 1990 in
Created April 14, 2008.
Copyright © 2008 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.