Major League Baseball’s oldest living player and longtime Greenwich resident, Mike Sandlock, passed away on Monday, April 4 — the opening day of the 2016 baseball season — in Cos Cob.
Sandlock, 100, spent parts of five seasons between 1942 and 1953 with three different MLB teams and signed his first professional baseball contract in 1938.
The 6-foot-1 switch hitter spent time with the Boston Braves, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Pittsburgh Pirates during his MLB career and he played alongside many baseball greats including Jackie Robinson and Joe DiMaggio. When some Brooklyn players circulated a petition protesting Robinson’s presence on the Dodger team, Sandlock refused to sign it. Instead, he was asked to play pepper with Robinson, which he said yes to.
He would miss the 1943 season to serve in the World War II effort, making ammunition at a Chrysler plant. During the 1945 season, he appeared in 80 games at four positions — catcher, second base, shortstop and third base. He hit .282 in ’45 with two homers and 17 RBI’s.
He finished with a career MLB average of .240 and played for many years in the minor leagues as well.
Sandlock celebrated his 100th birthday last year at the Innis Arden Golf Club, where he was a member for over 50 years, on October 17, 2015.
To read more, check out a story that will appear in next week’s Greenwich Sentinel.