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Zack Wheat

Brooklyn Dodgers 1909-1926/Philadelphia Athletics 1927

When you are considered to be the greatest player in team history, your name is usually very well known. Guys like Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Tom Seaver, Stan Musial, Bob Feller, Ty Cobb the list goes on and on and on. Of course, when you go back to teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Giants, Tigers, franchises with such long histories, there are arguments to be made for more than one being considered the greatest in franchise history. The Los Angeles/Brooklyn Dodgers are one such franchise. To think of the men who have played for the Dodgers, guys like Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax and Duke Snider are usually regarded as the best to ever slip on a Dodgers uniform. But before all of them was another, a guy who was considered to be the greatest player in team history for decades and today his name hardly gets a mention – Zack Wheat. A star. A Hall of Fame talent. A guy who overcame defensive deficiencies to become one of the best left fielders of his day. A .317 career hitter. Wheat could do it all. Hit for average. Hit for power. Steal a base. A defensive marvel. Even today, almost 95 years after he last played, Wheat still holds franchise records – he was that good. But, so few know much about Wheat; and on this episode of Sports’ Forgotten Heroes, I welcome back author Joe Niese to talk about Wheat. Niese just released a new book about Zack, simply titles, “Zack Wheat”. Joe has written several books and has appeared on SFH to talk about forgotten starts like Gus Dorais, Burleigh Grimes and Andy Pafko. Now he’s back to talk about another forgotten hero, the great Zack Wheat.

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