Boudreau, Lou

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BOUDREAU, LOU (1917–2001), U.S. baseball player, member of the Hall of Fame. Boudreau's mother was from an Orthodox Jewish family and Boudreau was raised as a Jew and attended Passover Seders at his grandparents' home until he was 10, when his parents divorced. Thereafter he was raised as a Catholic by his French father. Boudreau was a career .295 hitter and standout shortstop who played 15 years beginning in 1939, mostly with the Cleveland Indians. In 1948 he fashioned one of the greatest individual seasons ever, hitting .355 with 18 home runs, 106 runs batted in, and 116 runs scored – and struck out only nine times – to win the Most Valuable Player award. He was also manager of the team, having been named skipper in 1942 at age of 24, the youngest person ever to manage a major-league team. Boudreau led al shortstops in fielding eight times, won the 1944 American League batting title (.327), and led the league in doubles in 1941, 1944, and 1947. He was also the creator on July 14, 1946, of the legendary "Williams Shift," when he placed all his fielders except the third baseman and left fielder on the right side of the field against the pull-hitting Ted Williams. Boudreau later managed the Athletics and Cubs. The Indians retired his No. 5 uniform number and the street bordering Municipal Stadium in Cleveland was renamed Boudreau Boulevard.

[Elli Wohlgelernter (2nd ed.)]

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Boudreau, Lou

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