Art Shamsky

Art Shamsky
Outfielder/First baseman
Born: (1941-10-14) October 14, 1941
St. Louis, Missouri
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 17, 1965, for the Cincinnati Reds
Last MLB appearance
July 18, 1972, for the Oakland A's
MLB statistics
Batting average .253
Hits 426
Home runs 68

As Player

As Manager

Career highlights and awards

Arthur Louis Shamsky (born October 14, 1941) is a former Major League Baseball player. He played right field, left field, and first base from 1965 to 1972 for the Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, and Oakland Athletics. In 2007 he was the manager of the Modi'in Miracle of the Israel Baseball League.

Early life

Shamsky is Jewish and was born in St. Louis.[1][2] He attended University City High School in St. Louis and played on the school's baseball team as did fellow major leaguer and Israel Baseball League manager Ken Holtzman four years later.[3] After playing ball for the University of Missouri in 1958–59, he was signed by Cincinnati as a free agent in 1959.

Minor league career

Shamsky began his professional baseball career in 1960 with the Geneva Redlegs of the New York–Penn League. He finished the season with a .271 batting average and 18 homers (second in the league), and was named to the All-Star team.[4] He played with the Topeka Reds in 1961 (hit .288 with 15 home runs) and the Georgia Peaches in 1962 (hit .284 with 16 home runs). Shamsky played with the AAA San Diego Padres in 1963 and 1964, where he hit .267 with 18 home runs his first year and .272 with 25 home runs his second year.[4]

Major league career

Cincinnati Reds (1965–67)

In 1965, Shamsky made the Cincinnati Reds out of spring training as a sub and hit .260.

Shamsky tied a major league record by homering in 4 consecutive at bats for the Reds on August 12 and 14, 1966. The first three home runs were hit in a game in which he was inserted in the eighth inning as part of a double switch.[5] He homered in the bottom half of that inning and remained in the game to hit home runs in his next two extra-inning at bats, extending the game each time. The feat made Shamsky the first player in Reds history to hit two home runs in extra innings in one game. He is also the only player in Major League history to hit three home runs in a game in which he was not in the starting lineup. The fourth home run was hit as a pinch hitter in the next game.[6] His bat from that day is on display in Baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.[4] He finished the year with 21 HR (2nd on the team) and 47 RBIs, and a .521 slugging percentage, in only 234 at-bats.

New York Mets (1968–71)

Shamsky was traded to the New York Mets for Bob Johnson before the 1968 season. He initially found living in New York City to be intimidating, but eventually he "fell in love with the energy, got to know the city a bit. My life changed."[7] He became a favorite of Jewish fans in New York.[8]

In 1969 Shamsky hit .300, with a .375 on-base percentage, as half of a right field platoon with Ron Swoboda for the World Champion Mets. Shamsky was the regular starter against right-handed pitchers, with Swoboda starting against lefties. He batted .385 as a pinch hitter, and .388 in games that were late and close.[9] He still gets comments about his decision not to play on Yom Kippur that year. "The funny thing was, the Mets won both ends of a double header" that day, he later said.[7]

Shamsky's torrid hitting continued into the post-season. He started all three games of the NLCS, where he batted .538, leading all batters. In the World Series, Shamsky started only in Game 3, which was played on his 28th birthday.

In 1970 he hit .293 with a .371 on-base percentage. Despite only 402 at bats, he was 7th in the league with 13 intentional walks.

Chicago Cubs & Oakland A's (1972)

He remained with the Mets until 1972, when he played 22 games for the Chicago Cubs and Oakland A's. A chronic back injury was a factor in his decision to retire in 1972 after 13 years in pro baseball, with 68 homers and a World Series ring.[8]

Halls of Fame

Shamsky is a member of the New York Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.

Managing career

Shamsky was the Manager of the Modi'in Miracle in the 2007 first season of the Israel Baseball League.[10] Shamsky faced Ken Holtzman as opposing managers for the first all star game of the Israel Baseball League.[3] The Miracle finished the inaugural 2007 season 22–19 (.537), in third place, and after upsetting the # 2 Tel Aviv Lightning in the semi-finals, lost to the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox 3–0 in the championship game. The Israel Baseball League did not resume play after 2007.

After baseball

After his baseball career, Shamsky became a real estate consultant with First Realty Reserve and a sports radio and television broadcaster for WFAN,[11] WNYW television, ESPN television, WNEW television Channel 5 in New York City, as well as a play-by-play and color commentator for the New York Mets on radio and television. In addition, he hosted a talk show on WFAN Sports Radio, and has written featured guest editorials for the sports section of The New York Times.[12]

He owns a New York restaurant, "Legends."

He has written a book, The Magnificent Seasons: How the Jets, Mets, and Knicks Made Sports History and Uplifted a City and the Country, with Barry Zeman (Thomas Dunne Books). The book is about the New York Jets, New York Mets, and New York Knicks all winning championships for the first time in 1969 and 1970.[6] He appeared as himself in a 1999 episode of Everybody Loves Raymond along with several other members of the 1969 Mets.[13]

As of 2007, he was embroiled in a divorce from his second wife, Kim Shamsky, whom he had married in 1994 in Saint John in the Virgin Islands.[14][15]

As of 2004, he worked at Bravo Properties in South Orange, New Jersey.[7]

In popular culture

In the American sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, Ray and Robert's childhood bulldog was named Shamsky after the player. As an adult, Robert named his new bulldog Shamsky Number 2. Shamsky made an appearance in this series as himself ('Big Shots' – Season 3, Episode 19).[6]

Comedian Jon Stewart named one of his pit bulls Shamsky, after the player.[16]

See also


  1. Joachim Horvitz, Peter (2001). The Big Book of Jewish Baseball. SP Books. p. 169. ISBN 1-56171-973-0. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
  2. Simons, William (2009). Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and the American Culture. McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-3569-0.
  3. 1 2 "Inside Out". Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  4. 1 2 3 "Art Shamsky's Stats". Archived from the original on June 27, 2007. Retrieved July 5, 2015.
  5. August 12, 1966 Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds Play by Play and Box Score -
  6. 1 2 3 "Jewish National Fund Speakers Bureau: Art Shamsky". Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  7. 1 2 3 "Where Are They Now – Art Shamsky". Baseball Savvy. September 14, 2004. Archived from the original on September 2, 2010. Retrieved July 5, 2015.
  8. 1 2 "The Ballplayers – Art Shamsky". Archived from the original on October 21, 2007. Retrieved July 5, 2015.
  9. "Art Shamsky 1969 Batting Splits". Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  10. "Holtzman, Blomberg, Shamsky to manage in Israel League – MLB – Baseball". February 12, 2007. Archived from the original on December 8, 2008. Retrieved July 5, 2015.
  11. "Radio Ink Magazine". Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 10, 2008. Retrieved 2007-09-09.
  13. "Big Shots". IMDb. March 1, 1999.
  14. Archived February 17, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. Zoolander (February 3, 2007). "Scorned wife accuses Miracle Met of affair". Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  16. "How Jewish is Jon Stewart? - Articles of Faith". Google. Retrieved January 23, 2011.

Further reading

Ruttman, Larry (2013). "Art Shamsky: Hank Greenberg Redux". American Jews and America's Game: Voices of a Growing Legacy in Baseball. Lincoln, Nebraska and London, England: University of Nebraska Press. pp. 169–176. ISBN 978-0-8032-6475-5.  This chapter in Ruttman's history, based on a June 23, 2007 interview with Shamsky conducted for the book, discusses Shamsky's American, Jewish, baseball, and life experiences from youth to the present.

External links

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