August 20, 2019

Max West

   Max Edward West was an outfielder and first baseman for the Boston Bees/Braves (1938-42, 1946), Cincinnati Reds (1946) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1948). He signed as an outfielder with Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League in 1935 and joined Mission of the same league the following year. After batting .330 with 16 home runs and 95 RBIs for Mission in 1937, West’s contract was purchased by the Boston Braves. He batted .234 his rookie year but increased his average to .285 in 1939 with 19 home runs and 82 RBIs, finishing 23rd in voting for the 1939 National League MVP.

   West was named to the 1940 National League All-Star Team, his only career appearance, and was inserted as the starting right fielder at the last minute by NL manager Bill McKechnie. In his only career All-Star at bat, he hit what would be the eventual game-winner, a 3-run home run in the first inning off Red Ruffing at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis. Unfortunately, it would be his only All-Star plate appearance, as he was injured leaping for Luke Appling's double off the wall in the 2nd inning and had to leave the game.

   West finished 26th in voting for the 1940 NL MVP, and 27th in voting for the 1942 NL MVP. In March 1943, he joined the Army Air Force, serving with the Sixth Ferrying Group, Air Transport Command at Long Beach, California. In April 1946, after returning from military service, West was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Jim Konstanty. He played just 73 games that year, only batting .212. He was with San Diego of the Pacific Coast League in 1947, returned to Pittsburgh in 1948 and returned to San Diego the following year. West led the Pacific Coast League in home runs on three occasions, and in 1949 he hit 48 home runs with 166 RBIs. He continued playing in the PCL until 1954.

   West operated a sporting goods firm with Ralph Kiner in California after retiring from baseball. He died in Sierra Madre, California from brain cancer at the age of 87. Source

29° 57.612, -095° 25.036

Section 3A
Earthman Resthaven Cemetery

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