Glenn Wright

Glenn WrightAfter suffering a shoulder injury that threatened to end his career in 1929 (he appeared in only 24 games), Glenn Wright underwent a breakthrough surgery in the off-season, the type of procedure that was years ahead of its time. The doctors took bone from his left thigh and grafted it to his right shoulder. In a sense, Wright was baseball’s first “bionic man.” The surgery worked, and Wright was back in the lineup in 1930 for the Brooklyn Robins, hitting a career high .321 with 28 doubles, 12 triples, 22 homers, and 126 RBI. In the field, his arm was pain-free, though not as strong as it once had been. At 29, it was his last big hurrah however, and his career was over by the age of 34.

In his first four seasons though, when he was in his early 20s, Wright looked like he’d be the best shortstop in baseball for a long time. He was 11th in the National League MVP race as a rookie for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and finished 4th the next season. He was being called the next Honus Wagner in the steel city. But Wright was never a good defensive shortstop, he averaged 50 errors at short in his first four seasons. In his rookie season he set a record for assists with 601 (a record later topped by Ozzie Smith), but that was more because he played behind several groundball pitchers for the Bucs. Wright was best with a bat in his hands, driving in 100 runs four times and hitting for uncommon power for a middle infielder. A leg injury with Brooklyn in 1931 hastened the end of his once promising career.