Jul 29

The Biggest Nat


On the left Milton Haefner at 5-08 and at right Robert Estalella at 5-07

Not too many players are discovered stocking shelves but it happened to Richard Ahrens. Joe Cambria, scout for the Washington Senators walked into a grocery store. Here is his tale “I found him in a grocery store. He was behind the counter reaching fir some cans on the top shelf. And when I saw him I thought he was standing on a ladder. But I did not see any ladder so I signed him.”

Ahrens is according to Cambria is a seven footer from Oil City PA. He joins Washington for spring practice in 1943. His feet are reportedly too big for regulation baseball shoes. He made the trip to spring training and the team got some good PR about his visit.

Now the Old Fox loves tall pitchers. He must have been grinning when he read Cambria’s report. Sadly for those who would have wanted to see him on the mound, Ahrens never made it to the majors. He lacked previous baseball experience and old fans might think he is just another John Greenig. He is listed as being on the roster for the 1943 Utica Club in the Eastern League and later on the 1945 Elizabethton Betsy Cubs of the Appalachian League. No statistics are listed for him.

Was it just a publicity stunt? We will never know.