BY SPNW Staff 05:02PM 05/14/2015

Major leaguer Earl Averill Jr. (1931-2015)

Earl Averill Jr., son of the namesake baseball Hall of Famer, died Wednesday night in a Tacoma hospital at age 84. He spent seven seasons in the major leagues.

Earl Averill Jr., who made his major league debut with Cleveland in 1956, looks over a scrapbook containing photographs of his famous father. / David Eskenazi Collection

Earl Averill Jr., whose father is enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame and who had a lengthy major league career of his own, died Wednesday night at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tacoma at 84. Averill was a catcher for the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Philadelphia Phillies and Cleveland Indians from 1956-63.

No cause of death has been disclosed, nor have any funeral arrangements been announced. The Mariners plan a moment of silence Thursday night prior to their game with the Boston Red Sox at Safeco Field.

Born Sept. 9, 1931 in Cleveland, where Earl Sr. — “The Earl of Snohomish” — starred for the Indians from 1929-39 prior to his election to the Hall of Fame in 1975, Averill attended the University of Oregon, becoming the school’s first baseball All-America in 1953.

He made his major league debut April 19, 1956 for the Indians. Averill had his best year in 1961 with the Angels. In 115 games, he had a .266 batting average and 21 home runs. The following year, Averill set an MLB record that he shares with Piggy Ward. He had the most consecutive plate appearances reaching a base with 17, which he did from June 3-10, 1962.

During his seven major league seasons, Averill appeared in 449 games and compiled a .242 batting average. He hit 44 home runs with 159 RBIs. He hit a career-high two home runs for the Angels Aug. 20, 1961 against the Minnesota Twins, and produced a career-high four hits twice, May 12, 1959 against Milwaukee and July 22, 1959 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Averill also played for the 1964-65 Seattle Rainiers near the end of his career.


  • RadioGuy

    Sorry to see Earl Jr.’s passing. A solid player in his own right.
    FWIW: Three generations of Averill men played at Sicks’ Stadium over the years…Earl Sr. wrapped up his career with the PCL champion Rainiers in 1941, Earl Jr. spent two years in Seattle before retiring after the 1965 season and Mike played a number of games against the NWL Rainiers for New Westminster in 1974 (also his last year in pro ball at 21).