Jan. 14, 1953

It isn’t unheard of for a position player to take a shot at pitching rather than succumb to age, injury, or whatever else may have eroded his batting skills.

Braves first-base prospect Herman Niehaus came back after serving in the Korean War, where shrapnel severely injured his right thumb. So, with spring training several weeks away, Niehaus told Boston general manager John Quinn of his injury and his hope take the mound.

Quinn told him he would be evaluated in training camp, not wanting to lose a solid hitter unless if he didn’t have to. In 1949, playing in the North Carolina State League (Class D), Niehaus had 22 homers and 121 RBIs.

Quinn said Niehaus was penciled in on the Milwaukee roster.

Neither Quinn nor Niehaus knew that the Milwaukee roster would be competing in the National League.

Niehaus declared himself a pitcher in 1954 and his pro career ended in 1955. He never did make it to the bigs.

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