Happy Reds birthday, Ernie Lombardi!
April 6, 1908
In addition to his Hall of Fame career, Ernie Lombardi also has one of the greatest nicknames in baseball history: “The Schnozz.” The catcher won two batting titles, hitting .300 ten times and .306 for his career. The back of his 1982 TCMA card notes, “What made this achievement even greater was the fact that Ernie was a pitifully slow runner and infielders often would play him on the edge of the outfield grass, thereby reducing his margin for hits.” He was named to seven All-Star teams and won the National League Most Valuable Player award in 1938. Lombardi was the catcher for both of Johnny Vander Meer’s back-to-back no-hitters in 1938. He never garnered much support for Cooperstown from the BBWAA, but the Veterans Committee saw fit to honor him posthumously in 1986, when he was inducted with Willie McCovey (BBWAA) and Bobby Doerr (VC).