One of the best outfielders of his time, Terry Moore is one of the many stars who missed action on the ball diamond to action in the military during World War II. Widely regarded as the National League’s best center fielder at the time, Moore joined the colors after the 1942 season and spent three years under Uncle Sam. While serving in the military, Moore was stationed in Central America.
Moore joined the Cardinals in 1935 and legged out 34 doubles as a freshman. From his first game at the highest level, he already had the leatherworks figured out. Moore had a .984 fielding percentage (13 points above league average) as a rookie and tallied eleven outfield assists. Always good for a solid glove and extra bases, Terry led NL center fielders in doubles in 1936 and topped the league in the new-fangled stat of “range factor.”
Moore was a decent speed/power combo guy when the stolen base was a lost art form in the 1930s and 1940s. He led NL center fielders in thefts in 1937. His batting eye was suspect his first few years at the Major League level but he addressed one of his few weaknesses in ’38 when he walked 46 times opposed to just 19 whiffs.
Moore’s power began to come around at the end of the 1930s. Named to the first of four straight NL All-Star teams in 1939, Terry clubbed 17 homers and slugged at a .487 clip. A .300 hitter for the first time in 1940, Moore matched his 17 homers from ’39 with an equal total in 1940. His 92 runs scored paced NL center fielders and he reached his highwater mark for base hits in a season.
The Cardinals were building a dynasty during the war years thanks in large part to their vast farm system. Moore was an integral part to their rise in the early 1940s. In 1942, his last year before he joined the military, Terry was a member of Major League’s only all 80 run scored outfield with Hall of Famers Stan Musial and Enos Slaughter. This fab trio carried the Redbirds to the World Series and Terry hit Yankees pitching at a .294 clip. After the Cardinals beat the Yankees in the World Series, Moore left the team for the military.
While serving in the colors, Moore was shipped out to Central America and played service ball in a league with Red Sox southpaw Mickey Harris. The two met quite often under the employ of Uncle Sam but would clash at the Major League circuit in 1946. Moore’s Cardinals and Harris’ Red Sox went to the 1946 World Series–the year after the war. Terry missed a portion of the season to injury but was available during the Fall Classic, which St. Louis won.
His last good year came in 1947 when Terry hit .283 for the Redbirds at the age of 35. Since he missed out on some prime years at the Major League level (Terry was 31, 32 and 33 years of age during his service stint) Moore hasn’t received the Hall of Fame support he deserves. Terry Moore was a gifted all-round talent who was considered one of the finest stars just before WWII.
G 1,298/R 719/H 1,318/2B 263/3B 28/HR 80/RBI 513/SB 82/BB 406/SO 368/BA .280/SA .399/OBP .340