Introducing… Jo-Jo Moore

Nicknamed “The Gause Ghost,” Moore was the leadoffman for the Giants throughout the 1930s.  From Gause, Texas, Moore was a hard-scrabble outfielder who was a difficult strikeout victim throughout his career.  A free-swinging contact hitter, Jo-Jo set the table for Giants run producers like Bill Terry and Mel Ott.  Moore knew that batting atop the order meant that he had to get on base so he was up at the dish determined to never strikeout and he rarely did so.  A well-respected left fielder, Jo-Jo was named to six All-Star Teams during his career.

Moore had cups of coffee with the Giants in 1930 and ’31 but John McGraw’s regular pasture looked pretty stable with heavy-hitting Ott, high average hitter Freddy Leach and Hall of Famer Freddie Lindstrom.  But Jo-Jo was able to take Leach’s job in 1932–the last year Mr. McGraw was in the dugout.  Managed by Bill Terry the following year, the Giants captured the NL flag with Jo-Jo leading the team’s outfielders with a .292 batting average.  They topped the Senators in the World Series led by the brilliant pitching of Carl Hubbell.

Although Moore was a World Series champion in 1933 he didn’t enjoy his breakout year until ’34.  He led National League left fielders with a .331 batting average and was named to his first All-Star Team.  The Gause Ghost would make five straight Midsummer Classics for 1934 to 1938.  At the top of his game in ’34, Jo-Jo finished fifth in base hits and sixth in doubles.  For his remarkable work, he was third in MVP voting.  In 1935, Moore was a member of Major League’s only all 100 run scoring outfield when he trampled home plate 108 times, center fielder Hank Leiber scored 110 runs and Mel Ott in right added 113 runs.

An All-Star again in 1936, Jo-Jo paced the NL pennant winning Giants with 205 base hits.  The Giants squared off with the Yankees in the World Series but the Bronx Bombers had the Giants number and battered their pitching staff quite handedly.  The Giants World Series staff ERA was 6.79.  Undaunted, the Giants won the NL flag again in 1937 as Moore hit .310 with 37 doubles.  In top form during the Fall Classic, Jo-Jo led all participants with nine base hits in the five game series.  He hit a robust .391 during the series but the Giants as a team only hit .237.

Named to his fifth straight NL All-Star Team in 1938, The Gause Ghost eclipsed the coveted .300 batting average again.  When his batting average fell to .269 in 1939, Moore’s string of All-Star nods came to a close.  He made his final All-Star appearance in 1940 when he led National League left fielders in fewest times struck out.  By 1940 however, the Giants had become a second division ballclub as their stalwarts in the lineup, Moore, Ott and Dick Bartell were in their 30s.  Jo-Jo played one last year in the Majors in 1941.

THE NUMBERS

G 1,335/R 809/H 1,615/2B 258/3B 53/HR 79/RBI 513/SB 46/BB 348/SO 247/BA .298/OBP .344/SA .408

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