Born: April 11, 1916|
Tiburon, California, U.S.
Died: December 22, 2006 (aged 90)|
Kentfield, California, U.S.
|May 16, 1938 for the Philadelphia Athletics|
Last MLB appearance
|September 22, 1951 for the Cleveland Indians|
|Runs batted in||773|
Career highlights and awards
Samuel Blake Chapman (April 11, 1916 – December 22, 2006) was an American two-sport athletic star who played as a center fielder in Major League Baseball, spending nearly his entire career with the Philadelphia Athletics (1938–1941, 1945–1951). He batted and threw right-handed, leading the American League in putouts four times. He was previously an All-American college football player at the University of California.
Born in Tiburon, California, Chapman graduated from Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, California in 1934, with letters in football, baseball, basketball and track; his football coach was former Cal star Roy Riegels.
Going to the university at Riegels' suggestion, Chapman starred in football for the Golden Bears, being named an All-American for the 1937 Pacific Coast Conference and national champion "Thunder Team", which went on to win the 1938 Rose Bowl; the last time California has won the game. Nicknamed the "Tiburon Terror", Chapman was also an All-American baseball player in college.
Turning down a pro football career after being drafted in the third round of the 1938 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins of the National Football League, he made his debut with the Athletics on May 16,
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He joined the Navy for World War II after the 1941 season, and served as a pilot and flight instructor in Corpus Christi, Texas. He returned to the Athletics in late 1945, and was named to the AL All-Star team in
- REDIRECT Template:Baseball year. But he never quite returned to his pre-war level of play; apart from 1949, when he batted .278 with 24 HRs (tied for third in the AL) and 108 RBI (fifth in the AL), he never exceeded a .261 average. He was traded to the Cleveland Indians in May
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After leaving baseball, Chapman became an inspector for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1984, and to the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 1987. In 1999 he was named to the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame. In 2006, the Tiburon Town Council voted to commission a statue of Chapman to be installed at the Tiburon ferry landing.
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- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- BaseballLibrary – career highlights
- Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society
- College Football Hall of Fame
- Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame
- San Francisco Chronicle obituary
- Los Angeles Times obituary
- Marin Independent Journal: "Sam Chapman, former top athlete, dies at 90"
- Sam Chapman at Find a Grave