Lloyd Waner totaled 223 hits as a rookie with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1927. And over the course of his 18 big league seasons, Waner never stopped hitting.
Waner was born in Harrah, Okla., on March 16, 1906, and started his professional career with the San Francisco Seals in 1925, where he was teammates with his brother, Paul. After six games with the Seals the following year, Lloyd asked for his release and joined the Pittsburgh Pirates. He reached the majors with the Pirates in 1927, joining his brother in the team's outfield. He led the National League with 133 runs scored, totaled 223 hits and batted .355 while helping the Pirates win the NL pennant.
Paul Waner – nicknamed "Big Poison" – won the NL MVP that year and Lloyd – dubbed "Little Poison" – finished sixth in the voting.
"The Pirates took Lloyd to Spring Training in 1927, mostly just to look at him a little closer," Lloyd's brother, Paul Waner, said in 'The Glory of Their Times.' "They never thought he could possibly make the team 'cause Lloyd only weighed about 130 pounds then. He was only 20 years old, and was even smaller than me."
But Lloyd could hit. In his first three big league seasons, Waner averaged 226 hits, 13 triples and 129 runs per year. He led the major leagues with 214 hits in 1931 and hit better than .300 in 10 of his first 12 seasons with the Pirates.
Waner also had an excellent eye at the plate, striking out more than 15 times in just three of his 18 seasons. In 1941 – in 77 games with the Pirates, Braves and Reds – Waner did not strike out once in 234 plate appearances.
The owner of four 200-hit seasons, Waner was also a premium defender, leading all NL outfielders in putouts four times.
He finished his career with 2,459 hits, 1,201 runs scored and 118 triples.
Waner was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1967. He passed away on July 22, 1982.