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AVERILL, HOWARD EARL

AVERILL, HOWARD EARL

AVERILL, HOWARD EARL (21 May 1902-17 Aug. 1983), the "Earl of Snohomish," was centerfielder for the CLEVELAND INDIANS from 1929-39, and a consistent .300 hitter during the 1930s. Averill was born in Snohomish, Wash., completing 9 years of school and working various jobs, from construction camps to sawmills. He married Gladys Loette Hyatt on 15 May 1922, and they had 4 sons: Earl D., Jr. who played in the major leagues from 1956-63, Howard, Bernie, and Lester.

Averill played for semi-pro teams in central Washington before signing with the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League in 1926. After 3 successful seasons, his playing contract was sold to Cleveland in 1928. In his first time at bat in the major leagues, he hit a home run. On 17 Sept. 1930, Averill hit 4 home runs in a doubleheader, 3 in the first game. He played in the first All-Star game in 1933 and in 4 later. His highest batting average was .378 in 1936, 2nd in the league. His lifetime home run total of 238 is the career record for an Indian. Averill was traded to Detroit in 1939 and completed his playing career in 1941 with Boston in the Natl. League, with a .318 lifetime batting average. After retiring from baseball, he operated a greenhouse and later owned a motel. In 1975 Averill was selected for the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, N.Y. He died in Everett, Washington.